Despite the recent downpours and widespread flooding Wantage and Grove managed to find a suitable pitch for their fixture against Blewbury. It was supposed to be a home fixture but with the Wantage pitch more fit for a re enactment of the Armada it was rearranged to be played at Blewbury. The sun shone for the entire afternoon, and allowed the full game to be played, and although W+G fielded and bowled well a truly world class batting collapse meant they were unable to tot up enough runs to win what should have been a fairly simple victory.
Blewbury batted first, and the fielding team were led out by the day’s captain Mr Alex Peach. Stewie “Danger Angel” Bulpitt opened the bowling and after a tight start the sixth ball of the day bought the early breakthrough. Their opening batsman tried to hit a straight delivery back over Stewie’s head but hooked it and hit it straight down my throat at mid on for a dolly of a catch.
Duncan “longdog” Wooloff opened the bowling at the other end, and was eager to get an early wicket as Wantage had kindly lent Blewbury the services of Mongo for the afternoon, and he had been sent to open the batting! However, this did not go to plan for Duncs, as he was swiftly dispatched back over his head on more than one occasion for a ‘maximum’, and Blewbury thought they were in the money. However Longdog got his reward finally bowling the Mongonator for 25 to all W+G’s relief.
Danger Angel (DA) was in form at the other end, with his new all-in-one white suit and worryingly hard groin helping him keep it tight and threaten the batsmen facing him. After a couple catches had not gone to hand (I’m holding my hand up here) DA decided to do some catching himself and neatly dismissing their number 3 caught and bowled for three runs.
Then Captain Peach decided to make some changes and save the opening bowlers for a later stage and brought in the young uns. Diddy Henson came on with his left arm spin for DA, and Moobs replaced LongDog at the other end. These two were literally “tight as a ducks arse” making the batsmen work for their 37 runs off 12 overs, and also picking up a trio of handy wickets. Moobs bowled their number 4 for 34 (their top scorer for the day), before henson enticed another into long drive down the ground, but little did the batsman know we had dispatched POD into the deep to prepare for this eventuality. After a drive resembling a drunk bambi on a frozen lake POD managed to cling on for what must have been the Champagne moment for the day. Diddy’s second wicket came from a plum LBW decision as his turn and flight was too much and the batsman failed to get out of the way.
Longdog had since been re introduced to finish off the tail, and took two more wickets to leave Blewbury all out for 118, and W+G and captain Peach believing we might actually find a pub open on a sunday afternoon for food that is not the Fox! But alas, it was not meant to be. After a good tea (well done DA – at least a 4 out of 5 teapots i’d say) POD and Chief went out to knock off the runs.
However, the chief was ran out in the third over by a direct hit to leave us 2-1. Bows took to the crease and although steady and not looking in danger of getting out failed to get the scoreboard rattling along as quick as we’d have liked. In the sixth over POD was bowled by a ball that refused to bounce off the pitch for 0, and LongDog replaced him. He spent no time getting his eye in and bludgeoned 12 of his first over. When LD got out in the 14th over we were 39 for 3, but in came Moobs who obviously wanted to go home. Topping Dunc’s 12, he slaughtered 20 off his first over leaving us 64-4 off 17 overs, and the W+G bench looking hopeful of a victory. Then came the mother of all collapses with only a couple of names saving themselves. Bows who had stuck around for a long time was triggered LBW for 13 (he wasn’t a happy bunny). Diddy and DA tried to reduce the target by some more, when Diddy got bowled.
We still had 4 wickets in hand and only thirty or so runs needed, but three of these evaporated for zero…yes right…thats ZERO runs, leaving a lot of red faces and lot of disappointment. DA again can hold his head high, playing some clever shots and adding 19 before getting caught to end the innings.
All in all we were were all out for 94, but it was a tale of what might have been’s as we headed back to the Fox for some food and a commiseration pint or three.