Well let’s get the stats out the way first….In 10 previous encounters between the sides; Marsh had won 3 times, Marcham twice and 5 had been rained off…and with this week’s relentless rain that result looked most likely, but the day turned out fine and it was essential Skipper for the Day – Frankie – won the toss, as Marsh had never beaten Marcham when batting first and whoever lost the toss was sure to bat on what looked like, and turned out to be, a very very unpredictable wicket. Oh dear, Marsh were inserted and team reaction to Skippers inadequate tossing was captured on video for future reference.
Club Captain Leonard was tried and convicted ‘in abstentia’ for going to watch another sport on matchday. Plus failing to pass the Scorebook and Match Ball to anyone else in readiness – Two Pooounds please!
Marsh’s big money transfer was accompanied by the club’s recently successful UKIP candidate, and both looked splendidly rotund in the middle (in more ways than one if you get my drift!) The going was tough as the ball moved erratically off the surface and it looked like both openers were beginning to settle by the 10th over when, a total shooter skittled Joe for 14. There followed a brief appearance from Teddy Boy Shippo (1), before Skipper Mead and Vadivale built a crucial partnership of 45. Both then fell in quick succession and Marsh were 69-4 at halfway.
An extraordinary over from Patel had batsman, scorers and umpires perplexed and scribbling like demons…..10 times Patel bowled and notwithstanding the 2 legitimate balls, there were 5 wides and 3 No Balls – all Beamers, which meant that having used all his lives he was suspended from bowling any further!
Despite the surface and some fine left arm spin from Armstrong, March kept the scoreboard turning with contributions from Turner (9), Willo (7), Jackal (15) and a critical quick fire 19 from Crouch at the end. A final total of 125 was less than hoped, but certainly hard fought and not going to be easily beaten.
After a fine tea, Marsh needed to pin Marcham back and not allow any pinch hitting during the fielding restrictions. Mission accomplished as Crouch and Jackal removed openers with only 7 on the board. A series of fine catches from Vadivale (Gully), Turner (Silly Mid-Off) and TimDog (off his own bowling!) supported by good ground work in the field meant Marcham never looked likely.
A fine spell from Crouch earned him 3-11 and Man of the Match adding to his joint top score of 19. But the pick of the bowling was Guns Out Leonard with 4-12 (should have been 5, but we won’t talk about that) including his last 3 overs all being Wicket Maidens!
Shippo wrapped it all up in the 31st over bowling the impressive youngster Woodley, with Marcham on 78.
The day was somewhat marred by a few unfortunate incidents in the changing room; Guantanamo Cold Water hosing by Guns, Paedo filming by The Jackal, and the heinous crime of the playing and singing to ‘Let it Go’ from ‘Frozen’ (ringleader Vadivale and his backing vocalist Josephine Leonard!)
The revelry continued back at The Dog before an aborted attempt to watch the boxing ended in disaster for the Needham household when Guns ripped out the sky connection – clearly the electrical apprenticeship is progressing well!
Clear the calendar for Sunday 29th June when we travel to Westcott for the Quarter Final!