We travelled away, negotiating some stodgy A34 traffic, ready for what we hoped would be a high-octane clash with one of our rivals for second place. Colin lost the toss an we were asked to field, to begin with one man short as Steve Yates had yet to arrive. Progress for Fringford was steady at 3 an over but there was lots of encouragement for our bowlers as they went past the edge a lot, and indeed Will dropped a catch at gully off Duncan which he would have taken another day. Ryan did capture one of the openers with a ball that came back off the pitch, and it took us about 20 overs to break the next partnership – Grant forcing a false shot that Ian took comfortably running around at mid-off.
With Grant bowling well and the run rate staying steadily at three an over, we were striving for more wickets but they never quite materialised in the way we might have hoped. Ryan got an excellent direct hit run-out, Grant bowled the other opener for 20-odd and Barry forced a dolly catch to Steve at point, but wickets were the exception rather than the rule. Having said that we were not behind in the game so we weren’t too worried. That is until Chaz dropped the Fringford number 7 on 0, and predictably he then began to see the ball well and scored a rapid 60 with plenty of boundaries, including a number off Barry at the other end. Similar to our game against Chesterton we let Fringford get away with far too much off the last six overs as they scored 50 and posted 189-7, of which one wicket was a run-out off the last ball. Our performance in the last few overs was ragged and should really have been better.
After teas, Ryan and Nordic opened. They saw us through to 30-0 before Ryan was bowled. At the other end Nordic was scoring quickly on his way to 31, in the knowledge that he had to leave at 6pm. Along with Colin who was playing unusually expansively, they saw us through to 60-odd before Colin was adjudged LBW. As usual he was unhappy with the decision and threw his bat in rage, which gave the old ladies on the boundary something to chat to him about. Steve was then stumped by Fringford’s excellent keeper but our run rate remained high as Barry and OT were seeing the ball well. We were well placed on 130odd for 3 when OT was unlucky to play on. With only 50 needed for victory, though, we were pretty confident we would be OK. How wrong we were.
What happened for the remainder of the game was an embarrassing procession. Barry was caught on the boundary, Grant was LBW, Ian was LBW not getting forward, Duncan was LBW not playing a shot, and Will, together with Chaz was involved in an embarrassing run-out. There were some doubts expressed about some of the decisions, especially Grant’s, but the fact remained that we were doing our absolute best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Chaz and Steve Yates, to their credit, did a good job of making our 10th wicket partnership respectable but it was too little too late as we slid to a 21 run defeat.
There was definitely plenty to work on, despite some good individual performances, including Grant’s 2-30 with the ball (of which 10 were off his last over), Nordic’s 31 and Barry’s 43. As a team though, we were below par and deserved to lose after some inauspicious cricket. We consoled ourselves with pints of amber nectar at the pub on the side of the cricket green.
Champagne Moment was Ryan’s direct hit run out. Nothing else was nominated.
Pig’s Ear went to Colin for his fracas with the old ladies and gents of the Fringford supporters club. Chaz was nominated too for his dropped catch of the man who made the key runs. He was also nominated for the run-out confusion with Will Harvey. Duncan ought to have been nominated for his ‘booty’ dancing as part of the “Clio Club”, too!
Man of the match was Grant for his bowling. Nordic and Baz were also nommed.