Restrictions lifting…..Maybe, just maybe, there may be cricket ahead?

Since the last web post only 2 months ago (below), we have got used to a new way of living – without Cricket.  With the exception of enjoyable TV reruns of us quoshing the old enemy (Come on: Beefy, Willis RIP, Freddie and Stokesy!)   

Already this year, we should have gone far far away and hosted Hampden, and with 2 wins under our belts would be having this week off for Club Day. Unfortunately that was not to be as the virus has us keeping our distance still. 

BUT…..light is appearing, perhaps for the end of the Summer, as the ECB has now decreed that outside Net Practice can be done as long as the standard Social Distancing and safety precautions are taken.

The MGCC Artificial and Net are in situ and available for use.  I will shortly have Track 8 set up for real grass practice as well.  It will be great to get bat on ball again (or ball on stump if Joe’s batting!) 

Here are the Rules for the use of the Cricket Artificial & Square:

  • Use the MGCC Group Whatsapp to announce the day/time that you will be using the artificial such that you can use in accord with the social distancing and limited numbers at one time. Simply let everyone know the time slot you will be there and if a slot is taken by someone do not go down at this time.  First reserved on Whatsapp has priority. 
  • Only use with members of your lockdown group, plus one other person. 
  • Do not share equipment, bat, gloves, helmet, pads – box!  And if sharing cricket balls, do not get sweat or saliva on the ball.
  • Avoid going on the rest of the Square. This is still being prepared such that we can host games as soon as restrictions are lifted.
  • The Bowling Machine will be available for use, but is locked in the pavilion. If you need the machine let one of us with the keys know and if possible we will make arrangements for you to use.      
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after practice. Bring this with you as there is no water available at the ground.
  • It might be hot, so make sure you continue to do as you would have before lockdown, and have liquids to rehydrate – do not share of course.   
  • At all times – Use Common Sense and Be Alert!

Fingers crossed – it’s coming home!

Chairman Kyle      

 

MGCC & Covid-19

Well it is all change at the moment with increasing restrictions being sensibly requested by the Government and our Health Officials.  The Cricket Season will not start on time at a professional, amateur, or village standard.   We standby waiting for news on when we might commence matches in any capacity, but that will not be anytime soon.

However, all is not lost at MGCC! 

Ground preparations continue so that when the season does eventually start (hopefully in 2020!) we shall be ready to host matches immediately. After all, I’ve got to get out of being isolated with Mrs N for any longer than necessary!

The good news is that the artificial track and portable Net is being prepared for use by the start of April. From a Risk Assessment perspective, this pitch is situated in the middle of a field and can be used by people without the need to get close, consequently it will be available for Club Members to get valuable outside time, exercise and practice.  Do not share equipment and take hand sanitizer to ensure safety.  Though we do have to ban the over 70’s from using (sorry, Tacky!) 

We shall not be running any organised Nets for large numbers of players to attend (as if we ever get large numbers!), but the facility will be available to be used ad hoc as and when you wish and need.  But please keep off the grass area of the Square or I’ll be after you!

We have the Club Whatsapp groups and it is suggested that you continue to communicate through this method, with regular abusive comments and wind-ups on your team mates!

Of course, if the Government layers further restrictions on any outside activity, we shall have to respect that in the interest of everyone’s health.

Chairman Kyle.         

Tour Time Baby!

Details for The Mighty MGCC Tour are now out and places being snapped up!

Tour Rep Dave, fresh from his one on one training session with namesake and personal mentor David Potts from ‘Ibiza Weekender’ has got it all under control……..     

Venue:  Brighton environs, pubs, clubs and maybe even cricket pitches

Date:  Tuesday 11th August to Thursday 13th (2 nights / 3 days)

Hotel: The Old Shippo Hotel, B&B basis. Twin Rooms. 

Cricket Matches:  Maybe 2, format: T20 and 40 Over.   

Debauchery: Absolutely!

Cost: £160 per person (£30 supplement per night for single occupancy – I’ll be having some of that!)

Cricket Skill Level: Not Applicable.

Drinking Skill Level: High Propensity Required.

Tour Party Attendees:  Any Player, Member, VP, Friend, or Supporter of MGCC….16 Confirmed as at 1st March.  Room for more! 

Miss It And Miss Out!

 

2020 – Time To Leap Back To Top Flight!

Goodbye 2019 and Hello 2020!  

Hopefully, sometime soon, we will be able to say goodbye to the rain too. Never mind, the Square is coming along nicely with a good covering of grass and with light rolling now underway preparations are well advanced for yet another true hard flat surface this Summer. 

We start with Outdoor Nets at the ground from Sunday March 29th, then every Sunday and Thursday until matches begin in May.  Sunday session starts at 10.30am and Thursday at 6.30pm. Numbers will dictate activities. Just rock up.

OCA League Fixtures are now on the OCA Website and we start our Division 2 campaign at Faringdon on May 2nd…..17 matches later on September 12th we finish at home to Watlington, when we will celebrate an immediate return back to the Top Flight!

Midweek League fixtures and details will be out later in March, but Timms Senior has already advised a similar format to last year with ten league games, and the top 4 teams playing off for the Trophies. These games will start first week of May too, on Wednesday nights as usual.

Our Captains remain unchanged with brothers Leonard leading us out: Joe on Saturday and Tom on Wednesday.  Satty has stood down from Saturday Vice due to a busy year ahead with the family and Joe will soon appoint his new Vice…my money is on someone with Broad Shoulders!  TimDog will be assisting Guns in the Midweek, (which means doing everything!)

The Match and Sign-on Fee system brought in last year worked well and has been retained for this year, meaning those that play regularly benefit from  £50 annual subs and from only £10 match fees (the Tea alone is worth that!) and those playing less frequently can opt to pay only the match fee of £15 per game (no annual sub needed).   We feel this works fairly for all and brings in funds to cover the matchday costs for officials, balls, teas, which in total is more than £100 per game.

This matchday funding is nowhere near enough to run the club and extra fund raising is essential.  The Bonus Ball, under TimDogs stewardship, starts Saturday 15th February and only a few balls remain, (just like Tacky) so get in quick to avoid disappointment (also, like Tacky!)   

The Quiz Night is back too!  Saturday 21st March at the Village Hall.  Another great fundraiser for all the community to enjoy.  Only £5 per person (includes a free bevvy from the very reasonably priced bar!)  Quizmaster Dave will be at the mic and Teams / Tables can be reserved in advance.  Prizes Galore!!   Get in touch with any Committee Member, Whatsapp, or email me from the Contacts link above.   Please support these activities because without them those match fees would have to rise considerably, or we could always lower our standards to be like………………..!!   (fill in cricket club name here).

Special Thank you to ARZOO Indian Restaurant in Bicester for generously sponsoring our 2020 Match Balls.  A great night was had at ARZOO’s in January when 14 of us sampled many cold beers and hot curries!  We look forward to a long association with ARZOO and are planning our ‘Mid Season break’ there already!     

And finally……The long awaited return of that very special event, something that takes a while to recover from, something that always brings the unexpected, something that always comes close to Police reprimands and fills landlords hearts with joy and tills with cash, that turns Cricketers into Hospital Patients!    Yes, 2020 brings the return of “The MGCC TOUR.”

Watch this space for more details, but keep Mid-August free for now….You just simply cannot miss this! (Bring a spare Liver)

So, get that pre-season aerobic training started and prepare for a long hot run-fest, wickets tumbling, Summer of Fun!

Chairman Kyle. 

      

 

  

     

End of Season Pig Presentation Night

The Cricket is over for another year and luckily our minds are not crowded with memories of great victories, well hardly any victories at all…..Nevertheless, we reached the midweek Buckingham Advertiser Cup Final and we  graced the Top Division in the OCA for a second year.  Indeed Great victories for a small village team!

We know that there is much more to our Club than just the performance on the pitch (luckily!) and we shall celebrate all that makes us The Mighty Gibbon together on Friday 27th September, at The Pavilion, when the Pig shall oink its’ last before providing all with food and drink.

A warm invitation is cast to all players, partners, our wonderful Tea Ladies, supporters, umpires, ground staff and all other miscellaneous club alcoholics alike, past and present.  The evening is sure to be as joyous as it shall be entertaining!

The evening shall be casual attire and commence with the bar opening before 7pm for an ‘early-doors’ one to kick start those that need it.

The Pig will be ceremoniously opened to reveal its plunder for the night ahead and hopefully its entrails will take the drinking deep into the night. 

Then we shall have an MGCC Through The Ages Quiz  starting at around 7.45pm.  This will be a quiz based on our 30 years in the OCA and virtually every player shall feature one way or another, from those who played the first league game in 1988 to the game last week (same result anyway!)  There shall be teasing yet amusing rounds including “Family Fortunes” where family member performances are pit against each other, and “It couldn’t Happen To a Nicer Fellow” where a few of the less inspiring performances will be aired for you to guess the culprit!  Yet all shall be in good spirits and easy for all to guess – even if you weren’t there at the time.  Come along and make a Team that spans the ages to earn your team points. Of course, there shall be Prizes aplenty!

We will (most probably) have Chinese food of all tastes and varieties delivered for feasting at 8.30ish.  During which the Captains will revise the Season for us and present our Annual Awards.       

More than anything we would sincerely like to welcome past players and partners and toast the support we have had this year from so many of you including: Bobby Summers, Taf Gibbons, Martin Deeley, Hubby, Gavin, Les, Mullis, Dave Clarke, Barry, Bazza, Fred and many more….home and away!                

Please let us know if you will be attending via the Club Whatsapp, or contact Kyle at ca_needham@yahoo.co.uk  

Cheers!

 

Summer White-Out amongst the shadows at Middleton Cheney

The 2019 Originals season drew to a close with another inauspicious defeat at Middleton Cheney as Barry White (not The actual Barry White) took 5 Marsh wickets and restricted Marsh to just 117.

Earlier, at 30 without loss after 12 overs the Marsh openers of Chambers and Needham had taken some knocks from the unpredictable track yet seemed to have calmed the strike pairing of Nadin and Denison.   But this was not a track you would ever ‘be-in’ on and both had gone caught to mistimed shots by the time Marsh had posted 50. 

52-2 off 18 became 52-3 with White’s first ball as it landed and rolled into Skippers off stump.  Never mind, the ebullient Lofty was determined to finish his excellent year with a flourish and picked off boundaries whenever the bowlers strayed, before also falling to White on 39 from just 40 balls.  Timdog who had been gritting it out was also a White victim and decided he prefers pace to spin after all. 

For a brief moment the Fox Cranes were in bat together and the wicket was cast in partial darkness from their shadows. The half light that returned when Luke fell, became a blaze next over as Seb snicked behind for nought and returned to the pavilion for family consolation (Unlucky!) 

And so began the procession In and Out as Marsh slumped from 86-3 to 117 all out, despite a couple of glorious boundaries from John….Who’s John, Grant?

A very pleasant tea followed and Marsh took to the field revived in order to defend their puny total – minus wicketkeeper (who was down in Brighton with some chums…say no more) and opening bowler.  Never mind, hope springs eternal and when stand-in strike bowler Lofty lured Merry into a false pull and a thin edge on to his stumps, and then the Oxfordshire Veterans trialist trapped Cox in front, Cheney were 7-2 off 5 overs.

Needham struck again bowling the King of the swingers and Cheney were 31-3.   The pace(ish) of Needham and Fox was replaced by the The Twirling Tweaking Triplets of Vadivale, Leonard and Cross.  With the exception of 3 tight overs from Crossy (there was only ‘the one’ in all 3 overs), the plan seemed to be to wear the batsmen out from them hitting the ball into the trees!  It didn’t work though and despite a wicket a piece for Vadivale (Seb catching on boundary to avoid TFC award) and Skipper (Needham demonstrating how you actually catch the ball for the Skippers benefit) the runs came at a canter.  Cheney reached the target of 117 for 6 in 34 overs.       

Thanks to Seb, Sykes and Sammy…and their mate John(?) for banter and performance…See you next year lads!   And our ever present travelling fans.

At least the early finish meant we got back to The Dog before it closed!  And a good few beers were sunk under the Chambers Grolsch Command, before the Fox boys went to stalk the clubs of Oxford with their combined assault weaponry of Seb’s looks and Luke’s chat…..oh dear….

End of Term Report:    Room For Improvement next Season…..                

Wagon-Wheel Of The Century

It was a glorious day at The Gibbon as they hosted their final home game of the season against Chipping Norton.

With his team threatening to go home if he put them in the field by losing another toss, the spin of the coin was important….Skipper stuck to tradition though, and lost! However somewhat surprisingly Chippy decided to have a bowl, much to the delight of the Marsh boys!

Will ‘Spudy’ Honour and and ‘Jofra’Archer Mansfield took to their opening berths hoping to get Marsh off to a solid start…it wasn’t to be as Archie (2) knicked a good ball from Gujjar to Keeper Widdows. Skipper arrived at number three and flashed a couple to the cover boundary but was then caught at gully for 13.

Stu’y looked steady in his regular spot at number four, despite an early scare when Big Dave playing and MISSING a snorter of a delivery from Gujjar. He started ticking along…..(mainly through 3rd man) with the help of Lofty Foxy (12) who is starting to get a trademark for his powerful driving.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, Rodders trying to whip a straight one through square leg and getting bowled for a duck…clever!! And T Leno, also bowled for 8, the reliable Jay-Z joined Stu’y who was now into his stride and regularly aggravating the hedges at The Edgcott Road and Lagoon End!

On 95 not out, Stu decided that the only way to go to his 3rd ton for The Originals was with a maximum, and that he did with a little shimmy up the pitch to Tompkins to whack him over deep mid-wicket. The cap came off, arms aloft to appreciate the applause from the ever present Marsh faithful.

Jules made a very important 18 before trying one too many T20 specialist shots and scooped his attempted sweep straight up in the air. Timmo joined and whacked a glorious cover drive before getting bowled for 4. Cobby did a cracking job to keep Chippy in the field for as long as possible whilst Stu was still scoring at the other end before falling. Nathan ‘Crouch’ Callow immediately pushed a single to get Stu’y back on strike, however S Leno got a little carried away and run past one from Tompkins and the bails were whipped off by Widdows who was never going to miss..!

Marsh posted a total of 185 all out with Stuy Leonard finishing on 112 from a mere 104 balls including 17 boundaries, 16 x 4s and 1 x 6, a fantastic knock with an essence of Ben Stokes about it. Powerful boundary hitting, farming the strike cleverly when needed (no need – or chance – of any fast twos…) whilst keeping out the good ones at bay from the Chippy bowlers.

With a delightful tea provided by Mrs Kimberley Leonard, who had believed that the applause for her beloved husband was for a 50 and not a 100… The Gibbon piled into tea taking full advantage of the lovely sweets, wonderful savouries and of course…fantastic baps!! Meanwhile Stuy had decided that a rest was required after his ton and was found in the middle of the changing room laid out relaxing in his fishing chair!

Marsh took to the field knowing that a solid bowling and fielding performance would give them a good chance to defend the score of 185. Openers Crouch and T Leno bowled tight with few loose deliveries, but with the Gibbon road providing them little assistance Chippy batters Slamat and Wallington rarely looked trouble and at 54 for 0 from 16 overs something needed to change. Skipper Joe made what turned out to be an important bowling change bringing Archie into the attack and in his second over the game changed completely, a triple wicket maiden!! T Leno then struck immediately in the next over knocking over Wallington for 32.

54 for 0 became 54 for 4….different game now. With Marsh on the front foot, Jay-Z joined the attack keeping things tight and chipping in with a couple of wickets. At 117 for 7, Marsh could have thought that they had this in the bag, however in came Chippy’s number 9, Max Green who played very freely and before you know it had raced into the 30s.

With now just over 35 to win, another change was in order. Skipper J Leno decided to bring himself on and flight some offies up into the descending sun, this had the Chippy batsmen bamboozled.  J Leno took the important wickets of Karawita LBW (34) and the impressive Green caught in the deep by Lofty Foxy for a very nearly match winning 46.

With the score at 180 for 9 and only 6 required for Chippy to win, Skip entrusted senior bowler of the day Crouch to do the business and polish off the tail………..WIDE!!! Great start Crouch, 5 to win…No matter, cool under pressure and with order to target the stumps Crouchy did just that and cleaned up Jarvis for 0. 181 all out, Marsh win by 4 runs.

A good day all round, cracking weather, lovely pitch, the Marsh faithful out in their numbers supporting. A big congratulation to Stu’y Leonard for a 3rd century for the club and joining Jules as the players with a prestigious 7,000 career runs for the club.

 

You need to hit it higher than that to get it over Lofty!

Marsh entertained Middleton Cheney for the first time ever at The Recreation Ground and entertainment it was as the advantage flipped one way and then the other before siding with the home side courtesy of some impetuous batting and an exhibition of cool catching.   

Cheney won the toss and decided that the preceding 24 hours of rain and humid conditions would favour the ball, despite the deck still being hard and flat.  The first indication was it was the right call as Nadin got through Willo with the 2nd ball of the match and Marsh were a man down without any runs on the board.   Thankfully Hanson from the other end was errant in line and length and Skipper creamed away with 5 quick boundaries.  Vadivale (4) looked to do likewise from the other end but could not keep his Square Cut down and was caught at Point off Nadin in the 7th over.  25 for 2.

Nadin was bowling tight and Smith replaced replaced Hanson with a better away swinging line, making runs hard to come by.   Skipper (35) seemed comfortable at the crease when he got a thin edge behind to give Nadin his 3rd wicket and reduce Marsh to 44-3.  That soon became 59-4 in the 22nd over when Kyle mistimed a Cover Drive and departed for 15.

Guns Leonard was determined to stick it out and crept to 8 before missing a straight one from the returning Hanson in the 27th over and Cheney were firmly settled in the Box Seat with Marsh reduced to 74-5.   Only 18 overs remaining (to survive and) to post some sort of defendable total.  Well whilst Cool Hand Luke was at the crease there was hope for quick runs.  Some cracking drives sped past the agile fielders and he rolled the scoreboard forwards at a run a ball as Sammy got settled in.   In keeping with the rest of the batters, just as Lofty started to get on top, he got out.  92-6 at the 33rd over mark and Chambers Senior strode out to join Richardson. 

There had been great debate amongst the watching Marsh players when Guns had announced that Jules was nearing 6,000 runs for The Originals, after consulting the 2018 Wisden.  Jules looked on quizzically as he thought he had scored more.  It turned out Guns had read the number of runs conceded from his Bowling!   In fact, he only needed 26 to reach 7,000.  No pressure – No Problem.

Chambers and Richardson found their straps and worked the ball to all parts constructing a 59 run partnership in 9 overs to deflate the confident Cheney, during which a loud cheer and applause went up when Chambers passed the landmark. Possibly the loudest cheer for a batsman on 25 pushing a single to midwicket (in trademark Chambers fashion.)

Sammy was caught after scoring 34 from just 45 deliveries and Timdog (7*)was reunited with Jules to continue their unfinished (winning) business from last week and add 16 from the last 3 overs, taking the total to 166-7 from the 45.   Jules unbeaten on 34 from 33 balls.

Certainly Cheney had held the advantage when Marsh were slumped on 74-5, but the last 108 balls had brought Marsh 92 runs and shortened the odds.  Despite this rear-guard defiance, 166 was still less than par and the question was, “Could it be defended?”

Another excellent Tea provided by Amy and Selena with sarnies and savouries rounded off with a vast scope of cakes (which Tom stashed for later!)

Marsh knew they could not afford for Cheney to get off to a lucrative start and it was Callow who decimated the top order sending back Merry (Stump out the ground), Markham (LBW) and then Twynham (with a great leave onto his off peg!) 6 overs gone and Cheney 19-3.  Advantage now with Marsh.

Des Smith was somehow surviving at the other end from the carnage and joined by Dan Smith the two sought to survive rebuild.  Indeed, they did just that  and when they reached their 50 partnership in the 22nd over the pendulum was swinging back to Cheney.  Only 100 needed in 23 overs and 7 still in the hutch.

Partnership breaker Vadivale had been putting more zing into his deliveries and got reward trapping young Smith (36) in the 25th over with the score on 91.  Would this chink of light become brighter? Marsh needed to keep taking wickets, especially Des Smith who continued to score and ride his fortune.

Vadivale kept the light shining in his next over as he Bowled Hanson and Cheney were 101-5 off 28 overs. At the same point Marsh had been 78-5, but the momentum was now with the Marsh bowlers and despite a short sharp expensive interlude from Sammy, the bowlers had restricted the run scoring opportunities with no one going for more than 3 per over.  Despite this economy, Cheney only needed 4 per over in the remaining overs and so wickets were the only solution for Marsh. 

Tension was mounting and Cheney were closing. Nine overs remaining and only 40 now required.  Tommy was bowling big in-duckers and Satty was darting turners from the other end. Boynton had looked secure when he went large, hitting straight off Guns and over Lofty’s head at deep mid-on.  You could feel the frustration from Marsh as the ball was dipping beyond Foxy over his shoulder – then an amazing Stokes-style running, turning, diving one handed catch only he could make within his extendable reach!

An invigorated Marsh had spirits lifted and next ball Cheney looked for 2 to the backward square boundary without accounting for Willo’s arm and his bullet to the stumps left Nadin stranded.  126 for 5 was now 126-7.  But Smith still there….Advantage Marsh – with the runs on the board, or Cheney – with a batter settled and on 50? 

In came Wright and quickly got off the mark with a boundary.  That spurred his confidence to try again and where should he choose to hit Tommy? Straight to Lofty Foxy standing (almost) on the boundary line.  The buckets swallowed it up and Marsh were jubilant as Cheney now slumped to 130-8 off 37 overs.

But Smith was still there and lining up Satty now…..Marsh had boundary riders ready. Swish and the ball is orbiting toward Cow Corner where none other than Lofty is poised and primed.  OUT!

134-9 and it is all over bar the small matter of the 10th wicket, which came next over courtesy of another catch bagged by Sammy off Tom.   

Just 8 runs for the last 5 wickets as Marsh completed a superb romp in the field, maintaining belief and delivering bowling and catching skills.  Callow, Vadivale and Leonard with 3 wickets a piece

Lofty Foxy stood tall on the boundary and caught all that dared clear him.         

 

              

 

   

          

    

            

Ask not what your Club can do for you, but what you can do for your Club

The Marsh Gibbon Cricket Club legend that is Julian Chambers reeled in another milestone against Middleton Cheney on 20th July 2019, as he passed 7,000 runs for the Originals.

His MGCC career, which shows no signs of concluding anytime soon, started in his teens before Marsh even joined the OCA in 1987, when he would turn out for the Midweek and Sunday teams playing in the Aylesbury leagues.   

Back then he would open the bowling alongside ‘Bolshman’ Rawlings and under the tutelage of the likes of O.T. Stringer, Smithy, Eagles, Baz Leonard, Watko, Bobby S. and the rest (of that drunken motley crew) he became a mainstay – that is when he could escape his farm duties to play!

Now, with over 450 MGCC appearances in the OCA, not to mention the hundreds of midweek, Sunday and friendly games, he is bringing through chip off the old block ‘Cobby’ to follow in the old mans footsteps.    

Jules captained the side for 3 years (91-93) when we played in the Senior Section of the OCA and also helped form the basis of the Square of today  helping/doing the match deck preparation. 

Surely, his most memorable games came with the ball when in 1989 at a time without bowling restrictions, he bowled 22 overs straight off against Buckland and took 6 wickets for 70 runs!  (By the way, his run up back then was about 20 metres long and so in that one spell he sprinted over 2.5 kilometres!) These were just some of the 344 wickets taken at only 17 runs each so far. 

Another great performance came in 2001 when Jules notched up an unbeaten 108 (including 7×4 and 3 maximums) as he lead us to 200 to win at home to Minster Lovell.  In that same year he averaged 54 runs and won the Batting Cup, as he also did 3 years later when he totalled 434 runs off the willow.   Add that to his two Bowling Cup awards of 1997 and the Millennial year and you have the archetypal Cricketer  (Oh yes, he can field too!) 

In a nutshell, there isn’t anything he hasn’t done, or achieved, for the Club and we hope he continues to grace The Recreation Ground for many years to come – 8,000 runs and 400 wickets are in range! 

 

           

Procter’s Record Stands For Another Year!

2005 might have been a memorable year for English Cricket as we wrestled back The Ashes from the convicts, but in sleepy old Marsh Gibbon it is known as the year when our swashbuckling Skipper – Ben Procter – lead us to a Summer devoid of a single victory from 16 attempts!

So, it was fitting that after 9 straight defeats, new Skipper Leonard steered us to our first victory this year over the Club where Procter sought solace after that fateful year – Wolvercote.  And in so doing maintained Mr Procter’s record as the only Skipper to fail to win a game in a season.

The day started same as usual with Skipper losing the toss on a warm and muggy day.  Wolvercote unsurprisingly chose to bat on a dream surface, with a fast dry outfield in order to take advantage of the good run scoring conditions.  Opening bowlers Kyle and Callow needed to bowl tight with the ever positive and usually free scoring  Stewart-Liberty looking to pounce at any opportunity.  

And bowl tight they did, thus with the batters’ frustration mounting at the lack of scoring options, Callow got the breakthrough with a delightful slower ball to Manzoor who edged and was snaffood by Vadivale at gully.  It looked like Needham had bagged Stewart-Liberty too as he edged to the skipper wearing the gloves for the day.  But alas, the melted butter from his earlier bacon roll caused the ball to slip free!   Kyle bowled through going for only 2.5 per over and did get reward with the wcket of Babbs.

At just 90-3 (another wicket for Callow bagged by Foxy) off the first 24 overs Wolvercote were below par and seeking risky singles to keep the board clicking in the absence of boundaries. .

T-Leno replaced Crouch continued recent good form to with the wicket of Pinhol (16) nicked behind to the Skipper (Butter dried out now). However with Stewart-Liberty still at the crease and passing his half century, Marsh knew that his wicket would be pivotal in the game…then came the moment. Stewart-Liberty made the mistake of looking for 2 to Timdog on the fence. The call came and much like the World Cup final to come next day, Timmo raced around the boundary (Jason Roy esque) and fired it straight over the stumps, easy pickings for Bacon roll gloves to do the rest and that was the dangerous Stewart-Liberty gone for 66. 

The bowling partnership of Vadivale (10-4-23-3) and T Leno (12-1-60-3) tightened the screw on the visitors, as both troubled the batters constantly.  They reduced Wolvercote from 135-5 to 168 all out, including a fantastic in-swinging yorker from Guns to dismiss the resisting Gupta (12). With superb fielding and safe catching from Foxy, Kyle,  Skipper and nicest man Mansfield, Marsh completed the job bowling Wolvercote out in the 43rd over for a below par 168.

Debutant tea lady Mrs Abbott (happy with her bearings after having taking an elongated tour around the village the week before when trying to find the ground) thrived under pressure and produced a glorious spread which was enjoyed by all. Especially the selection of gluten free cakes (obviously!) which even got a mention in the opposition Ground Report, will live long in the memory.

The Gibbon openers took guard with the message from the skipper that only one good partnership would see us to victory……turns out that Two were needed!

Spuddy Honour and The Nicestman opened up, but Spud was not to be part of any partnership as he waddled back (quack) 6th ball. Skipper joined Archie in the middle and the pair proceeded to grind through the impressive Wolvercote opening attack, especially the ever dangerous Gupta (12-2-23-2). The scoreboard ticked slowly, very slowly, Archie kept a cool head at one end and Joe kept it clicking from the other.

Archie eventually went edging to 2nd slip for a very hard fought 8 from a mammoth 48 balls and an hour at the crease, an innings of Boycott proportions, yet not to be underrated in importance as the partnership had taken the score to 40 by the 16th over.  Skipper was getting comfortable with the bowling  and actually hitting cut shots as opposed to just swishing at them! 

Kyle joined Skipper briefly and a further 20 runs was scratched off the deficit by the time he drove uppish to extra cover.  Just over a ton required and 24 overs left.  Next was Guns, who didn’t hang around long being beaten all ends up by Gupta for a couple (good bat that).  Then came the irrepressible Lofty Foxy determined to impress the Pater.   He did actually look at 4 balls before straight driving his first boundary and continued to regain the Marsh impetus with more lusty blows to the fence (and more straight bat too!). 

Skipper needed a partner and Lofty was the man.   Joe reached his 50 off 67 balls and was congratulated by a bumper crowd of people and dogs!  Skipper and Foxy nonchalantly took the total past the ton and perhaps the required partnership to win the game was at hand?  Or perhaps not….as the partnership added 48 before they were parted….

With the scoreboard looking satisfactory from the skippers point of view, he got a pull shot wrong and was caught for an excellent 66.  In typical Gibbon style it was going to be a struggle.  Emphasised acutely when JAbbott entered and with his very first ball pushed a safe on drive which was mis-fielded at mid on.  What don’t you do to a mis-field?  JAbbott is now familiar with that golden rule….Pinhol’s direct hit from 30 yards ended the Wild Boy’s day abruptly.

Foxy was still there and continued to put away the bad ball until a peach from James nipped the off bail, sending him back for a very important 31.

At 109-6 off 31, Timmo joined Jules in the middle for what turned out to be all important winning partnership the skipper had requested.  Timmo manufactured boundaries from the returning opener. It doesn’t matter where they come from so long as they come….through your legs to fine leg is fine!! With experience and class of Jules, nearing 8,000 runs for the club at the other end, the pair knocked the ball into gaps and drove the occasional important boundary to slowly and surely reel the game in.

In the 43rd over with the partnership at 50 (Jules on 20 and Timdog on 25) Timdog hit the winning run, much to the delight of the cheering Gibbon crowd and finally Skipper could stop comparing himself to Procter!  (There’s a thought?!)  A much deserved win for The Gibbon whose efforts did return the result this time. 

Spuddy Honour was elected Pig for the day for his early ducking, diving over the ball and being beaten in a foot race by an old cripple! The beer tasted that little bit sweeter, especially as the skipper was paying for the first round…..well, when we actually see the colour of his cash he will have paid for it!

The Gibbon welcome Div 1 newcomers Middleton Cheney next at The Recreation Ground and look forward to playing Cricket minus the stress of having a zero in the wins column. 

Procter’s legacy lives on……