President’s Day Crowds Treated to Festival of Cricket and Drank The Bar Dry – Thrice!

The weather did not disappoint on Sunday 28th and a marvellous sunny day brought the crowds to The Recreation Ground in Marsh Gibbon to see a shock result as the Captain’s Team overcame the hoodoo and beat the Chairman’s Gentlemen, to win the Horace Leonard Memorial Trophy for the first time. We now know how that first England side to lose to the Colonial Convicts must have felt!

Vi Leonard and President Summers both addressed the throng at the end of the game to congratulate all and present the awards. Stuart Leonard collecting the Trophy (from Gran!) and Diddle Stringer was selected as Man of The Match by the President for his devastating 3-13 spell, ripping the heart out of the Chairman’s batting! The Champagne Moment was awarded to young Martin Deeley for his death-defying flying slip catch. (death defying as at his age we thought things might snap on landing!).

MGCC would like to recognise and thanks all those involved with creating such a wonderful community day, especially but not limited to :

James Dodds for the loan of his PA system, a set to rival the noise from any Hundred match.

The Bar Staff who fought back the crowds tirelessly as the stock was depleted on 3 occasions and replacement drink was brought in by many, from far and wide. Great work from Borsky, Grant, Tom and his Pony-tailed accomplice, and many others who stood in and fetched wine and beer. Special thanks to Tony and Vicky for allowing us to raid the Manor Farm Barn Wedding drinks stock!

Debbie Cross, Selena and all the ladies who supported with baked goods and the mammoth task of feeding and clearing up after everyone.

Our tireless Umpires, in Barry Timms (who has stood in virtually every game for us this year again) and Mark Leonard, who both managed to keep order and proportion in the pressure cooker environment out in the middle.

The day was a great success thanks to all that came and watched whilst meeting up with new and old village friends – plus many former players and families. The drinking continued late into the night – well, until the bar ran dry for the last time as no where was open to replenish it!

We are already looking forward to next year and the Chairman’s Revenge!

2022 Season Draws in With Annual President’s Day Match

A fluctuating second season in the Cherwell League has seen Marsh top Division 5A after 5 games with 4 solid victories under the belt. Then something of an availability and injury hiatus depleted manpower and impacted the next batch of results, causing Marsh to parachute down to 7th place (out of 10). The more recent results steadied the ship and 7th has remained constant with 2 matches remaining. The ‘drop’ to Tier 6 (there are 8 Tiers) is still a possibility and it is likely that at least one more win is required to avoid that outcome.

A full review of the season shall be posted once everything is concluded and fates decided.

The last two league matches are punctuated by the annual Presidents Day Match for The Horace Leonard Memorial Trophy, contested between the Chairman’s Elect side and the Captain’s Conscript side on Sunday 28th August.

The match commences at 1pm and the Bar shall be open before, during, and most definitely After, the Game!

Life President Mr Robert Summers and Mrs Vi Leonard shall be on hand to congratulate all players and award the Trophy to the winning skipper, and if tradition holds true, that will be to young Mr Kyle – Again!

In addition to the Bar, a Ploughman’s Boxed Tea will be available for spectators at just £5 and at no cost this year will be SUNSHINE! Following 2 tepid temperate years, global warming is finally going to help us out it seems and deliver us a lovely warm day. Perfect for a lazy afternoon of entertaining cricket and refreshments.

We look forward to welcoming all spectators and players from yester-year, with hopefully a few donning their WG Grace kit (Tacky!) and working up a thirst on the pitch, before slating it off the pitch (afterwards..)

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.

Marsh Celebrate with a Feast of Wickets!

Third Saturday in May and Marsh Gibbon Friendly Society resurrected Marsh Gibbon Feast Day after 3 years enforced absence due to the Pandemic. In former years, the OCA would allow re-scheduling of the match to a Sunday later in the year, as they recognised the importance of a Society that began in exactly the same year as the Marylebone Cricket Club established its control of the Laws of Cricket – 1788.

Unfortunately, the Johnny-come-lately Cherwell League does not consider such historic organisations with quite the same reverence and insisted the match with Thame Town be played or fines and points deductions would ensue!

Half the Marsh cricketers would therefore miss out on the Feast Day lunch (and more to the point – beer!) unless they could muster a feast of their own?

Skipper Stu was absent (at Club Day) and so Vice J. Leno stepped up to win the Toss and bat. Openers Thornton and Chambers (caught 30) returned his trust and were only parted in the 18th over with 64 on the board. Skipper Leno joined Borsk and the two batted together in total harmony moving the score smoothly past the ton mark in 31 overs.

Skipper got a low one and was trapped on 24 and younger brother Guns was keen to get on with it – and so he did, rattling a brisk 45, including the only maximum of the day.

With Club members arriving in force and in suits, Barmaid Lou was dealing with the pressure of the thirsty hordes. Perhaps Borsky’s concern for Lou distracted him as he was caught out just shy of a half century, and a Thame double strike accounted for T. Leonard as well – Marsh were 4 down in the 41st on 169.

Still more to do as Skipper wanted 200 and sent out Coultate and Callow with that task in hand, but both fell cheaply (Callow not used to batting so low down the order), leaving it to TimDog and Cobby to scramble the score to satisfy Skippers’ wishes, with 11 from the last over the desired total was achieved: 201-6.

On a beautiful sunny day, with the beer already flowing Thame joined Marsh for the traditional Cricket Teas, provided by the lovely Deborah.

With a decent total to defend, Skipper demanded a disciplined performance and he got it. Old man Kyle trapped Furness (son of his old work colleague) in the 3rd over and was not done there, bowling both Anderson and Thame Skipper Lee-Paskin in his 4th over as Thame were reduced to 12 for 3 in no time. Callow (7-3-14-1) bowled Thompson and Needham finished his spell with another timber, ending with 4 wickets for 11 runs from 9 overs.

Flag bearer Cross and Guns Leonard took up the cherry and continued the feast of wickets, Cross with 3 bowled for just 6 runs and Guns 2 wickets for 7. Thame were all out for just 42 in 23 overs – the second best bowling performance by Gibbon, with the one lower total being 35 in 2007 against Uffington, when it was a familiar tale to this game; as Needham again took 4 wickets and Cross took 3.

Suffice to say, the beers that had been missed earlier in the day were duly caught up at the Village Hall.

Perhaps, we should thank the Cherwell for insisting the game must go on – as indeed must Marsh Gibbon Friendly Society, “Let Brotherly Love Continue”

2022 Off To Flying Start!

The new season is now two weeks in and The Mighty Gibbon have set a blazing trail actually winning both Cherwell League matches! But the weather has dampened aspirations for the Buckingham Midweek League with both games rained off without a ball bowled.

You need to search back to 2011 for the last time Marsh won the opening league games and that was back in the OCA. That year 7 of the first 8 were won and “I’ll eat my Cap if we repeat that achievement this year!” said Skipper according to undisclosed sources.

The first match saw Long Marston visit the Gibbon for the first time ever and a top notch Man of the Match performance from Tom Leonard set the standard for all to follow, as he batted and bowled Marston out of the game.

Surprisingly, Marston put Marsh in on a belting track and Marsh looked in control until Chambers was caught and skipper trapped in front in consecutive overs (33-2 from 11 overs). With a shortage of top order batters available Tommy was bumped up to 4 and abruptly righted the ship. A third wicket stand of 112 in just 20 overs was largely watched by partner Thornton as T. Leno fell just short of his maiden Ton, on 84.

Borsky was next out for 31, then Seb Fox (7), Coultate (15) and debutant Wheatley for a duck, before a red-ink flurry from Chairman Kyle (29) and Cobby (6) rallied the Marsh total to 212-7 in the 45 overs.


Yes, they are back at The Gibbon – no where else it seems, but that is everyone else’s loss! Cricket without Team Teas has no place on the agenda and Mrs Timms (plural!) reset this time honoured tradition with aplomb!

Callow struck first for Marsh, thanks to debutant (number 164) Jordan Wheatley snatching a sharp catch at square leg. Tomlinson and Mistry then settled the visitors taking the score to 79 before Cross hit Mistry’s timber.

Tomlinson was hitting well and keeping Marston on the required rate despite a Needham double strike reducing them to 99-4 from 21 overs.

Guns Leonard had not started his bowling spell too well and his variety of length and line was to Tomlinson’s liking, conceding 46 from his first 5 overs, but shortage of bowling meant the show must go on. Then came the vital break through from The Crab as he trapped Tomlinson in-front on 73.

Cameo innings from Ilangovan and Cutler meant Marston were still in the match, but a finely judged catch from a steepler off Ilangovan brought Tommy a C&B, followed in the same over with a sharp stumping by Skipper and at 186-7 from 41 Marston needed 26 from 4.

Chambers Senior bowled Clayton and without any more runs being added Tommy bagged the last 2 wickets to close out the innings on 194, still 18 short. As the sides were led from the pitch by Guns (8-0-65-4), Borsky checked one last time if he was fielding in the right place?!


A glorious day and more availability challenges for Skipper with last weeks hero absent at Wembley (that’s a shame), but on the positive, his brother was back from pretending to work last week and didn’t get an invite to Wembley (that’s a shame). Also the Gibbon were to be graced by Player Number 3 – Martin Deeley, Peng Stringer making his second appearance, as was Jordan, plus Long Covid candidate TimDog back in the field.

Skipper won the toss and it looked like a batter’s track so asked Chambers and Vice Joe to pad up. This day was to be Big Brother Joe’s, as he looked at the scorebook and his brother’s exploits against Marston and muttered “anything you can do I can do better!”

…And he came close! Rattling off 70 runs before, like little brother last week, he missed a straight one.

With an even keener shortage of batters this week, Crouch was elevated to number 3 after Chambers Senior fell LBW to Ali. I am certain the Club Records do not need to be consulted in order to confirm that Crouch has never been at that berth before! Nevertheless, he classily scored a creditable 14 before also being bowled by Ali who was keeping it tidy and getting swing.

Skipper (23) and Vice took the score to 135 before the traditional Marsh Collapse made its’ first appearance of the new season. From 135-3 to 140 All Out! The Tail was not wagging today!

Needham and Callow opened up with the new cherry for Marsh and the early strike came courtesy of Skippers fast hands, stumping the advancing Ahmed off Crouch. (22-1 off 8).

Cobby Chambers was in on the action to snatch opener Bakhat off Crouch in the 10th over and Wolverton were 33-2.

Tanveer looked like a dangerous hitter but one swing too many top edged Chambers round the corner for Kyle to bag.

The Champagne Moment came in Kyle’s last over as he swung the ball away from the left hander, catching the edge and sending the cherry whistling toward slipper Deeley’s forehead – Schmack – and the ball was glued into the Deeley palm!

With Wolverton 60-6 the scales were tipping in Marsh’s favour, despite the miserly total of only 140. But the 7th wicket stand was led by Ali and took Wolverton to 90 in only the 28th Over.

With The Crab struggling to get reliable line and length, Skipper was swapping the bowling .around and Ali had already scored 4 quick boundaries so the field was set deep as Chambers bowled and he pulled high toward Kyle at square leg to hug it like Jurgen was about to do with the FA Cup!

J. Lennon(?) entered the fray with the ball and immediately got turn and lift to take 2 wickets – bowled. With Wolverton at 92-9 surely the Marsh victory was a formality…..but just like a Chelsea penalty, you cannot take the result for granted.

Van EeDen was at the crease and from ball one he tee’d off as if at St. Andrews. With senior partner Dickinson stoutly defending his stumps, the runs were ticking down and nerves were straining. Skipper turned to his opening bowler and Number 3 bat, who had stiffened up in his fifth over and been hobbling around ever since. Now was the time to break through. A few looseners and then – PING – Not the golf club, but Van Eeden’s middle stump!

120 All out. Callow finishing with 3-25, Chambers 2-22 and Needham 2-23 (We wont mention The Crab on this occasion). J. Lennon was MOM with his 3 wickets for just 14 and a solid 70 with the bat. – Keep it in the family, though he did not not quite eclipse his brother from the week before, but there’s always next week – unlike for Chelsea (that’s a shame).

Inspired by watching ‘The Hundred’ and now want to Play some Cricket?

…..Then we have some Good News for YOU!

Marsh Gibbon Cricket Club is starting a new Squad next Spring (2022) specifically for anyone who wants to enjoy playing Cricket in a local social environment. It’s for you whether you have never held a cricket ball before, are wanting to return to the game, or anything that falls in between!

Anyone aged 14 and over, male or female, inexperienced, or international is welcome.

Marsh Gibbon has had a village cricket team for more than a century with results of matches against local villages appearing in The Oxford Telegraph newspaper going back to 1858, with some very familiar village names of today present back then, highlighting the role Cricket has played in village life and the connection through the ages.

The sport of Cricket and MGCC have gone through many changes over the decades and just as ‘The Hundred’ is seeking to make Cricket more available to watch, we want to make Cricket more accessible for everyone to Play.

Starting next Spring, the Club wants to welcome villagers from Marsh and other local villages that wish to play cricket in a relaxed environment and learn all the wonderful aspects and skills associated with playing the game, without the pressure of a competitive league (until they want to, of course!) This new “Marsh Mavericks” Squad will be shaped by those that join and what they want to do. We will begin with training and mentoring in the skills of the game provided from experienced MGCC players and designed according to the capabilities and wishes of The Marsh Mavericks.

Whilst you do need to be reasonably mobile to enjoy Cricket and join The Mavericks, you do not need to be fit, do not need any kit, nor have knowledge of the rules.  You just need to be at least 14 years old* on 1/1/22.

All training will be at The Recreation Ground on Edgcott Road, Marsh Gibbon, on Weekday evenings, with equipment provided.  The Mavericks will be shaped according to the level of interest and what the Squad wants to do.  Local matches could be arranged according to playing standard, whether a Ladies, mixed, or Men’s team and appropriate age levels.

How do you learn more and what happens next?

Send an email with your name and details to the club from the Contact section on this site and we shall invite you to an information evening at the ground in the Autumn, where you can hear more on the  plans for The Marsh Mavericks.

Better still, come to our President’s Day Cricket Match and celebration on Sunday August 29th at the ground, commencing at 1pm. 

The day centres around a fun exhibition Cricket match between MGCC players past and present, plus there is a Licenced Bar,  BBQ,  Music,  Competitions and everyone is welcome to bring their picnics and enjoy the day.     

Committee Members will be on hand and looking forward to meeting and talking to you about your new Marsh Mavericks.

*As an Oxfordshire Cricket Board affiliated Club, we follow all required ECB safe-guarding protocols.   

Skipper Leonard Gets What He Asked For…

It was eight years since Marsh last visited Watlington CC back in OCA Division 2 when last over heroics from Timms resulted in victory for the Gibbon and gave Marsh a lifeline to escape relegation. Things were not that dissimilar this time around as Marsh sat one place above the relegation zone and Watlington rock bottom of the Division, as it was in 2013.

The Marsh Captain was the same man then as now and realising the importance of this occasion Stuart demanded the same outcome from his comrades. The win was crucial and skipper got things rolling by winning the toss and electing to bowl on a good looking deck.

The plan was to start fast and take the game to Watlington, whose confidence must have been fragile with no wins to their name in the Cherwell and missing their main strike bowler.

Nathan Callow responded to the skippers call and demolished the Watlington top order! A wicket in each of his first five overs for only 5 runs and another from Needham left Watlington reeling on 35-6 in 10 overs. Callow could not stop smashing the stumps apart on his way to career best figures.

Skipper had got the start he had demanded and Marsh were seeking to push the boot down hard. Meanwhile Maughan and Crockett had a different agenda and sought to stem the flow of wickets and to try and set a defendable target – and they made respectable progress. The eccentric Crockett was dragging out the time with his ball by ball rituals and blocking, whilst Maughan jumped on anything lose on his way to a creditable half century.

Fox and Chambers replaced Needham and Callow and bowled consistently conceding only 10 runs in their first 8 overs together. Watlington had the semblance of a recovery taking shape by the 25th over with no more wickets falling and the score on 85. The overall run rate was above 3 and they could take the extra 6 overs more than Marsh if they could stay out in the middle for their 53 over maximum.

Foxy had been troubling the umpire by straying a little too straight and plonking his size 11’s down the middle of the track and the umpire was on the brink of retiring the bowler when Fox found the perfect off stump line and Crockett was not quick enough on the draw and lost his off stump to the quick sly foul footed Fox!

With the partnership broken, skipper looked to spin and firstly turned to Vice Leonard replacing Fox (7-1-25) ahead of the umpire doing so! And then Crabby Cross for Julian (6 overs for just 16).

Maughan was running short on partners and sought to take the offensive to the spinners with consecutive boundaries in an expensive 2nd over from Vice Leonard. But the onslaught was short lived as Joe bowled House in his third over, followed by Maughan in his next, as the ball gripped and spun on from the batters pocket! Leonard closed out the Watlington innings on 136 as he caught last man Aajan off his own delivery.

A small post script to Marsh’s display in the field needs to be added here, as it was not to the usual crisp handling standard with the odd challenging catch going to ground, interspersed by mis-fields, a juggling Mitchell and even one fielder (called Timms) trying so hard to disguise his dropped catch that he claimed dislocation of shoulder until the good doctor Fox over-ruled the injury as more mental than physical! Indeed, the fielding mishaps led to an interesting debate at Tea on the merits or de-merits of the players on display. To the amazement of many, Sam Richardson didn’t find himself bottom of the pile, which could do nothing but to invalidate any decisions made by the self-elected panel sitting in judgement.

For the first time under Cherwell Win-Lose-Draw rules Marsh had bowled out the opposition well within their maximum 53 and would now benefit from acquiring the significant number of unused overs giving them 63 overs in which to reach the required 137. Certainly, run rate would not be the challenge.

But Marsh would need to see a tricky period of 14 overs before Tea could be taken and the Skipper again recited his battle cry for a determined and positive response.

Sunderland and Maughan opened for Watlington and Maughan fresh from his success with the bat had it going his way with ball too as a sharp edge from Chambers flew to Hargreaves at slip and Marsh were 6 for 1 down.

Skipper joined Vice and the two watchfully accumulated as the overs ticked by, such that by the Tea interval at 14 overs the deficit was already under three figures as the pair had calmly stroked their way to a chanceless total of 43-1.

After the Tea Interval the pair resumed where they had left off and all seemed under control until skipper skied a thick edge to Cover and was caught for 18 with the score on 53.

Foxy Bingo loped confidently to join Vice in the middle and characteristically got off the mark with a boundary! Unfortunately, his stay at the crease only lasted 16 balls, but that was ample time for him to crash 18 runs and with Joe timing some exquisite drives from the other end, though the partnership was short in time, the total leapt to 88 by the time of Foxy’s exit in the 25th over.

Brother Tom, now joined Joe and appeared to be in a bigger rush than the Foxman, perhaps the added incentive of every run he scored would reduce the total his brother could get!? A rapid red-ink 15 with 2 beltingly-timed consecutive flicks to fine leg off Maughan (souring his excellent day), brought the victory total ever closer.

Joe Leonard had got the measure of the tiring Sunderland and Maughan, and the friendly mystery of Devassy and Raj held no secrets for him as he sent the ball to the fence regularly on his way to an unbeaten 70. Leonard provided the quick drying cement Marsh needed to construct a victory which began with the explosive destruction of Watlington by Callow but just 5 hours earlier.

No need for Richardson, Mitchell, Timms, Cross, Callow, or Needham to don the pads. That is, no need for Cross Senior to don the pads, but Cross Junior had already played his part with his pads on – taking the sting from the Watlington attack as he faced them all down in the Nets for 2 hours whilst Marsh were in the field!

Unlike the last meeting between the teams, this one did not go the maximum distance, but just as with the last result Marsh left with maximum points. The only question that remains is whether this will be the platform to remaining safe in Cherwell Division 5, or will it all be in vain as it was in 2013?

Dinton Dent Marsh Hopes on First Visit To Gibbon

On a sweltering day at The Gibbon, Dinton Cricket Club were welcomed to The Recreation Ground for the first time ever.

The deck was looking fabulous, outfield short and fast and everyone wanted to bat first, even the solitary Umpire! Skipper Stu lost the toss, standard, and Dinton would bat first. The sun cream was slapped on and the wide brims slipped on, as Gibbon knew that it was going to be a toil, but taking regular wickets and staying positive was key in the Dubai like conditions.

Callow and Mitchell opened up with Senior man Croucher Callow taking choice of end for once as Marsh were missing Kyle due to domestic duties! Dinton’s opening pair gave very few chances and looked very comfortable against the new ball. Ripley. D and Humzah raced to a 50 partnership without incident.

The steady Ripley and impressive youngster in Humzah were patient and put away the bad ball. After 14 overs with Dinton 66 without loss, it was time for a change, Vice Joe was given the ball from The Edgcott End and brother Tom from The Lagoon End. Elder brother Joe got straight into his rhythm and gave the ball some turn and bounce, whilst sibling T was struggling with his length….not for the first time… T Leno had a short blast of 3 overs before being replaced by Jules 01 Chambers.

The runs had started to dry up considering the batting paradise like conditions with the consistent lines and lengths from Chambers and J Leno but wickets were illusive. The 100 partnership was reached in the 20th over and the 150 partnership in the 30th over.

The breakthrough eventually came when Chambers trapped Ripley in front for 55, then proceeded to announce to the skipper, “I’m done.”

Joe Leonard kept toiling away from the Edgcott End with brilliant control, even getting the odd complement from younger brother! Crabby Cross joined the attack from the Lagoon End and got straight to work to tie Dinton down. The pair kept it tight despite not taking the much needed wickets. Law had joined Humzah and was ticking along. In Cross’s 6th over Humzah took one too many chances and missed a straight one to be trapped LBW for a superb 102 from the impressive teenager.

With 9 overs to go Gibbon had done exceptionally well to keep the score below 200. Vice Joe eventually got the brace of wickets he had deserved in his 17th over off the bounce for just 61 runs. Callow was brought back to replace Leonard and took the wicket of Ali for 17 before Dinton finished on 246-5 from the maximum 53 overs. A valiant effort from The Gibbon having lost the toss on a scorcher of a day, with Dinton adding less than 100 runs in their last 33 overs when the heat had taken its toll.

Both teams took cover for tea to rehydrate with Marsh knowing that this was a very gettable score on this batting deck. Vice and Webb opened up looking to get The Gibbon off to a flyer, but it was not to be. Both went early: Leonard LBW off Shahid for 11 and Webb Quacked his way off courtesy of an off cutter from Shahid.

With Marsh 19-2 from 7, it was down to Skipper Stu and Borsky Thornton to steady the ship. And that they did. Both very watchful and playing with patient technique, the pair put on 53 methodically in 23 overs. Not a rate of knots, but essential to rebuild after the start to ensure Marsh had a chance of staying in the game as long as possible.

The Skipper looked to open up at theis point and began fo find the fence before clothing one from the bowling of Bolton straight to Dintons star man Humzah at midwicket and was gone for an important 45. Jules joined Borsky, but not for very long as he was adjudged LBW for 0. This precipitated a change of plan and swing from trying to win the game to get the Draw. Tommy Leonard strolled to the crease with the strict instructions to bat for time with only 11 overs remaining. Borsky had played supporting role to Skipper during his tenure and batted for the best part of 30 overs for 5 runs, and this time taken out the game was now invaluable for the side on the backfoot. He was finally dispatched by Bolton.

Timms came and went for zero, leaving it to Cobby Chambers and T Leno to see Marsh over the line with some grind and fight. Tom batted superbly with the field in chasing the wickets he went on the offensive to the vacant fences, finishing on a red-inker 41, including a glorious pull shot that even got applause from his brooding brother back in the hutch. The Gibbon finished on 138-6 from their 47 overs to take the draw.

This week Marsh travel up the M40 to Watlington to meet old OCA adversaries.


On Historic National Sporting Weekend, Marsh Don’t Pay ‘Penalty’ For Missed Opportunities And Bring It Home

The Gibbon ventured away to face unknown opposition as the earlier home game against Buckingham Town had fallen foul of the May deluge. The Winslow ground (where Buck Town III play) was last visited in 2013 when Marsh and Winslow Town were both relegated and Marsh needed a win this time around to distance themselves from the lower reaches after 3 consecutive league defeats.  

Skipper Stu excelled with his tossing abilities and chose to have a bowl on a pitch which was well worn and dry, yet looked highly suspicious. The opening attack of County Boy Kyle, fresh from Covid isolation and Nathan Crouch Callow, fresh from social cavorting, were bang on from the start conceding only 27 runs from the first 12 overs and taking the all-important first wicket.

With the exception of kitman Pandit whose limbs seemed to be under alien influence each time he tried to stop or throw the ball, the Marsh fielding was tight on any Winslow attempt to score. Catching, however, was another thing altogether as opportunities went down throughout. Opportunities for; Neck, Joe, Fox and Spud were spilled, with a total of 6 missed catches – might this ultimately haunt the Gibbon?  Thankfully, not as each redeemed themselves in turn through the inning. Neck came first when he gripped on to a chance from Spragg from the bowling of Needham. Further redemptions came later….

Crouch was on his longest spell of the season to date, fresh from Saturday holiday, stag night and wedding distractions. He had toiled hard at the Town End to no avail, until in his 9th over a superb off cutter crashed the stumps of the steady Johnson and Buckingham were  42–2.

Peshavaria and Thompson were at the crease with the pitch playing like it looked, slow and inconsistent and not easy to score on. A steady partnership of 29 was broken with the introduction of Jay-Z Chambers after a sharp piece of glove work from Leonard to stump Thompson.

Gibbon continued to keep things very tight in the field and with some excellent bowling. Callow’s longest ever spell came to an end after 13 overs for just 24 runs and brought the introduction of Foxy, who got some swing from the start.

Another partnership built between Peshavaria and Jenden brought a change of bowling, the introduction of the Leonard brothers T and J was an inspired change as younger brother Tom trapped Jenden LBW with his first delivery. At the other end, J Leno was tight in line and clothing and extracting some sharp spin from the dry surface.   The Town middle order were no match as Vice ripped out the middle order and Buckingham whose hopes were pinned on Freshwater, James and finally Pengelly. Two bowled and the third a fantastic grab off his own bowling (Never spilling a catch when he is the bowler).

With Buckingham now gasping on 116–7, it was time for Gibbon to wrap up the Town innings early and Needham was brought back in to mop up the tail before it might wag and he duly obliged taking the last 3 wickets in consecutive maidens, with catches from Fox (redemption and at last someone took a slip catch), Connell (starting to show off now) and yet another rapid stumping from Skipper (surely the most stumpings in the Cherwell this year?)

Town finished on 124 all out in 50 overs leaving Marsh the same time to complete the victory.

Time for tea and Tom Leonard tucked into a healthy diet of delicacies that were on offer at the petrol station, next to the air fresheners and screen wipes, including a 10p chocolate swiss roll and various long life pastries. Vice Joe was unable to provide home made team cake this week, much to the disappointment of Jules…maybe Francesca was too busy getting Vice Joe ready for his photoshoot the evening before at a fellow Gibboners’ wedding….a mammoth task in itself….Congratulations to Steve and Kelly!

Vice Joe and Jules took to the crease knowing that batting time would be the key to winning the fixture on what was a challenging deck, but a very gettable score. However, with the score on 16, Chambers was dismissed by a good nip backer from Bleasdale and was immediately followed by Joe Leonard trapped in-front from Dipple, 18-2 and a Marsh reset was required.

Captain Stuart Leonard joined Vik-ar Pandit. Pandit was clearly keen to impress the skipper and stroked a Leonard mimicking maximum straight down the ground from only his 7th delivery, but he missed a straight one shortly after and Marsh were 43-3 from 13 overs.

Skipper worked hard to get himself in and was resisting the temptation of the shorter straight boundaries.  Luke Fox, watched by his family entourage, joined Stu and played in the only way that he knows: Hard and Fast.  Five ferocious Exocets to the fence before a top edge to Pengelly in the 18th and though Marsh were now well placed at 74 in only 18 overs, the loss of 4 top order batters kept the game in the balance.

Spuddy Honour took to the crease with solid plans to bat time, support the Skipper and tick the scoreboard over.

Will played a fantastic supporting role, never looking in any trouble and along with Skipper  kept the scoreboard revolving nicely. As the psychological three figure threshold clicked round in the 32nd over, Town knew that wickets were required fast to be in with any shot and brought the field up to pressurise and assist Shengunshi who had only gone for 9 off 8 overs. This was the lighting of the fuse for focussed Skipper Leonard who subsequently ploughed into Shengussi’s next over and peppered the vacant boundaries. Half century for the Skipper and victory for the Gibbon. Game over.

The Gibbon stayed at Winslow to conclude the day with a couple of victory beers and fines from Finesmaster Fox. Vice was done for his PDA social media post ‘she wanted the picture!’, brother T Leno also didn’t get off lightly with his sharking antics from the night before. Skipper Stu was still outraged by the logic of having to pay more fees for his match-wining half century. Spuddy Honour was far too energic for finesmasters’ liking and was duly punished. Fines also from Chambers Jnr and Snr for a mid over outburst as young Cobby dived over a shot from his dads bowling.

An improvement on the last visit to Winslow in 2013, with a victory and an easing of any shadowy relegation fears. The next 4 weeks bring fixtures against the 4 sides below Marsh in the league and victories in these fixtures will eradicate any thoughts of the unthinkable.   


Is a ‘Draw’ Progress, or just Magic?

On a glorious June day in Oxfordshire, The Gibbon and Cairns Fudge, former stalwarts of the OCA, embarked on their inaugural Cherwell Win-Lose-Draw format game at The Recreation Ground, Marsh Gibbon.

Certainly that other new confounder: Duckworth Lewis Stern would not be needed as it was, and had been, red hot Dutch all week. The pitch looked an absolute belter and there was only one thing required and that was for skipper to win the toss….. Despite all his practicing during the week, Skipper Stu’s tossing skills remained below par. The coin came down and Fudge chose to have a bat (unsurprisingly)

Marsh knew that a few key early Fudge wickets were important. Nathan ‘Crouch’ Callow and Kyle ‘County Boy’ Needham opened up and after 7 overs the run rate was being well tapered, 28-0. Fudge’s Tom Small was in terrific form coming into the game and continued striking the ball firmly. The introduction of Julian ‘Jules’ Chambers and USA international signing Pandit was required to mix up the attack to get that all important first wicket. Pandit delivered by knocking over the contained Baxter for 27 at 104-1 from 21 overs.

Joined by MacLaren, the runs continued to come from Small’s willow and he raced to his Ton in just 89 balls, including 15×4’s and 3×6’s, one of which nearly ended up in Brill…sorry Jules! Gibbon were ruing a couple of dropped chances to evict Small prior to reaching his landmark and now focussed on seeking to contain as best as possible on a deck that was exactly as it promised to be; nothing but joy for the batter and toil for the bowler.

Vice Leonard and Crabby Cross entered the attack along with Sam-Boy Richardson to try and stem the flow of runs, but it was a dam well breached. Boundaries coming aplenty and a couple more dropped chances to boot. Gibbon were in for a long afternoon in the field though with the score on 183, Crabby Cross finally got one past Small’s bat to bowl him on 119.

With such a solid footing all risk was abated for Fudge and the bat swung freely safe in the knowledge of a solid total irrespective. The travelling ball went aerial enough times for catching chances to improve Marsh’s lot, but they were being dropped, by too many to name names! In the 44th over, with the score on 236-2, MacLaren was bowled by the returning Needham for 47 and the very next ball Williams (who’d travelled from Bristol for the match) was stumped by a very sharp piece of work from Skipper Stu behind the sticks.

Yet more blunders in the field with Crouch taking a blow on the leg stopping an over throw and also Crabby Cross suffering from an incident involving him slipping and landing on the ball…in golfing terms, I think, ‘reverse-plugging’ would be an appropriate description of the event and there were no volunteers venturing forward to remove the ball from its resting place within Crossy’s anatomy! Fudge’s skipper Shaw joined Hanscombe at the crease with a licence to entertain and scored 42 from 32 balls before being caught by Webb of the bowling of Vice Joe Leonard…third time lucky! Fudge finished on 313-5 from their 53 overs, a total never reached at the Gibbon before (but the first time an inning has lasted more than 45 overs).

Tea was taken in the steamy conditions, Jules had forgotten his tea and was being eaten by Mrs Chambers…at home…. The Gibbon knew that to be in with a shot of tackling the target a flying start was required. Webbo was promoted to open with Vice Leonard under Skippers instructions to go for it and enjoy yourselves. They did just that and after 6 overs Gibbon were well up with the rate at 55-0 as Leonard and Webb punished anything loose, dealing in boundaries to conserve the legs.

Just as target computations began to be made with the score reaching 68, Webb, who was just getting into his stride, fell to Clark leg before. Vice Joe was joined by Chambers to steady the ship but he quickly fell for 10 chipping one to Small at midwicket off the bowling of Clark – you’re not yourself when you’re hangry Jules!

Vice and Skipper were at the crease together and Stu had a look for a couple of deliveries before dispatching MacLaren over his head for four to get going. Unfortunately, only two balls later an amazing  geometric feat was observed as the right handed Skipper was given LBW to aright arm around the wicket delivery – impressive!

Joe, who finally was looking like he could actually hit the ball off the square this season was 2 short of his half century before a rush of blood brought about his demise and was bowled by Robertson. Richardson replaced Joe but struggled to get his legs going and was also LBW for 5. In came Alex ‘Tatey’ Coultate with skippers first ever instruction to “shut up shop.” With the score on 100-5 from 25 overs the required rate was more than 8 and the Yorkshireman summoned metaphorical images of his boyhood idol Boycott wielding his grannies stick of rhubarb, and blocked up as per instructions.

Pandit was a little more expansive with his shot selection than the terraces would have liked, nevertheless he contributed stoically to a 50 partnership and, more importantly, ticked down the overs.

At 153 from 38 overs, Pandit succumbed to yet another LBW on 27 and with 9 over remaining and still 4 wickets in hand The Gibbon was in the hands of Tatey and Jacob ‘Cobby’ Chambers Jnr. The 9 overs flew past for the Gibbon faithful on the boundary edge and despite whatever Fudge threw at them Tatey and Cobby stood firm to ensure Gibbon remained undefeated, finishing on 179-6 from their 47 overs.

A well-deserved beer was in order for The Gibbon after a long day in the field…thanks Skipper…and fines were aplenty, mainly in dropped catches. Vice Joe finally got the delightful homemade Lemon Drizzle Cake out which he had forgotten to get out at tea much to the delight of Jules who was taking all the food that he could find. Marsh march on this weekend to another new location and opposition with a visit to Bledlow Village.

The first Drawn game at The Gibbon and the questions ruminate as to whether that was a better game than it would have been with a simple victory and defeat?  Did the Fudge players enjoy the last hour and a half bowling at batters who were clearly taking no chances?  Did the major error lie with Fudge skipper Shaw for not declaring after 48 overs with 267 on the board and no more bonus points to be earned? After all, Marsh had spent 3 hours in the baking sun and would need to score at more than 5 per over for 52 overs – which would also give Fudge 5 more overs to bowl Marsh out and win the game outright?  As Marsh had nothing to gain, Tatey and Cobby enjoyed a longer knock than they would have survived vainly chasing the huge total and does that mean more players get more of a game under this format? 

These imponderables will remain unanswered but what is fact, is that after conceding the most runs in a single game, Marsh did not lose, nor win – but they moved up the league table from 4th place before the game, to 3rd place after it!   Is that progress? Who knows, but in the words of Paul Daniels “That’s Magic!”     


Station Road Rendezvous, or a case of Déjà vu? Either way don’t get too excited about it.

It has been 17 years since the Village teams from Twyford and Marsh Gibbon clashed in cricketing combat and the dust needed to be scraped off the scorebook containing Marsh’s last victory at the other end of Station Road, which was almost 2 decades ago in June 2002.  Nevertheless, 7 players that graced the pitch in 2002, (in short trousers), were back to face off once more: The 2 Lyon’s and Roberts for Twyford and Chambers, Cross, Needham and Stuart Leonard for Marsh.  Indeed, news of this fixture had reached far and wide and former Marsh players also graced the boundary edge with; Taf Gibbons, Martin Deeley and even the Great Bolsh-man Ian Rawlings himself in attendance….would they revive the victories of old, or have travelled in vain?   

The sky was blue and the sun out, Skipper Stu, Vice Joe and those senior pros of Chambers and Kyle weighed up the decision on what to do if the coin came down as called? It was not as straightforward as expected, for the track was certainly hard, dry and flat, but had as many scarification grooves as a Max Bygraves Album.  What impact would this have if any, and would it best suit the seamer or spinner?

Captain Leonard made his choice and called correctly at last! “We’ll have a Bat.”

Openers, Joe Leonard and Paul ‘Borsky’ Thornton strolled out and set off with an explosion of runs. Twyford were lacking 2 players. Starting with only 9 players and a lose line was seized upon by Gibbon as Vice Joe crashed Roberts for 3 boundaries in the first over. 36 runs from the first 18 balls was as fast as HS2 will be when it skirts the ground later this decade. But the breaks went on when Joe nicked off and Borsky decided to walk past a wide one from Lyon to be stumped and Marsh were suddenly 37-2.

Pip Webb and Captain Leonard came to the crease knowing that a strong Twyford batting line up and lightning outfield meant that a good total was required and Webb looked in form as he punished any bad ball superbly, including two huge maximums from the impressive turning ball of Rory Lyon. Skipper was more watchful and left his partner to ignite the fireworks for now. 50 overs is a long time at 20+ degrees and he intended to keep Twyford out in the field for the duration. On 41 from just 49 balls, Webb miscued to long on from the bowling of Lyon, noting as he came back to the pavilion “that wasn’t meant to go there, and it was off the inside edge” despite very nearly clearing the fence.

Fox joined the Skipper with the score at 94-3 from just 15 overs and a run a ball would be assured if he remained at the crease, but that was not to be as he was returned to the pavilion for 7 after being judged LBW, off the bowling of Jackson. Next in was the swashbuckling socialite Shipperley – in a hurry to leave from the moment he arrived due to his hectic social calendar and the evenings’ dinner adventures that lay ahead for him. The talented left-hander put away anything loose and along with skipper’s constant additions the neon scoreboard progressed steadily.

A lively partnership of 71 between the pair was just what the Gibbon required to push towards the desired high total. Shipperley’s impressive innings of 41 from 46 balls including 3x4s and 2x6s ended under the umpire’s digit as he was also judged LBW from the bowling of Aslam.   No time lapsed before Skipper Leonard was the third LBW victim from the HS2 End, again to the bowling of Aslam.  A very patiently constructed innings of 53 from 95 deliveries ended before his real destructive force could be unleashed.

Jay-Z Chambers was now in the middle; The veteran of many successful skirmishes down Station Road, including his most famous adventure, when he stole away with his greatest treasure – Sally!  Who was back and watching on, knotted between compelling allegiances to husband and son (12 man) for Marsh, or birthplace Twyford?

Chambers and Michael Timms – also represented by his 3-month old son at the game to watch dad for the first time, kept the scoreboard moving, despite interruption when Borsky returned to military sapper mode crawling inexplicably under the sightscreen.  His attempt at ’whiteout camouflage’ failed abysmally and he was spied from the middle and all waited for him to slither off.

The classy Chambers manipulated the Twyford attack with singles and twos all around the wagon wheel.  Unfortunately, Timdog went for 12, but not before showing son William how to score a 5!   Kyle went first ball hammering one straight to point and declaring “that was the best shot I’ve played all year, how dare they put a fielder there.”   Chambers looking ever imperious reached 32 before being the last Marsh wicket to fall with the total on 232. Leaving Nathan ‘Crouch’ Callow and Grant ‘The Crab’ Cross to utilise the remaining deliveries unbeaten, with Crouch’s closing salvo a glorious straight drive for four. The Gibbon finished on 240-9 from their 50 overs. 

Enough, or slightly below par?  The track had played a tune that Tom Jones, never mind Max Bygrave would have been proud to croon and there definitely were still a few chords left to be played out this afternoon.

Tea was taken in the sunshine accompanied by Kyle’s leek sandwiches and cake supplied by Vice Joe’s better half. With the suncream and deep heat applied, badly in one respect…Caution is always advised when applying the hot stuff in the pant region Mr Callow.  Or, perhaps, he was just preparing to come steaming in!

Indeed, Kyle and Crouch opened up and immediately got into the swing of things producing excellent line and length before Callow castled the dangerous Elkington for just 5. Chairman Kyle was looking to make a vast improvement on his midweek performance for the Oxfordshire OAP’s and responded well knocking over Twyford’s other opener Jackson with a little tickle of the off-bail and Twyford were 20-2 from 7 overs.

In came the Goff, Twyford’s in-form man with a century the previous outing and he looked dangerous again with a couple of early lusty blows.  The innings foundation began as the pair of Goff and Aslam roared to a 50 partnership and got Twyford on course. Until that is, Skipper brought Chambers into the bowling attack and the demise of Aslam as he was caught skewing to square leg and grabbed by the constantly laid back Webb; 76-3. Nio respite as Chambers struck again immediately trapping his second victim of the day as Rory Lyon was on his way back to the pavilion first ball.

Marsh kept the pressure on the open wound with the introduction of medical man Fox at the other end and the tall medic bowled Sam Lyon, and followed up sharply after with the wicket of Bridges being superbly snatched inches above ground by Crabby Cross at second slip, 102-6 from 21 overs.

With the fall of each wicket Skipper took the opportunity to keep his troops focussed and repeatedly insisting that all should stay calm and not get TOO EXCITED…!  

Fox then took an unfortunate blow to left thumb fielding off his own bowling and with claret spurting everywhere had to take a few moments off the field to patch himself up. “You’re a doctor – deal with it.” Chambers Junior was certainly pleased with Foxy’s temporary exit as he could join dad in the middle as substitute fielder and give him some pearls of wisdom from Mid-on.

Come-Dine-With-Me Shipperley was tasked to finish off The Foxman’s over and very nearly took a wicket with his only delivery of the game.

With scoreboard pressure high and The Gibbon electric in the field, apart from Crouch who preferred diving over the ball rather than stopping it, Goff had to go big and took one too many chances and skied one off Chambers and was easily pouched. Was this the end for Twyford?  105-7 from 24 overs left the Twyford team needing 135 at 5 per over which was not out of the question, but with only 3 wickets in hand. The return of County Boy Kyle to complete his allowance solved the riddle – and the demise of Twyford Skipper Roberts on 16 and Best on 3, both snaffled behind as both edged the swinging ball to Skipper and Vice in turn.  Twyford were now looking down the barrel at 136-9.

Short drinks break and Shipperley was on the phone to his guests advising that he was only going to be 90 minutes late to host his own dinner party!  Foxy returned with his thumb professionally strapped up (by himself) and despite a couple of lusty blows from number 11 Akram, Foxy claimed the final wicket of Shafaqat as he swung across the line and errantly verred to the gleeful Webb to pouch at backward point….very slowly, of course.

19 year Deju-vu for The Gibbon who were professional throughout and were led directly from the field of play straight to The Crown Public House by Skipper Leonard for a very well deserved pint…..whilst Shipperley headed home for canapes….and no one got Too Excited at all!  

This week the Gibbon face Cairns Fudge at home in the first venture into the mysterious world of Win-Lose-Draw cricket. Much to the delight of Chairman Kyle who cannot wait to relive his previous life from 1874 when he scored 3 runs from 48 overs…and Crouchy who cannot wait for the opportunity to bowl 15 overs straight through….

A special thankyou to the Scorers on the day, especially the whooping Mullis, whose tourettes of joy each time a Twyford wicket tumbled, were audible from the middle!

“Dont get TOO EXCITED!!!”