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”