‘Leno and Stitch’ Animate Marsh Defeat

Marsh travelled to Middleton Cheney for the 2nd game of the league phase in this year’s Airey Cup, on 1st August.  Covid restrictions were in place and properly organised by the home team. 

Grant Cross had resolved his back problems and Alfie was in attendance to tell all of Mrs Cross and her recent Jacuzzi antics, which had left her on crutches!     Jimbob Mitchell was also making his first appearance for over a year and it was hoped his height might add a different dimension to the bowling attack.

On a pleasant day, the MGCC players changed al fresco again in order to maintain social distancing, before taking to the pitch to prepare to bowl.  The track was not looking at its’ best, covered in red thread disease, with a mixture of bare areas and brown strands.  Confusion reined as Kyle marked his run up and prepared to bowl the first ball, when the umpires called a halt to consider the irregularity of the opposing creases and their stumps….The whole pitch was at a slant, as if the stumps at one end had slipped a couple of feet to the left. The popping creases were square to each other, but the whole thing was asymmetrical, or skew-whiff!  The solution: move the stumps over at one end so that they were aligned. Only problem was this meant the stumps were now only 2 feet from the left Return Crease and 5 feet from the right one!    Perhaps the pitch had been specially prepared for ‘Crossy The Crab’ to bowl, allowing him to saunter in sideways on?  

Eventually the game commenced with Crouch and Kyle opening up. It was clear quite early that the track would be unpredictable as a number of early deliveries ran through on the ground and Stu decided to step up to the stumps to take the ball before it rolled to him.  No sooner had he done so, than a full delivery from Crouch reared straight up into his zygomatic bone.  No chance to avoid the irregular bounce and Student Doctor Fox was called into action to stem the claret flowing, but the slice above the cheek bone was deep and Honour Senior became Ambulance driver.  Clearly, just a few years out of The Ring and Stu has gone soft already!

Vikram took the gloves and gave himself a few extra yards in order to judge the balls’ trajectory!  

As chance would have it, former Marsh player, Martin Deeley, local of the Parish, had come to watch and volunteered to retrieve his Whites from the attic and field as 12th Man in Stu’s absence.  I’ve blown the dust off the archive records and found Martin’s last Originals performance was at Letcombe on 2nd September…. 1989…So just shy of 31 years between games.  Good to see he’s kept himself in shape waiting for the call up!    That meant there were 3 of ‘The Originals’ players from the inaugural 1987 OCA season, on the pitch together: Julian Chambers (Cap Number 1), Martin Deeley (Number 3) and Grant Cross (Number 12).

Thankfully the game dropped into a calm rhythm with Crouch and Kyle keeping it tight until the 8th over and with the score on 32, Twnyham pulled Crouch for 6, then two balls later skied the ball to Foxy’s red hands for the first wicket.  Crouchy was visibly overjoyed. 

The Chairman rolled through his 8 overs wicketless for just 22, whilst getting on with the umpire like a couple of long lost chums….And at 53-1 from 16 overs the competition was all-square.

And then Foxy came into the fray, and I am afraid it got quite frayed. He flailed a frenzied foray of far from Full deliveries the batsman frequently hit, or found he couldn’t fetch with a five foot flippin’ pole! 

Skipper took the pace off from the other end though the occasional short ball found the short off-side boundary to keep the accelerator down for Cheney, until a drive to Mid-off was returned sharply by Kyle to run out Merry with the score at 97 from 23 overs Marsh got the 2nd Cheney wicket.   

Pearson, making his debut for Cheney, had a dream innings despite the track. The frequent short wide deliveries from the Marsh bowlers alleviated the risk from the pitch and he completed an unbeaten Century, despite only scoring 6 from his first 23 balls from the Marsh opening bowlers, he went on to crash 96 from the next 70 balls.   

Markham also found boundaries easy to come by before being bowled by Mitchell, getting the ball to do that amazing thing and go directly in the direction of the wooden things at the opposite end (though not exactly opposite!)

Jules started his spell in precision fashion only conceding 18 runs from 5 overs whilst bowling at Pearson and Markham, but 5 overs was enough to allow them to size up the deliveries and then crash 41 from the last 18 balls.  Always good to make changes before the event, rather than afterwards….

Cheney closed on 245-4 from 40 overs, Callow taking 2 for 40 and Mitchell 1-41.  Home made Teas were consumed and Neil returned leaving Stuart in a 4 hour long queue at A&E.   

In the week, Joe had announced that each player would be required to bake a ‘Team Cake’ this year (how joyous!) and he proudly presented his Tray Bake of Chocolate Brownies – cooked by Francesca.  

With just one run required from each delivery, openers Honour and Pandit strode confidently out.  Despite a boundary each, they were both victims of the bounce and back behind the Covid Hazard Tape by the 7th over, with only 16 on the score board.      

Stuart returned to the ground, via his Honourific Ambulance, and was now sporting fresh facial embroidery of five stitches holding his cheek flesh together. 

Skipper Leno went out to bat and looked to attack anything loose in order to keep in touch with the stiff target. He was briefly accompanied by Foxy, who did get the worst end of the pitch as a shooter trapped him in-front.  Even Razza couldn’t avoid raising his finger (the index one), which was last seen in Martin Deeley’s previous game.      

Julian was determined to amend for his bowling figures and did so as the perfect foil to Skipper’s aggression and hitting. The 2 put on 82 in just 12 overs and at 103-4 after 22 overs, defeat was still most likely, but a shadow of hope had returned when Jules went bowled and Crossy entered the fray. 

With his crablike side-on running style there was no one better suited to run between the rhomboid slanting wickets!  Bit of a slow start with just 2 runs from 30 deliveries – but he did run up to Skipper a few times to enquire “How are you skip?  Would you be interested in vacating your comfy crease and perhaps strolling to the other end?  No?  OK, I’ll go back then.”       

Skipper Leno was not interested in singular runs and looking for boundaries, especially to the shorter Social Club side – as the other one was but a blot on the horizon.  Boundaries were coming, but the board couldn’t keep up with the rate (probably as they had not used Duracell batteries and an electronic board is not much cop without electricity!)  Indeed the runs, like the scoreboard, had become intermittent.  However, the highlight of Joe’s innings came with a blow to Long Off which could only be pushed back by the Cheney fielder whilst standing behind the rope and Joe deservedly brought up his 4th Originals Ton with a Maximum.    (Only one behind his cousin now….) 

Skipper eventually fell on 116 and Crossy (40* – his highest score since 2016) and Mitchell continued to hit some fulsome blows to and over the fence to take the total to 203 by the close – a respectable score on any other day.

Despite the dangerous track, Cheney were perfect hosts; well organised Covid safety measures and First Aid support, plus excellent Scorers! 

Let’s hope ALL the scars from this day heal quickly.

Get Well Soon Stitch – We need you!

Next game:  Home to Chipping Norton on Saturday 8th August, 1pm start.  






At Last….Competitive Cricket is Back! But so is the Rain!

The OCA has (very sensibly) created tournaments under the existing Cup system whereby Division 1 and 2 sides playing in the Airey Cup.   Div 3 & 4 in the Telegraph and so on…     Each Cup will begin with a League Round Robin of 7 matches and the top teams playing in a Final for the Trophy. 

Marsh have been drawn in a section with : Westcott, Chipping Norton, Middleton Cheney, Oxenford, Combe, Stanton Harcourt, Cairns Fudge, Wootton and Hook Norton,  though the latter 2 will not be played. 

The opening game, at the Gibbon, was against locals Westcott and the forecast was not promising, but neither was it consistent and it was not clear if there would be rain or sun. Nevertheless, Skipper drained himself and elected to field, with the weather uncertainty in his mind.

MGCC welcomed new player Vikram Pandit (number 159) and despite admitting to coming from Steeple Claydon, he was allowed to remain.  

MGCC Team sheet:  Honour, Pandit, Joe Leonard (Capt), Stu Leonard (Wkt), Coultate, Chambers Snr, Costello, Fox, Chambers Jnr, Callow, Needham.

Chairman Kyle and Crouchy opened with the new league Triflex balls, to Symes and Ur Rehman and they kept it tight, with only 22 runs coming in the first 10 overs and the important wicket of Ur Rehman trapped by the Chairman’s swinging cherry!

One became Two as Gloves Leonard sharply removed the bails to dismiss Sweetman (14) as he leant out his crease to a leg side delivery from Crouch. 

Hussein followed next over as Kyle’s disguised slower delivery (now that must be slow) drew the early swing and the skied ball was gleefully clutched by Jules at mid-off. 

Symes (27*) had a couple of lives off Crouch, but as Jules replaced Kyle (8-3-13-2) the black clouds arrived and the rain descended.  A ponderous start became a torrent and the game was abandoned with Westcott on 43-3 off 17 overs.

After the wait this was a drab disappointment for all.  Never mind, next week  MGCC travel to Middleton Cheney, when we hope the Sun will conquer the clouds.


Sunshine and Runs as Northwick Park from Harrow visit The Mighty Gibbon for the first time.

18th July and the late approval of Cricket has not worked entirely through to league games yet as the OCA scrambles to set up Tournaments for the remaining 7 weeks of the Cricketing Summer.  As always, the Gibbon was ready and Skipper (back from the Costa Del Sun) organised a friendly with Northwick Park of the Middlesex League. Respect to any team prepared to travel for 90 minutes to get a game.

It seems that a week in the Sunshine was enough to get Skippers Tossing wrist up to form and he sensibly elected to bat on a glorious day.

Spud was joined in the middle by Paul Thornton (- from hereon known as Borsky.) And the pair batted positively, but no sooner had they had seen off the opening bowlers, Spud went for 15 with the score on 40.  A solid start.

Skipper joined Borsky until Borsky momentarily entered a place that exists at any moment of time, of space or of mind….when he found himself in a realm of unlimited possibility. The right decision may help to further his batting average….The wrong decision could lead to madness and death, or an eternity trapped in the pavilion with Joe. He needed to tread warily past the sign post that says you’ve entered, The Quick Single Zone…Unfortunately, Borsky hit the ball directly to the Bowler and called for the run – to Joe.  That was never going to happen on 2 counts.   And so he found himself back in the Batting Twilight Zone (with 26 runs against his name).

69-2 off 15 was a fair lick and Skipper was cracking the ball about the place.  Unfortunately, Vice swung across the line and, like Borsky, lived to regret the moment.  101-3 off 19.

Philip Webb, sporting a shock of ginger neglected by the barbers’ sharps, struck out Mantis-like as any ball of liking crossed his range. And both batters wreaked carnage on the Middlesex tweakers moving the score rapidly to 172 in just 30 overs. 

Skipper fell on 76, made up of 12×4’s and 2×6 sixes, in just 48 balls. 

The Yorkshire Coultate (2) and Rodders (1) strode out purposefully, before returning abruptly, to be followed by Pip after a fine knock of 72, composed of 8×4 and 4×6 in just 46 balls.

Fox Man and Farmer had swipes and Marsh were 239-9 when opening bowlers; Crouch (16*) and The Chairman (15*) fired a quick 30 off the last 18 balls to close the innings on 269-9 off 40 overs.

Northwick needed close to 7 an over from the very start and that target quickly became a Borsky Twilight fantasy as Crouch bowled through 6 overs to remove 3 for just 9 runs and the Chairman took another for just 12 in 8 overs.  At 21-4 off 14 and the rate approaching 10, one could almost taste the Heineken….         

Luke Fox and Skipper Leonard got some much needed practice and kept up the momentum. A middle order resistance from Monson (32), Bibin (16) and Hilton (19) delayed the inevitable until the 29th over as Skipper bought 3 wickets for 45 off 7 overs and Foxy returned 2 for 32 off 8.

A huge Thank you to Northwick Park for coming out to the Oxfordshire wilds and we hope to see them again sometime soon.

With the 2 Friendlies under the belts, attention turns to the Airey Cup next week, under a new League-stylee format….

Great appreciation from the Team to our few, but dedicated fans, and especially to Freddy for standing as umpire in both games and making these odd times run with emollient efficacy.   






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.





Restrictions lifting…..Maybe, just maybe, there may be cricket ahead?

Since the last web post only 2 months ago (below), we have got used to a new way of living – without Cricket.  With the exception of enjoyable TV reruns of us quoshing the old enemy (Come on: Beefy, Willis RIP, Freddie and Stokesy!)   

Already this year, we should have gone far far away and hosted Hampden, and with 2 wins under our belts would be having this week off for Club Day. Unfortunately that was not to be as the virus has us keeping our distance still. 

BUT…..light is appearing, perhaps for the end of the Summer, as the ECB has now decreed that outside Net Practice can be done as long as the standard Social Distancing and safety precautions are taken.

The MGCC Artificial and Net are in situ and available for use.  I will shortly have Track 8 set up for real grass practice as well.  It will be great to get bat on ball again (or ball on stump if Joe’s batting!) 

Here are the Rules for the use of the Cricket Artificial & Square:

  • Use the MGCC Group Whatsapp to announce the day/time that you will be using the artificial such that you can use in accord with the social distancing and limited numbers at one time. Simply let everyone know the time slot you will be there and if a slot is taken by someone do not go down at this time.  First reserved on Whatsapp has priority. 
  • Only use with members of your lockdown group, plus one other person. 
  • Do not share equipment, bat, gloves, helmet, pads – box!  And if sharing cricket balls, do not get sweat or saliva on the ball.
  • Avoid going on the rest of the Square. This is still being prepared such that we can host games as soon as restrictions are lifted.
  • The Bowling Machine will be available for use, but is locked in the pavilion. If you need the machine let one of us with the keys know and if possible we will make arrangements for you to use.      
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after practice. Bring this with you as there is no water available at the ground.
  • It might be hot, so make sure you continue to do as you would have before lockdown, and have liquids to rehydrate – do not share of course.   
  • At all times – Use Common Sense and Be Alert!

Fingers crossed – it’s coming home!

Chairman Kyle      


MGCC & Covid-19

Well it is all change at the moment with increasing restrictions being sensibly requested by the Government and our Health Officials.  The Cricket Season will not start on time at a professional, amateur, or village standard.   We standby waiting for news on when we might commence matches in any capacity, but that will not be anytime soon.

However, all is not lost at MGCC! 

Ground preparations continue so that when the season does eventually start (hopefully in 2020!) we shall be ready to host matches immediately. After all, I’ve got to get out of being isolated with Mrs N for any longer than necessary!

The good news is that the artificial track and portable Net is being prepared for use by the start of April. From a Risk Assessment perspective, this pitch is situated in the middle of a field and can be used by people without the need to get close, consequently it will be available for Club Members to get valuable outside time, exercise and practice.  Do not share equipment and take hand sanitizer to ensure safety.  Though we do have to ban the over 70’s from using (sorry, Tacky!) 

We shall not be running any organised Nets for large numbers of players to attend (as if we ever get large numbers!), but the facility will be available to be used ad hoc as and when you wish and need.  But please keep off the grass area of the Square or I’ll be after you!

We have the Club Whatsapp groups and it is suggested that you continue to communicate through this method, with regular abusive comments and wind-ups on your team mates!

Of course, if the Government layers further restrictions on any outside activity, we shall have to respect that in the interest of everyone’s health.

Chairman Kyle.         

Tour Time Baby!

Details for The Mighty MGCC Tour are now out and places being snapped up!

Tour Rep Dave, fresh from his one on one training session with namesake and personal mentor David Potts from ‘Ibiza Weekender’ has got it all under control……..     

Venue:  Brighton environs, pubs, clubs and maybe even cricket pitches

Date:  Tuesday 11th August to Thursday 13th (2 nights / 3 days)

Hotel: The Old Shippo Hotel, B&B basis. Twin Rooms. 

Cricket Matches:  Maybe 2, format: T20 and 40 Over.   

Debauchery: Absolutely!

Cost: £160 per person (£30 supplement per night for single occupancy – I’ll be having some of that!)

Cricket Skill Level: Not Applicable.

Drinking Skill Level: High Propensity Required.

Tour Party Attendees:  Any Player, Member, VP, Friend, or Supporter of MGCC….16 Confirmed as at 1st March.  Room for more! 

Miss It And Miss Out!


2020 – Time To Leap Back To Top Flight!

Goodbye 2019 and Hello 2020!  

Hopefully, sometime soon, we will be able to say goodbye to the rain too. Never mind, the Square is coming along nicely with a good covering of grass and with light rolling now underway preparations are well advanced for yet another true hard flat surface this Summer. 

We start with Outdoor Nets at the ground from Sunday March 29th, then every Sunday and Thursday until matches begin in May.  Sunday session starts at 10.30am and Thursday at 6.30pm. Numbers will dictate activities. Just rock up.

OCA League Fixtures are now on the OCA Website and we start our Division 2 campaign at Faringdon on May 2nd…..17 matches later on September 12th we finish at home to Watlington, when we will celebrate an immediate return back to the Top Flight!

Midweek League fixtures and details will be out later in March, but Timms Senior has already advised a similar format to last year with ten league games, and the top 4 teams playing off for the Trophies. These games will start first week of May too, on Wednesday nights as usual.

Our Captains remain unchanged with brothers Leonard leading us out: Joe on Saturday and Tom on Wednesday.  Satty has stood down from Saturday Vice due to a busy year ahead with the family and Joe will soon appoint his new Vice…my money is on someone with Broad Shoulders!  TimDog will be assisting Guns in the Midweek, (which means doing everything!)

The Match and Sign-on Fee system brought in last year worked well and has been retained for this year, meaning those that play regularly benefit from  £50 annual subs and from only £10 match fees (the Tea alone is worth that!) and those playing less frequently can opt to pay only the match fee of £15 per game (no annual sub needed).   We feel this works fairly for all and brings in funds to cover the matchday costs for officials, balls, teas, which in total is more than £100 per game.

This matchday funding is nowhere near enough to run the club and extra fund raising is essential.  The Bonus Ball, under TimDogs stewardship, starts Saturday 15th February and only a few balls remain, (just like Tacky) so get in quick to avoid disappointment (also, like Tacky!)   

The Quiz Night is back too!  Saturday 21st March at the Village Hall.  Another great fundraiser for all the community to enjoy.  Only £5 per person (includes a free bevvy from the very reasonably priced bar!)  Quizmaster Dave will be at the mic and Teams / Tables can be reserved in advance.  Prizes Galore!!   Get in touch with any Committee Member, Whatsapp, or email me from the Contacts link above.   Please support these activities because without them those match fees would have to rise considerably, or we could always lower our standards to be like………………..!!   (fill in cricket club name here).

Special Thank you to ARZOO Indian Restaurant in Bicester for generously sponsoring our 2020 Match Balls.  A great night was had at ARZOO’s in January when 14 of us sampled many cold beers and hot curries!  We look forward to a long association with ARZOO and are planning our ‘Mid Season break’ there already!     

And finally……The long awaited return of that very special event, something that takes a while to recover from, something that always brings the unexpected, something that always comes close to Police reprimands and fills landlords hearts with joy and tills with cash, that turns Cricketers into Hospital Patients!    Yes, 2020 brings the return of “The MGCC TOUR.”

Watch this space for more details, but keep Mid-August free for now….You just simply cannot miss this! (Bring a spare Liver)

So, get that pre-season aerobic training started and prepare for a long hot run-fest, wickets tumbling, Summer of Fun!

Chairman Kyle. 





End of Season Pig Presentation Night

The Cricket is over for another year and luckily our minds are not crowded with memories of great victories, well hardly any victories at all…..Nevertheless, we reached the midweek Buckingham Advertiser Cup Final and we  graced the Top Division in the OCA for a second year.  Indeed Great victories for a small village team!

We know that there is much more to our Club than just the performance on the pitch (luckily!) and we shall celebrate all that makes us The Mighty Gibbon together on Friday 27th September, at The Pavilion, when the Pig shall oink its’ last before providing all with food and drink.

A warm invitation is cast to all players, partners, our wonderful Tea Ladies, supporters, umpires, ground staff and all other miscellaneous club alcoholics alike, past and present.  The evening is sure to be as joyous as it shall be entertaining!

The evening shall be casual attire and commence with the bar opening before 7pm for an ‘early-doors’ one to kick start those that need it.

The Pig will be ceremoniously opened to reveal its plunder for the night ahead and hopefully its entrails will take the drinking deep into the night. 

Then we shall have an MGCC Through The Ages Quiz  starting at around 7.45pm.  This will be a quiz based on our 30 years in the OCA and virtually every player shall feature one way or another, from those who played the first league game in 1988 to the game last week (same result anyway!)  There shall be teasing yet amusing rounds including “Family Fortunes” where family member performances are pit against each other, and “It couldn’t Happen To a Nicer Fellow” where a few of the less inspiring performances will be aired for you to guess the culprit!  Yet all shall be in good spirits and easy for all to guess – even if you weren’t there at the time.  Come along and make a Team that spans the ages to earn your team points. Of course, there shall be Prizes aplenty!

We will (most probably) have Chinese food of all tastes and varieties delivered for feasting at 8.30ish.  During which the Captains will revise the Season for us and present our Annual Awards.       

More than anything we would sincerely like to welcome past players and partners and toast the support we have had this year from so many of you including: Bobby Summers, Taf Gibbons, Martin Deeley, Hubby, Gavin, Les, Mullis, Dave Clarke, Barry, Bazza, Fred and many more….home and away!                

Please let us know if you will be attending via the Club Whatsapp, or contact Kyle at ca_needham@yahoo.co.uk  



Summer White-Out amongst the shadows at Middleton Cheney

The 2019 Originals season drew to a close with another inauspicious defeat at Middleton Cheney as Barry White (not The actual Barry White) took 5 Marsh wickets and restricted Marsh to just 117.

Earlier, at 30 without loss after 12 overs the Marsh openers of Chambers and Needham had taken some knocks from the unpredictable track yet seemed to have calmed the strike pairing of Nadin and Denison.   But this was not a track you would ever ‘be-in’ on and both had gone caught to mistimed shots by the time Marsh had posted 50. 

52-2 off 18 became 52-3 with White’s first ball as it landed and rolled into Skippers off stump.  Never mind, the ebullient Lofty was determined to finish his excellent year with a flourish and picked off boundaries whenever the bowlers strayed, before also falling to White on 39 from just 40 balls.  Timdog who had been gritting it out was also a White victim and decided he prefers pace to spin after all. 

For a brief moment the Fox Cranes were in bat together and the wicket was cast in partial darkness from their shadows. The half light that returned when Luke fell, became a blaze next over as Seb snicked behind for nought and returned to the pavilion for family consolation (Unlucky!) 

And so began the procession In and Out as Marsh slumped from 86-3 to 117 all out, despite a couple of glorious boundaries from John….Who’s John, Grant?

A very pleasant tea followed and Marsh took to the field revived in order to defend their puny total – minus wicketkeeper (who was down in Brighton with some chums…say no more) and opening bowler.  Never mind, hope springs eternal and when stand-in strike bowler Lofty lured Merry into a false pull and a thin edge on to his stumps, and then the Oxfordshire Veterans trialist trapped Cox in front, Cheney were 7-2 off 5 overs.

Needham struck again bowling the King of the swingers and Cheney were 31-3.   The pace(ish) of Needham and Fox was replaced by the The Twirling Tweaking Triplets of Vadivale, Leonard and Cross.  With the exception of 3 tight overs from Crossy (there was only ‘the one’ in all 3 overs), the plan seemed to be to wear the batsmen out from them hitting the ball into the trees!  It didn’t work though and despite a wicket a piece for Vadivale (Seb catching on boundary to avoid TFC award) and Skipper (Needham demonstrating how you actually catch the ball for the Skippers benefit) the runs came at a canter.  Cheney reached the target of 117 for 6 in 34 overs.       

Thanks to Seb, Sykes and Sammy…and their mate John(?) for banter and performance…See you next year lads!   And our ever present travelling fans.

At least the early finish meant we got back to The Dog before it closed!  And a good few beers were sunk under the Chambers Grolsch Command, before the Fox boys went to stalk the clubs of Oxford with their combined assault weaponry of Seb’s looks and Luke’s chat…..oh dear….

End of Term Report:    Room For Improvement next Season…..