Marsh Gibbon Originals progressed to their first cup final in 14 years, as they defeated Witney Swifts on Sunday to book a place in the Telegraph Cup showpiece event against Division 3 outfit Wantage on August 24th.
A fantastic day for the club, came off the back of a disappointing days work at Eynsham the previous day, losing to the bottom side to hand them their first victory of the season. Having lost a crucial toss, Gibbon were inserted and got off well as both Satty and Joe punished wayward bowling, but after Joe holed out Gibbon faltered throughout the middle order and tail to muster 145 from the rain reduced 35 overs. Satty batted well for his first half century of the season.
Despite the collapse, Gibbon were still confident in their bowlers doing the job, but despite some early appeals and wayward bowling at times, didn’t really threaten the home side who got home after a rain delay to deserve their victory. The only highlights were excellent spells from Stevie and Carl who yet again put in the hard yards for the team. A day to forget, but lessons to learn!
What better way to put it right however, with a big ‘semi’ at a sun-drenched Gibbon with plenty of support on the sidelines, as the Originals took to the field with renewed vigour following a rousing team talk.
A vast storm on Saturday made the pitch wet under the sheet and Stu duly won the toss and inserted Swifts, who have been flying this season up the top end of the league. Having lost twice to them so far this term, this was always going to be a tough game, with the boys well aware of Swifts batting threats.
Stevie and Crouchy started up, as Carlos rested his weary bones from the day previous and the opening pair bowled superbly, with three quick wickets early on to put Gibbon in a great position. The boys dived, sprinted and sweated in the heat with a fantastic fielding display, which was epitomised by a wonderful direct hit run-out by Matt ‘Flintoff’ Mead, who through down the pegs with one stump to aim at……what an effort! With Crouchy, going for nearly as many in 10 overs as he did in one on Saturday (haha) and Stevie returning fantastic figures of 2-14 off his twelve, this set up the platform for Satty to contain at one end, whilst the old stager Needham, returned fantastic figures of 5-5, much to the delight of the Gibbon faithful, especially Grant Cross in the crowd who was fresh from aggravating the bush in Suffolk court that morning!
Swifts were dismissed for 58 to leave Gibbon within touching distance of the final, but experience tells us that its never over until the last hit of the game! As the boys tucked into Mrs V’s fiery chicken wings and Von Needham busily tapped away on his calculator, nerves were jangling a little as although this was only a small total, they still needed to be knocked off.
Things started badly as Satty went early caught behind and when Charlie was run-out for the second time in two days, the crowd was silent. Stu and Joe looked to steady the ship before Joe went LBW and Stevie went for his second quacker of the weekend! 10 runs in two balls by Stu reduced the deficit but Swifts bowled tightly and were still very much giving everything. Victory was secured when Flintoff came in and duly hit two lovely boundaries to send the watching masses into raptures!
A wonderful victory for the boys and tremendous sportsmanship shown by the swifts boys as always, as we all shared a beer, burger and a chat over all things cricket. A credit to their club on the day and we wish them all the very best with their title push.
As Satty distributed fines and the bubbly flowed for the WAGS, Joe was fined for allowing a fellow player to touch him ever so lovingly in the shower, Timmo was hauled before the committee for aggressively accosting the skipper whilst trying o get his drink mid-innings and a very smiley Stevie T was suitably fined for…………..better not say it on here…….the tree surgeon would be proud though!
Well done to all on a fantastic effort and a great day in the clubs history, making it three cup finals this season already!
Dave’s already ordered the ink boys…………bzzzzzzzzzzz!