With one third of the league campaign now completed The Gibbon are indeed demonstrating their Might by holding up all above them! Yes, 6 games in and with only 1 win to show for it Gibbon sit at the foot of Division One. But all is far from lost…..
Games in hand are only that until you turn them into points, but as MGCC have either one or two games in hand on all the other clubs at this time and with a tight league, just one win would move the team out of the relegation zone….so all is far from lost.
The last two weeks have brought defeats, but defeats to sides that will clearly challenge for the silverware and so defeats to Wolvercote and Swifts don’t bode disaster either.
Free Scoring Wolvercote Took Liberties!
MGCC entertained Wolvercote on 16th June and racked up 247 for 5 in their 45 overs. Sounds high but on a sunny day, with a perfect batting track and fast outfield it was only par. Needham had jarred his back last week was still troubled and only lasted 2 overs before being replaced by Abbott. Callow made the early strike and all was even early on, as Selfie caught MacIntyre off Abbott: Wolvercote 37 for 2 off 12.
Tom Stewart-Liberty found the form of his life for Wolvercote and batted chancelessly to pile on an unbeaten 120. Supported by the returning Procter who struck out for 48 before pouched by Chambers on the fence for Crossy’s first wicket.
Skipper turned to 7 bowlers to mix it up but it was a case of sticking to damage limitation and waiting our turn with willow.
An unfathomably large feast was set about at Tea with tales of ‘Midnight Prosecco Baking’ unfurled from Mrs Skipper – best leave it there!
The Wolvercote openers of Shelley and Holden found the pitch to their liking as the Marsh batsmen failed to dig in to see past the opening spell and find their straps. Jules, Joe, Sat – all went facing less than 8 balls each and at 9 for 3 off 3 overs, a chase of 247 was somewhat distant.
Something of a revival (in the circumstances) between the Skippers (Stu and Tom) was ended at 34, but a further rapid loss of wickets then followed as the skippers, Selfie, Abbott and Callow were all back in the pavilion at 48 for 8. The old-timers Cross and Needham took it to 59 before Crossy was caught and Jacob joined Kyle to redress the average age! The two hung around long enough to pass the 70 required for a batting point at least. Innings closed on 72.
Difficult to find anything outstanding in this result for the Gibbon as there was significant scope for improvement in all departments – other than the Tea!
Gibbon Left Snookered At Witney……
Another hot day and a dry though green wicket at The Leys Recreation Ground, home of Witney Swifts. Skipper called wrong and Gibbon were in the field. Well 9 of them were for Kyle had missed the A40, A420 and had headed off beyond Didcot before realising he was going in the wrong direction (due to Foxy’s non-stop rattling on!) and so these 2 arrived just in time for the 2nd over.
Never mind Tommy opened up with Croucher and both were on target. In-duckers and some seam checking the batsmen. Guns trapped Seacole Senior in front with 19 on the board. Then Hume drove straight back for Chambers to snaffle off Croucher, before striking again when Foxy caught Fisher in the covers, reducing Swifts to 35-3.
Time for Kyle to test the back situation – and all seemed well as he trapped Godwin Jnr in front and bowled the dangerous Seacole Jnr top of off. Jason couldn’t find a consistent length but benefitted from Foxy dining plates as he bagged another catch in the covers.
Redd Pratley was anchoring Swifts and in attempting to keep the strike walked across a straight one from Kyle to give him his 3rd wicket. Julesy came on to provide line and length at the tail and mopped them up with 2 wickets for just 4 runs. Tommy deservedly finishing it off to end with 2 for 26.
Swifts dismissed for 143 on a reasonable track. Time to Bat. The style of batting didn’t really matter as simply sticking around for 45 would bring 143 from a fast outfield and short boundary to the road side. But unfortunately last weeks script came out for another reading.
First Joe went caught at slip 3rd ball, then Scotty having just scored two 4’s was bowled and Skipper likewise with two 4’s in the bag was judged adjacent. 29 for 3 off 9 overs. Tommy and Jules were battling on as Pratley with all the wickets was testing with every ball. With the score on 47 Tommy fell to Pratley and quickly after Jules went reducing Gibbon to 52 for 5.
Revival time as Jaybone and Foxy (picking up a bat for the first time in 2018), started to build a partnership based on boundaries. And when Foxy nonchalantly creamed the destructive Pratley for 12 in his last over a victory was suddenly possible. 81 for 5 off 22. Only 63 required and plenty of time.
You could say 2 things brought Gibbon defeat from this point. A most awful umpiring decision to give out Foxy (25) who was in form: LBW when all 3 stumps visible. Then old man Godwin came on with his loopers. First Abbott (12), then Crouch both thought the longest boundary posted with a man waiting was a good option for a Six. Wrong. Out!
Timdog who had knuckled down and defended well suddenly lost discipline and took on Godwin aerially only to punch him straight to be lamely caught. Meanwhile Kyle was eeking out runs from the many overs remaining, whilst ignoring the incessant drone from mid off.
Timdog and Kyle had took Marsh to 105 and still 10 overs left to get 38 meant there was no challenge of run rate but with only one wicket left there was no margin for error. Crossy was defending the turning ball from Fisher and resisting the swoosh off Godwin. The score crept along and only 27 needed from 7 overs. Calamity, Crossy caught in two minds stepped back, in front and missed the ball. LBW. All out for 116.
And so Top beat Bottom. Should we be surprised? No, but this should have been the other way after an excellent bowling and fielding display the victory was tee’d up with ample ability to achieve it.
The next weeks become more important as we return back to base for the next 6 weeks as the fixtures have us at home from now until mid August. Perhaps Kyle wont get lost and perhaps we’ll find that elusive batting form….
Knuckle Down Boys we don’t need to be so Strong!!