No, No, YES! Watching the UK Government is like watching the Leonard’s calling runs!

Marsh Gibbon Cricket Club is ahead of the pack (as always) and as soon as the Government stopped changing its’ mind on whether we could play cricket and finally gave us the nod – with just a weeks’ notice to apply all the pointless restrictions, we were ready and playing!

11th July 2020 – The first day recreational cricket could begin following the Coronavirus pandemic and Oxenford were up for a trip to The Mighty Gibbon. Well done to Tim Hamp for sorting everything on their end and getting a team over on a belting day.

The new playing restrictions included; sanitizing hands every 6 overs, keeping 1M+ distancing, and avoiding getting any bodily fluid on the ball….Ooh Matron!  All that was needed to protect the players and spectators was thoroughly respected and made no difference to the enjoyment of getting back out in the field.

Club Skipper Joe, was stranded in Spain as he had irresponsibly left the country to protect his average (a little early even for him) and was playing up to the Red Top paparazzi in his mask. Sensibly The Sun reporter only quoted Francesca as they needed a coherent quotation for their MBA readership.  Consequently, it was left to Vice Stuart to continue his poor Tossing form and Marsh were requested to Bowl. 

The Silver Fox started the years’ proceedings as he trundled in from the Lagoon with Crouch from the Edgcott End.   The two kept it tight and shortly got amongst the Oxenford batters and as they looked to find runs the ball flew invitingly to the hands of T-Leno and Luke Fox. T-Leno then performed with ball from hand and got into a rhythm as pater peered over his shoulder from the umpires birth with approval.   Sam Richardson got in the act too, and eventually controlled his big benders sufficiently for the Oxenford batters to reach them and hit obligingly to the fielders. Three catches were held by Crouch (including a particularly sharp slipper effort) as well as another for the Foxman and Senor Chambers, with Gloves Stuart whipping off the bails for a sharp stumping – leave those bails alone!  

Jacob Chambers showed his old man how to do it as he claimed a brace of wickets, though the old geezer got the last laugh with the final wicket! And with that Oxenford were all out for 88 in 33 overs.  Wickets for each bowler: Needham 6-18-1. Callow 8-17-1.  T Leonard 5-14-2.  Richardson 5-9-4. Cobby Chambers 6-17-2 and Farmer Chambers 3-6-1.  (Yes, correct, that does total 11 wickets as Oxenford brought 12 and all had a knock.)

Then the minutes silence, as Covid restrictions means no Marsh TEA!  Each player brought their own packed lunch and the variety was something to behold.  Nevertheless, well nourished the Gibbons looked to knock off the light total led out by Spud Honour and The Coultate. Both were positive in the face of some short stuff, with Spud despatching off the back foot sweetly. Alex (7) was the first to fall with the total on 30 (- probably distracted by his fan club), kicking a straight one. 

The Fox Man joined Spud and both continued to hit the ball firmly before Spud was castled for 25 with the score on 53 and victory in sight.  Sam Costello (12no)  entered the fray and dealt only in boundaries, as he and Foxy (35no) saved their legs bringing up the win in the 18th over.     

With such a prompt result, the 2 sides decided to have a 10-Over Thrash where each player bowls one over. 

Marsh batted first and scored 93 in their 10 with solid contributions from Richardson Guns Leonard and Cobby. 

Oxenford kept up with the rate, needing just 9 to win off the last over, when the old timer bowled nice and wide to keep it out of reach and Marsh won by 6.  

An enjoyable return to Cricket and huge thanks for Oxenford for coming over and playing vigorously throughout.