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Gibbon Grace Division One Again!

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Posted 15 Jul 2018 — by carlos
Category 1. Latest News

As Captain Stuart Leonard continued to sun himself under the Greek Sun, Captain of Vice was again in charge under the Gibbon Sun.  This week he had the added challenge of how to enter the ground as all roads in were in the process of being re-tarmacked.  You would have thought he was arranging the Normandy Landings such was the whatsapp clap trap the day before. Anyway somehow or other everyone got here on time….Er, hold on….not quite everyone. Standard!

More changes in personal as Beardy and the Fox giants were not available, so in stepped Timdog, the Welsh Hockey Wizard,  and the Greek ‘God of Guns Out.’  Quite a youthful looking outfit for this latest baker.

Toss accomplished again (This boys got stamina!) and Marsh to bat first.  Skipper decided to promote himself from 4 to Opener and was joined by the ever youthful Farmer sporting his purple bricks tattoo which he wore from last week. Both settled in to see off the popular Hume and soon-to-be-disgraced Plant.  Track was playing hard, fast and reliably and both batters got involved.

Jules(15) was caught with the total on 60 from 15 and was closely followed next over by Skipper(42) unfortunately gloving to the keeper. The wobble was averted as Scotty and Richardson composed themselves and looked to push on.  Then another double blow as a rank long hop (Scotty-19) and then full toss (Sambo-11), which should have both been on the road, were missed and they were both clean bowled in successive overs from Robinshaw.  100-4 from 23 overs.  Skipper had wanted 200 as a minimum and the total was on track though less wickets at halfway would have been preferred.  Never mind though as the Welsh Wizard of the crooked stick and the returned Greek God of Guns were in the middle now.

The Welsh Wizard even got the chance to practice his baseball as a ‘waist’ high full toss was swung away to the farmyard for 6.  I think the umpire was using Charlie Chaplin’s trousers belted under the chin as the measure for waist height!

The two ran well and for once Tommy had a partner that was too quick for him to run out!  Unfortunately though they were parted after 56 runs together when Shipperley (43 from 49 balls) practicing his penalty flick missed the ball and was adjudged in front.  And so with Marsh 156-5 from 34 overs, the Abbott went out to meet God.

It’s a good idea to be on time for a Holy Appointment but The Abbott almost missed it as the cry went up, “Where’s my bat?  Where’s my bat?!”  The well prepared Abbott had been sitting, waiting, zoning in and had consequently not noted the work of a little devil (well, a pair of demons really) who had sneaked off with his bat and put it in the getaway car for later!  Crouch, who knows the modus operandi of these little spirits, retrieved the good Abbott’s tool and sent it out to the middle for the Abbott to wield.

Skipper barked his orders from the boundary to the Abbott, “Bat on Ball….”  Oh yes, pithy alliteration from the skipper and The Abbott acquiesced – and was caught before the order could be completed “Bat on Ball….and Over the Rope” was the complete phrase!  174-6 from 38.  A bit of a push was required, but only a further set back came. At least the bat was safely back.

The Greek ‘God of Guns Out’ now got caught out after a valiant 27 and with 181 on the board.  The pace needed to step up now and with two of the Gibbon’s most renowned runners at the crease quite literally anything could happen.  And it almost did!  First there was exhibition running of hit ball straight to fielder only 10 yards away: Run, stop, run again – how can he not be run out? But he wasn’t…And this happened repeatedly as dives for the line rained in.  Perhaps it was a plan to demoralise the fielders?  Somehow ‘Sat Laurel’ and ‘Nathan Hardy’ got to 200 in the penultimate over as Kyle and his average were left sweating on the side lines.

Then a peach of a last over as Hume bound in to avenge the boundary that Crouch had cracked back through long on in his last over.  Well Satty did likewise!  Then the temperature rose to boiling point as Satty snicked another 4 past the wicket keeper. Last ball and a quick single on the square….turned in to 5 as Hume sought retribution and aimed his throw more at the batter than the stumps.  Which to be fair, is the larger object and was moving at the same speed as the stumps!  But he missed all of them (quite a feat from such short range) and the ball raced mercilessly to the boundary.

An unbeaten 7th wicket stand of 41 from 30 balls had surpassed Skippers requirement and left Faringdon needing 221 for victory.

Special mention to young Finn Johnson of Faringdon who fielded confidently and competently throughout.

Extra special mention to the fabulous and copious Tea from Lady Deborah, supported with additional cake from Selina (Sorry Brian!)

“Bowl tight, take our catches and build the pressure” was the direction from Skipper as Marsh took to the field in the sweltering heat.  How would two and a half hours out in this heat affect Faringdon?   Chairman Kyle bound in and a snorting first ball took shoulder of bat and looped toward gully…..Buckethands Richardson was waiting, but he needed to lope forward to reach the ball and the 4 pieces of cake consumed moments before seemed to root him to the spot!  Never mind, first ball next over and Crouch bowls to the bobbing Plant and cleans up leg stump.

The opener left the field discarding and launching pieces of equipment as he went before rounding the corner and one assumes, ‘planting’ his size nine into the pavilion door.  The door and frame being jerked from the wall.  As the Marsh team were in the field and Tea ladies in clean up mode, no one saw the event though it was heard. When sought for questioning some minutes later the batter had left the ground.  Odd. Disgraceful.

On the field, Faringdon were keeping up with the required rate and reached 48 from 10 overs.  A breakthrough was required and on cue, Kyle trapped the free scoring Owen in front.  The Marsh bowlers and fielders now graced the first division with a display of constriction on what should have been a free flowing track they squeezed the Faringdon pips.

Shippo came on for Crouch and sent down the fastest deliveries of the day, by far. After a couple of sighters’ he pinned both batters on the back foot, whilst Kyle gave no opportunities for Faringdon from the Edgcott End.   No wickets taken, but only 40 runs scored in the critical 15 over period from 10 to 25 overs and restricted Faringdon to 90-2 from 25.  The bowling was tight and the fielding immaculate as fast feet and sharp hands stopped singles and made sure no ones turned to two.

It was time to take pace off the ball as Needham finished his 12 over spell conceding only 27.  Vadivale and Richardson took over where Needham and Shipperley had left off.  They were as tight as the skippers trousers and despite Tomes and Johnson having been in the middle since the 11th over, neither of them could get at the wily pair….and the required  rate rose…and rose….and rose…..

31st over and with run desperation rising Tomes looked for 2 from a drive into extra cover.  Looked safe as Timdog was on the fence and we all know blokes with beards can’t throw. Wrong. In like a sprinter and a tracer throw over the bails. Tomes run out for 56.   Faringdon 114 for 3 from 32 overs. Required rate now over 8 per over.

Skipper Oglesby joined Johnson and neither could find the required boundaries as Vadivale and Richardson turned and bowled, turned and bowled.

A few, mostly difficult, chances were spilled and according to the Greek God this was all part of his master plan!

Johnson bowled by Richardson.  Oglesby bowled by Vadivale. In came Hume to try and make redress for his bowling figures (12 overs for 55).  Time, however, was not on his side as he was only allowed to push singles to a very well drilled and skippered set of fielders.

Marlow bowled by Vadivale (12 over 41 runs for 2 wickets).  Robinshaw bowled by Richardson (11 overs 53 runs for 2 wickets).  And Gibbon gracefully managed the game to its conclusion: A Marsh Victory.   Faringdon 183-7 off 45 overs, closing 38 runs adrift.

Yet again, the Mighty Gibbon graced the top division with their cricketing ability, hospitality and sportsmanship. Well played boys.

 

Richardson Proves Irresistible!

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Posted 13 Jul 2018 — by carlos
Category 1. Latest News

The Westcott Weekend Double-Header continued at The Gibbon on Sunday with the rearranged league fixture. Both sides needed to draft in players to replace those unavailable from the day before, but the weather was the same, no – it was even hotter!

Joseph continued his excellent tossing and chose to bat on a belter of a wicket and rapid outfield. With Westcott missing both their opening bowlers Marsh set off well with Beardie and Vadivale in the opening berths and looking steady. That is until the 6th over and with the total on 25 Satty was caught for 17 to be followed back next over by Beardie caught behind for 8.  Scotty was meeting the ball well and punching straight back as he looked to get a feel of the bowling, but played across his pad before he was ‘in’ and found himself ‘out.’  Marsh 46-3 off 10.

Then followed the partnership to set up victory.  Skipper Joseph who had decided to drop down the order on Saturday and had got a third ball Quack persevered at 4 and was joined by yesterday’s hero Richardson at number 5.  Both batted securely to begin with and ticked the board over.  It was clear that 200 would be enough to create scoreboard pressure, but would it be enough?   With this in mind the two started to press and boundaries came. With the score on 144 Joe was bowled by Bateman on 60 and the partnership fell 2 runs short of a Ton.

Nine overs remaining and 200 the target: Richardson stepped on the gas.  Abbott, Fox (Snr!), Callow and Chambers came in and threw caution to the wind in search of quick runs and fittingly Sammy crashed the last ball iof the inning for 6 to take Marsh to 205-7.

Would that be enough?  There was batting in the Westcott line up, but probably not in great depth, though 2 long sessions in the heat would not have helped.

Chairman Kyle and Crouch opened up and kept it tight but no wicket until the 6th over when Callow struck as Joseph took the rising catch behind.  Danger man Khan came in at 3 and looked to continue his positive approach of the day before and targeted Callow.  Skipper replaced Crouch with Richardson and got his reward with opener Cherry clutched by Seb Fox in Sammy’s first over.   Khan was still a problem until Needham claimed him again.  This time a superb running catch from the older (and slightly taller!) Fox brother coming in from Long On.  Westcott 52-3 off 15.  It was in the balance with 153 required off 30 and so 5 an over required.

It was the time for the Westcott Skipper Strong to perform and partnered by Raynor they clipped the ball around and accumulated steadily.  It took 20 overs for Marsh to break the pair, when in the 36th over and score on 139 Callow held a precious catch off Abbott to remove Raynor.  A further 67 runs required off 54 balls required….

Richardson had restricted the runs and finished with 1 for just 12 runs off 8 overs and it rested with Vadivale and Abbott to bring home the victory.

Just as soon as Symes came to the wicket, Seb Fox sent him back with a razor sharp piece of fielding at backward square leg to run out the grumbling Symes with a direct hit.  Vadivale and Abbott – who had reversed the previous days plan and now decided to pitch the ball at the batsman’s end – were keeping the tiring Skipper tied down, whilst they picked off the tale.

It was good to welcome Lewis Jeacock to the Gibbon crease again, especially as the rate was over 10 per over when he arrived and as true as elephants can’t fly, Lewis isn’t going to smash boundaries! (Sorry Lewis)

Skipper Strong (64) was eventually bowled by Vadivale and with that the game was Marsh’s.  Westcott ending 20 runs short.

Back to back victories and 57 points moved Marsh up more places in the table.

Excellent contributions from many over the weekend, but none more than Sambo Richardson to bring it home, with scores of 60 and his highest score of 79 not out, plus 8 overs 1 for 12 at a critical point to restrict runs on the Sunday – not to mention 2 catches as well!

 

 

 

Take a blow! Are you having a laugh?

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Posted 13 Jul 2018 — by carlos
Category 1. Latest News

The Westcott Double-Header Weekend brought even more Sunshine and a selection shortage as both Skipper’s went on their Summer sojourns.   Never mind, the 3rd Leonard could step up from Vice duties to stand in and it has to be said he showed what a tosser he is right from the start!  As he called correctly to insert Gibbon on a surprisingly green Westcott deck.

New skipper at the helm maybe, but the standard Marsh batting collapse still followed. Chambers (Snr), Vadivale, Mead and the Skipper all back in the hutch at 30-4 off 10 overs. Perhaps they were just getting to their seats early for the England vs Sweden Quarter Final!  Could it get any worse?  Yes.  In no time at all, Fox and Abbott were seated in the shade and waiting for the footie as well as Marsh were reduced to 47-6 off 20 overs.  Rehman Ullah especially dangerous with his left arm around sticking or skidding in from a wide projection.

Crouchy joined Sammy in the middle and the Time for a recovery was now.  The two stood firm and started to find boundaries, sending the ball speeding across the baked hard outfield. Callow (20) had surpassed his highest score for the season when he gifted a C&B to Strong and an encouraging partnership of 45 in just 6 overs came to an end with Marsh on 92-7.  Needham now joined Richardson.

Sammy was selectively hitting to his strength and putting balls into the corn field and onto the runway!  The return of Ullah was his unfortunate undoing as a ball failed to get up and skidded over his foot into the stumps.  Sammy scored 60 in just 69 balls including the time of the early top order demise. (9 Boundaries included: 6×4 and 3×6).

Marsh were now 127-8 off 34 and so time to spare, but not wickets.  Needham had been happily watch from the other end as Richardson had plundered but with only Timdog and the young Chambers left had to move it along.  After a quality thick edge through 3rd man for 4 Timdog became Ullah’s 5th scalp.  Kyle (27*) and young Jacob scampered over 145 required for the 3rd batting point before Jacob was bowled and the innings closed on 148 – just in time to watch the 2nd half of the footie with Tea!

On a baking hot day with a rock hard small outfield no one thought 148 would be enough…….

Kyle’s first over looked expensive as it went for 11 as Ullah attacked from the start whilst only 2 fielders can be outside the 30 yard ring.  But, he only lasted 5 balls as a quicker and shorter ball snorted to Richardson (who else!) in gully to take the catch.   Khan came next and was even more determined to finish the game quickly.  With the score at 42 in only the 7th over the Marsh total of 148 seemed even more inadequate.   Until two wickets in 3 balls.

First went Khan, thin edging from Kyle into Skipper Joseph’s gloves. Sharp take – 2 down.  Westcott skipper Strong at the crease.  Dot. Then ball smashes pad straight down the middle – LBW.  Westcott 42-3 from 7.

Callow had been struggling in the heat with a bout of man-flu and lack of sleep and was replaced by Vadivale. At first the change down in pace looked the wrong decision as a few early fours followed.  Then with drinks approaching Needham trapped opener Cherry in front and Westcott were 62-4 off 13.

They say Skippers live or Die by their decisions….well, Kyle had just taken out the top 4 batters and in his last 30 delivers had taken 3 wickets for 9 runs and 5 of those 9 runs were because the skipper had put 3 fielders behind leg and caused a ‘No ball’ with the resulting extra ball going for 4.   It therefore came as some surprise when the skipper announced “Kyle have a blow.”    To be replaced by Jayson who had obviously seen something in his half of the pitch that could trouble the batter. So he bounced the ball no more than 3 metres in front of his foot.  Whack!  Hussain smacked the ball straight to Mead – Wicket first ball!

Followed immediately by Vadivale having Symes caught by Callow on the square, and then Abbott struck again next over with a C&B, deceiving the batsman by pitching the ball on his favourite spot – just by his landing boot!

Vadivale and Jaybone were ripping through the Westcott middle and lower order in double quick time as England were bringing it home against Sweden!

Westcott were tumbled from 62-3 to 77 All out, as Abbott finished with 3 wickets for 3 runs.  Vadivale 3 for 17 and Needham 4 for 34.  Consequently Skipper Joseph ‘Lived’ to Lead the Gibbon again!

Most importantly a 28 point victory lifted Gibbon off the bottom rung of the league and lifted the spirits of the players.

What’s the Batting Order Again….?

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Posted 05 Jul 2018 — by carlos
Category 1. Latest News

Looking to avenge a narrow opening day defeat, the Originals entertained third placed Oxenford in another day of high drama in the searing Gibbon heat.

A number of changes from last week’s loss to the league leaders ensued, the most notable being Kyle (or Mr Chairman as he now likes to be referred), who travelled as far as Wales to ensure his batting average remained protected. We welcomed back the aggressive clergyman Mathers after a couple of years absent, Will ‘Spud’ Honour fresh from his colouring-in exam stress and new Marsh resident Alex for his first taste of poor banter and even worse music choices provided by the village cricket team.  Despite assurances that the 10p provided by Crouchy would be an absolute certainty for winning the toss, Skipper duly lost in standard fashion. Gibbon asked to field first on a lovely batting wicket and lightning fast outfield. Skipper returned to a barrage of abuse for yet another tossing defeat, led by Crouch who earlier vowed to be “working hard on my language”……..he’s now achieved his advanced swearing badge!

Tommy (AKA Les) opened up with lanky potty mouth Crouch, who started well creating a few chances, but with Gibbon only fielding with 10, due to Satty doing his school sports day duties, there were gaps available and opener Andy Harris was taking advantage with a range of powerful strokes as Oxenford steadily built around him.

On a batting day, it was tough work for the Gibbon boys and some dropped chances and a few misfields didn’t help their plight, most notably LES who put down opener Harris later in his innings in what must go down as the biggest sitter of the season thus far! The boys plugged away, with the wickets shared around. LES bowled a nice spell of 11 overs, picking up one, whilst going unrewarded on a number of occasions, with the slightly jaded Satty bowling a controlled spell of 1-33 from his 12 overs. Harris finishing with a very well made 91 before being stumped, one of three by the skipper behind the stumps. With poppadum fingers Joe dropping the final ball of the innings, Oxenford closed on 237-7.

With everyone gasping for liquid refreshment, an exquisite array of tea delights was provided by Mrs Honour, who achieved a wonderful contrast of sweet and savoury…… it was certainly a biggie!

With regular opener Joe damaging a digit in the field, a last minute change to the order was required, with Sat promoted to open with Jules, then more chaos ensued just before the resumption as Satty proclaimed “I’m tired”. Combined with the heat and lack of sleep, he didn’t look as if he was firing on all cylinders. Skipper was the only one semi-dressed and reluctantly left his favoured number four spot, so strapped them on. With potentially two men from the top three unable to bat, it was difficult to gauge which way to go about things, but the openers got off to a watchful start, before Jules nicked off for 3. With skipper battening down the hatches, as we awaited the impact of various anti-inflammatory medication, the returning Mathers (5) was promoted to number three and Spud (11) to four. Skipper went for a watchful 27, mistiming a short delivery, with Jayson promoted providing a couple of big blows before being bowled.

Following his manicure and nail polish now dry, Captain of Vice Joe proclaimed he was fit to bat “with only three fingers” and along with brother LES, who only a few weeks previous had declared he was going to lay his older sibling out, proceeded to plunder the bowlers to the boundary regularly. J Leno was run out attempting a 2nd, returning to form just at the right time with an impressive 83, whilst Tommy ‘Spark out’ Leno was caught for 40, including a wonderful straight six……cue the Danny Dyer walk! With 9 an over needed, Gibbon were back in the game up until that point, but the innings faltered. A decent effort nonetheless. Satty, now semi-conscious, was stumped with the keeper stood 10 yards back from the pegs, as the innings closed on 213-8, giving the visitors victory by 24 runs.

Another battling performance, but no cigar for the Originals, as we continue to search for the consistency and availability to move up the table. Thankfully, Satty was fully recovered enough to wrap up a solid five pieces of coffee cake to take home to replenish his depleted energy stores, however, Joe’s injury curtailed his planned evening activities, so he and his fetching pink shirt settled for a night in the dog………..

Despite remaining the strongest team in the league (holding all above them), there is plenty of optimism given aspects of performance and players starting to fire again that Gibbon can (like our expert alpinist Timmo) start to climb the mountain.

Onto the Westcott double header………..

The Leonards Blow Horwood Away

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Posted 01 Jul 2018 — by carlos
Category 1. Latest News

Marsh Gibbon Win The George Blow Cup for 5th Time

There was an unconventional start to the Marsh-Horwood Cup Final as the Skippers; Guns Leonard and Morrison tossed in Buckingham Nightclub ’13’ at 1am on the morning of the game. Leonard called correctly and with the only moisture threat coming from the pint in his hand he decided to bat – in 10 hours time!  Not exactly in line with the ECB Directive but respected none the less!

The Leonard triumvirate then set about some hard hitting lead by senior cousin Stu.  Indeed the opening stand between Stuart and Joe put on 113 in 10 overs before Joe was caught of Aimes for 38.  Joe had been hampered by scratching his nail polish the day before. This was a major setback as he’d only just had shellac applied at Diamond Nails on Sheep Street, Bicester on Friday.  Somehow he managed to fight back the tears of disappointment and crack 7 lovely boundaries across the lighting tinder outfield.

Stuart found his stride and struck the ball powerfully also dealing in boundaries from the start.  Nine 4’s and an exocet 6 in his unbeaten 72 was only constrained by late fatigue from the heat of the day and as a consequence of the game the day before, notwithstanding the lager consumed between these appearances.

Skipper and youngest Leonard, Tommy joined cousin Stuart for the last couple of overs and got in on the act with a quick 8 as Marsh closed on 131 for 1 off their 12 overs.

Horwood knew a rapid start was required and sent out the powerful Nix and stylish Willett.  They showed intent from ball one and Callow did well to keep the lid on only going for 7 off his opening over.  Chairman Kyle, fresh from his trip to the Welsh Valleys the day before, was picked up by Nix for a square 6 and after 4 overs Horwood were on 47. But Nix had charged Crouch in the 3rd over only to miss a spitting delivery which Keeper Stu got body behind and had ample time to stump the stranded batter.

Skipper brought on Chambers for the 6th over to immediate effect as he bowled Willett and only conceded 3 runs.  Skipper replaced the economical Callow (3-0-1-20) and continued with the effective line.

Marsh fielding was solid, especially from young Jacob and Charlie who were in key positions to keep the batsmen honest and were handling some tricky ground shots hit to them.

Gilder had been batting well but just could not find the boundary as Marsh set the field deep for him knowing ones and twos would not be enough. Horwood reached 103 from 10 and needed 29 from the last 16 balls – very possible with lighting outfield and Gilder and Ellison set at the crease.  Until the first ball of that 11th over and Tommy struck Gilder’s off stump bail.

With only 7 runs conceded in a tight penultimate over from the Skipper (3-0-28-1), Kyle came back for the last over as Chambers had finished with identical economical figures as Callow. Horwood needed 22 off 8 balls for victory and the Chairman was never going to allow that to happen.  Marsh won by 12 runs.

Big thank you to Bazza and Mr Sirrett for all the organising, Freddie and Horwood Umpire and Horwood for hosting.  A very special shout out for the Burgers! (got any left?)

SILVERWARE on the Marsh Mantel – Now let’s get climbing the league ladder!  

(Look out for photos from Club Cameraman who dragged himself off the golf course for the first time this season – Welcome back Honours!)      

Mighty Gibbon Demonstrate Their Strength!

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Posted 24 Jun 2018 — by carlos
Category 1. Latest News

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!!

 

 

 

Midweek Last Ball Thriller – Again!

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Posted 15 Jun 2018 — by carlos
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For the second consecutive week the In-Betweeners suffered a last ball defeat, this time to Great Horwood.

Skipper Guns won the toss and fancied a bat on the perfect track for it.  The other Leonard’s (Joe, Stuart) opened up and set off at a rate thanks to Stuart plundering Ellison’s first over for 24. (-4143246).  A big score was looming with Marsh on 38 off 3 overs, but Harper was bowling tight and a mistimed cut from Joe was taken behind and a straight one from Morrison castled Stuart. The shot selection from the Marsh middle order was woeful and sharp square leg fielding from Andy Gilder with 2 run outs resulted in Marsh adding only 13 runs for 5 wickets in 40 balls.

Skipper, when not running out partners, glued the innings with 19 and hit the only four between overs 3 and 12 when Crossy clubbed a brace!  Marsh closed disappointingly on 87 for 8 from the 12, 8 ball overs.  All the Leonards scoring 19.  Morrison the pick of the Horwood bowlers conceding only 7 for 2 off his 3 overs.

Marsh needed an early strike (or more!) and Needham bowled Bridgman 5th ball to get things started, but Jaybone’s over suffered some fine strikes and went for 15. Skipper gave Abbott a blow(?) and struck immediately to bowl Cranshaw.  Needham completed a tight spell (3-14-1) and half way through the overs Horwood were 42-2.

Willett was the danger man and batting well. Marsh needed to attack the other end and keep Willett off strike.  The plan worked well and Marsh restricted Willett to singles and locked down the other batter.  Chambers and Vadivale kept up the pressure but Horwood edged closer to the inadequate total.

Last over and 10 required by Horwood.  Joe Leonard had calmly pouched Willett (56) running along the fence  in Chambers previous over and so new batters were at the crease.   Two singles and a Two, then WICKET! Skipper catches Armitage.  Dot, then Two, and disaster as a leg side wide runs away for Two more.  One required from the last 2 balls with all the Marsh fielders within 10 yards of the bat. DOT!  Last ball and one required – flick fine off the legs by Morrison and game over.

Excellent tight cricket match with Horwood edging home in front of a decent crowd.  Thanks to the ‘other’ Leonard at the ground for a spell of Umpiring and the League Officials for scoring too.

 

Mitchell-in Man Eventually Rolls In To Town

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Posted 11 Jun 2018 — by carlos
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The Gibbon returned to Base Camp and to a well prepared track looking every bit ‘The Road To Batting Paradise’ as Bob Hope might have said (if he’d played Cricket). The Wootton Skipper, Webb, certainly saw it that way when he called correctly and chose to bat first.

The day was sunny and dry with a slight breeze, perhaps welcomed by those MGFC players that had been out to the early hours and DOM without a doubt by the look of them!  Scotty was back from Espana too, having evaded the Border Force with his mate Hugo who turned up still in his bearded disguise!

Big Stu laid out his plans before the start: Tight bowling and sharp fielding required.  The words were still ringing in Joey’s ears as he spilled the first slip chance in only the 3rd over!    Needham and Callow found the required line and length to restrict Morton and Benson from the start. And with only 15 from the first 6 overs Crouch went through Morton to strike the first blow.  Wootton’s dangerous skipper Webb came to the middle and still Marsh bowlers gave little to attack. Benson bogged down on 8 after 11 overs desperately swung at Needham and Mitchell got into the action for the first time that day, but not the last, as he pouched a simple catch on the square.  To Marsh’s delight and especially Cubby’s he clutched a sharp 2nd slip chance next over to dismiss Webb, off Crouch and Wootton were 35 for 3 off 13 overs.

Wootton looked to accelerate with Wiskin at the crease, but scoring only 20 from the next 7 overs brought more premeditated risky shots.  Needham had moved Jules back outside the ring and on cue Wiskin dutifully picked him out! Jules took it on the run with aplomb.

Mitchell took over from Crouch and found a consistency that had eluded him so far this term.  He was now getting it to go round corners – the right way.  And on the hard track was also getting bounce and carry forcing the batsman to play late.  This quickly created two sharp catches behind to Skipper in the gloves and Hugo (still in disguise) at 2nd slip, both taken.

Meanwhile O. Morton was playing the innings the wicket deserved and notched up a fluent 50, but with wickets tumbling around him, he needed to accelerate and Big Stu took the pace away to try and create the error with Vadivale’s tweakers.  The plan worked and a top edge into the skippers gloves brought the 4th catch behind.  Mitchell wrapped up the innings with his 4th and 5th scalps straight bowled.  His inaugural Marsh 5fer (11-1-39-5) and much congratulating from his team mates as he led them from the field.

Tea was richly deserved and was a veritable feast of selections from crudités to classic quarter filled sarnies, and home made caaakkkeeee!  Thanks to Amy and Mum Amy.

Joe and Jules opened up and Wootton immediately set the trap for the mistimed Hook with 2 catchers on the fence behind square, as Cam King banged in the occasional short ball.  But hooking was not a required shot as Joe repeatedly clipped Wiskin to the boundary to keep the board clicking.

King was probing and found some good deliveries to bring the game abruptly level with a double strike removing both openers trapped in front and Marsh were suddenly 30-2 from 10.  Marsh needed to consolidate and there’s no one more consolidated than Vadivale!  In partnership with the Skipper, they kept things moving along.  Webb had replaced Wiskin and was bowling with greater control, but the occasional err from line or length and Leonard pounced for a boundary and scoreboard pressure was kept in check.

A Marsh win was staring to look like a formality as 80 runs clocked by in the 23rd over and evening drinking plans were being hatched in the pavilion, that was until the 25th over when Vadivale (18) chipped lamely to mid on with Marsh on 83 – and a very useful partnership of 53 ended.  Then in Webb’s next over, Skipper Leonard (40 including 6 4’s) missed a straight one and Guns Leonard (10) after 2 glorious pulls to the boundary (hitting the LES Mobile) edged a turning delivery to slip.  The concern of 5 wickets down was looking calamitous when Scotty hit across the line as King returned to take the 6th wicket.  From 85 for 2, Marsh were now 106 for 6.

Hugo and The Silver Fox were now in the middle neither having faced a ball and the opening bowlers back for the remaining overs.  Although Hugo was still wearing his bearded disguise, his class with the bat was in plain view and with the Old-Timer, (familiar with this situation from many times before) the two set about a calm count down.  A single here and a brace there they kept the board moving and didn’t even let a maiden pass.

30 runs were required and 30 runs were scored in 9 overs. Hugo finished unbeaten on 17 and The Silver Fox, who had started the game with ball in hand, finished it with the bat in hand (16*) 6 hours later.

Skipper presented James with the match ball and we look forward to it being the first such presentation of many. Well done you lanky streak of pi**!

 

 

Unpleasant & Unfortunate

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Posted 06 Jun 2018 — by carlos
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Unpleasant…..

The Originals travelled to Yarnton on Saturday 2nd June to face table-topping Yarnton & Cowley in OCA League action, but action of a cricketing nature there was to be none!  Disappointingly upon walking out to the Square the lack of preparation was immediately evident as the wicket was a thick matted uneven grassy surface.  The Umpires were unimpressed and after due consideration of all factors, including with ECB and OCA guidance they sensibly concluded that the wicket was not safe for play.

The decision was the Umpires and as their number one priority is Safety they had no option but to call the game off.  It was obvious that this was the only course of action….obvious to everyone apart from Y&C who felt that a game could be played with adjustments like bowling only spinners, or reducing the overs (!)

With no cricket, the Y&C players turned to the vocal abuse of the Marsh players as they left the ground.  Something they chose to do and thought appropriate….but not something that we consider to have a place at a cricket match, Ever.  The match was abandoned by the Umpires (not MGCC) under Rule 10h of the OCA – home side not preparing a safe pitch for the fixture: 20 points awarded to Marsh, 20 points deducted from Y&C.  Not the victory we were expecting, but hopefully the OCA will take action to ensure the standard of Division One pitches – and Clubs – is much better than we encountered at this ground, in the future.

Unfortunate….

Tommy’s In-Betweeners took on Twyford in the Semi-Final of the Advertiser Cup at The Recreation Ground on Wednesday 5th June.  Quite the reverse of Saturday’s experience with 2 well matched sides looking for a quality game of cricket on an excellent wicket….and they got it.

Twyford batted first and racked up 92 for 5 in their 12 overs (8 balls per over).  The Marsh reply faltered from the start with slow scoring due to good bowling and then wickets falling.  However, Big Stu reunited with his batting kit, found his timing and brought Marsh back on track with the rate with a fluent and fast 50.  Until….

The last over and Marsh needed 8 runs to win – A run a ball.  Stuart was on strike, but in the fading light the added pace of Bone was challenging and Stu was well clutched at deep mid-on by young Wilkinson.  Callow now on strike – Bowled!  Cross, stiff necked, strode to the square and the trademark swoosh accompanied him.  A single, then another single from Needham, a couple of two’s from Crossy and with one ball to go Marsh needed one run to tie the scores, but Marsh had lost one wicket more than Twyford and wickets lost is the deciding factor if the scores are tied at the end.  Crossy made contact but only one run was possible and Twyford won the game by the virtue of losing one wicket less than Marsh.

A tense enjoyable game, full of young local talent (not to mention some old local talent as well!)

 

Ten Bowlers And Still Not Enough!

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Posted 28 May 2018 — by carlos
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Third Saturday game for Marsh and the third wet one.  All was looking good by midweek with hot blue skies and a dry hard track, then came the thunderstorms.  With no roll on covers to protect the wicket such heavy rain meant only one thing – Bat Second.

And that is exactly what Stonesfield chose to do. Jamie Burns has been here often enough to know the score as well as any Marsh player.

Humid overcast conditions and a wet surface spitting hand grenades all favoured the bowlers but Joe Leonard and Chambers Senior dug in. Then the disastrous 8th over and Joe got the edge to 2nd slip and Vadivale missed a dying  2nd ball to be bowled, 16 for 2 off 8 overs. Skipper joined Chambers and they started to rebuild, including the innings’ Champagne moment when skip extra cover drove for a 75 metre maximum.

Chambers fell for 19 in the 20 over and Marsh were 51-3.  Both Club Skippers were now at the crease and Tommy fresh from a fifty for his ‘In-Betweeners’ just 4 days earlier continued where he left off, settling in and then pushing on.  Just as an encouraging partnership was building Stuart failed to clear the ring this time (19) and Marsh were 77-4 with only 16 overs remaining.

What would be a par score?  Earlier thoughts had settled on 150 to 160 but with improving batting conditions it was hard to call. Normally the TV Analyst interjects at this point with some thoughtful statistics from previous matches and WASP starts to irritate the viewer – So, over to Marsh’s own irritating Analyst….. “Silver Fox Stato.”

“In the 30 years of OCA cricket at Home – Marsh has batted first a total of 103 times and won 60 of the games. However, Marsh’s lowest winning score is 119, having scored a lower total on 20 occasions and losing them all.  So, 119 was the historical minimum for victory.  Looking at scores achieved slightly higher than 119, the scorebooks show that when scoring between 120-140 results are equal at 8 wins and 8 defeats.  From 140 to 150 Marsh has won 6 and lost 5 and so history shows us that a score of 140 is still a winnable position with WASP at 55%.”

The 150 minimum was still a fair way off when Richardson joined Guns at the crease.  Unfortunately Sammy is not fully conscious of what ‘crease’ means in the context of a batsman. The effective Gubbins was getting good turn and bounce and drew Sambo stretching forward only to miss the ball and survive a stumping appeal.  Next ball same thing, different outcome. This time stumped.  But “NO!” pleads Sam to Umpire Croxford. “My foot is on the line – look!” Oh dear Sam, you need to be ‘Behind’ the line in this game……

Mikey Herriott joined Tommy and struggled to hit the ball with just 1 from 17 deliveries, as did Crouch in his first ‘golden’ game this year. 37 overs used and Marsh were at 114 for 7.  Could a late push get the score nearer to that statistical parity?  Then Tommy fell for a gutsy 42 from 57 balls, a quick rate in the context of the game.  Needham (10) and Mitchell (11*) and a boundary from Timdog used every ball of the 45 to smear Marsh to a total of 142   (It could have been one more if Timmo had not been run out at the bowlers end, by the wicketkeeper, off the last ball!)

Over again to ‘Silver Fox Stato’…. “Historically Marsh has scored less than 142 and still won on 4 occasions and so it’s not unheard of.  In fact the closest to this total came only last year when registering 139 vs Eynsham and then bowling Eynsham out for 92 to win.”

Skipper briefed the side at Tea and it was clear that a top bowling display would be required to repeat the Eynsham exploits.

Three hours had passed since Marsh faced the first delivery and a much drier and improving track faced Burns and Redknapp opening for Stonesfield.  It was still humid and the new cherry should swing.  Needham and Callow got balls in the right area, but no reward until Callow trapped Redknapp playing across the line one time too many. 30-1 in tenth.  Marsh were offering the leg side from Needham with only one in front of bat to try and induce the mis-timed drive and it worked in the 13th over when Holley was superbly clutched by the towering Mitchell.  At this point the game was still alive, but Burns was not being drawn from his bunker.  Skipper continued the offensive, even without any runs to spare and had 6 round the bat off Needham (12-5-21-1) but no luck.

Richardson also threatened with consistent line and length, but no one else could drop onto a straight line and with no margin for error Skipper had no choice but to rotate through every bowler searching for some penetration. Burns accumulated from the far too frequent loose balls and earned a match winning half century as the game slipped away from Marsh. A last ditch spell from Callow brought a couple of consolation wickets with sharp catches from Chambers and Sambo.  Stonesfield reached the required total in the 40th over for the loss of 4 wickets.

So over to the Analyst Stato for the closing comment…

“History was made in this game after all!  For the first time Marsh gave all 10 outfield players a bowl!   Some were economical (Needham at just over one run per over) and some were not…..Nevertheless, I am confident that some Positive records will be smashed next week at Yarnton & Cowley, as we return to League action.”