from the sublime to the ridiculous!
How are the mighty fallen! From a ten-wicket thrashing of mid-table Westbury 3rds last week to a slightly less impressive performance against upper-mid-table Goatacre 3rds this week. The day dawned clear and bright; the two professors made their way to the Broadleys nets for a brief warm-up before the big match. Surely, our form would continue from last week, even without our illustrious leader. He only took a 5-for then – we could manage without him, couldn’t we? We were the invincible 3rds – what could go wrong? Perhaps we were going to set a record today? With the senior bowler (chronologically) fully warmed up and the extempore captain looking in fine form, we set off for rural Wiltshire, with only a few mutterings about the Goatacre slope being even steeper than the Withy.
Well, the Goatacre slope looked good, the outfield looked agricultural and the sun was shining. Prof. Young Codger strode to the wicket to toss – would he be as much of a tosser as the regular skipper? Alas no. We had been asked to field. A minor setback, we thought. These positive thoughts lasted as long as the first over, when Harry Smith got into double figures. Chivers Major drew the short straw to bowl up the hill into the cold wind and started with a reasonably tight over (in the later context of the innings). The batsmen showed that the outfield was not as rough and slow as it looked and we were soon busy retrieving the ball from the brambles, stinging nettles and hedges. This rural activity was to last all afternoon.
As the first ball of the seventh over was delivered by Harry, who had adjusted his radar and was now bowling well, a recollection of last week’s match entered your correspondent’s consciousness. What had we scored in 7.1 overs? Yes – 52 for 0, an impressive score. A quick glance at the scoreboard revealed that Charlie Dunn had sped the Goatacre score on to 60 without loss in the same time – even more impressive. Surely they could not keep up this scoring rate? As it turned out, they could! Alan C was replaced by A Chopper C, who livened up the pace from the bottom end but also livened up the scoring rate. Piercey took over the top end to deliver twelve overs of blistering non-pace. Goatacre were scoring apace – could we keep them under 300? Charlie C had a go and extracted one batsman but conceded over eleven runs per over. To whom would the captain turn now? Could it be that your correspondent was going to get his chance under the new regime? Prof. Old Codger carefully marked out his run-up at his favourite bottom end, polished the ball to a gleaming shine, clutched it an off-cutter grip, set off towards the crease at a brisk trot……and pulled up lame, gripping his groin. Shortly afterwards, Chopper C bowled a sharp one and was seen gripping his groin. Fortunately, he was also gripping the ball from a C&B.
Young Andy Pierce was proud to dismiss their main man for only 169. The relief was short lived, as Tom Ponting took over the fairly routine task of swiping the ball to the boundary. The question was now – could we keep them under 400? The answer was No, as the penultimate ball was dispatched. Your correspondent thinks that 401 for 8 might be a WCCL record – unless you know differently!
During an excellent tea, the suspicion slowly grew that 402 to win might be slightly out-of-range for the Marshfield batting line-up. The temporary Captain Sir Prof. turned to experience to open the innings. Andy W survived several close LBW shouts but managed to get his leg outside off stump on each occasion. Mouldy dispatched a couple of good shots before the clatter of leather on stump brought his efforts to an end. The Goatacre bowlers welcomed Alan C to the crease with a merry call of “howzat?”; not out this time but it was not long before the fickle finger of fate was raised after the ball struck him once again in front. Chopper added to his three wickets with a brisk fifteen runs before being caught & bowled – had he not learned from his earlier success? The arrival of Redrum at the crease prompted a bowling change; pace was replaced by off-spin and he made only five before being bamboozled. Father Jack had a debt to repay – seventeen byes conceded – but he managed to get in credit (eighteen scored) before he was bowled. Charlie C lasted a short time before being off-spun. Piercey’s dismissal, bowled first ball, made the off-spinner look unplayable. Unplayable he was not, as the biggest stand of the innings was made by Nos. 10 and 11. No. 11, who normally regards Sir Geoffrey as a bit rash in his batting, shocked the crowd by pulling the off-spinner to the boundary for two fours to gain the second batting point. The innings closed on Nelson – 111 all out.
What a remarkable day! High points: The tea; Goatacre’s (possibly) record score; 169 for their Charlie Dunn; Chopper’s C&B; Harry’s bowling (12-0-83-0 does not do justice to most of his bowling on the day); the 10th wicket partnership. Low points: fetching the ball from the stinging nettles AGAIN and AGAIN; lapses of concentration among the higher-order batsmen; seventeen byes conceded; conceding 401 runs; getting stuffed again.
Oh well, there’s always next week…..next season….
Professor Michael D Threadgill
Goatacre CC - 3rd XI
|Ferdy Van Der Merwe||ro Unsure||17||0||3||0|
|Charlie Dunn||b Andrew Pierce||169||0||22||8|
|Luke Stoneham||b Charlie Chivers||39||0||5||1|
|John Wilkins * +||ct Andy Wills||b Andrew Pierce||49||0||3||2|
|Thomas Brazier||b Andrew Pierce||5||0||0||0|
|Jack Williams||ct Alastair Christie||b Alastair Christie||15||0||2||0|
|Tom Ponting||Not Out||50||0||7||1|
|Ryan Williams||b Alastair Christie||0||0||0||0|
|Connor Rafferty||b Alastair Christie||30||0||5||0|
|Tom Mills||Not Out||1||0||0||0|
|Pete Knight||Did Not Bat|
|Extras||( 17b 7lb 12w 4nb )||40|
|Total||(8 wickets, 45 overs)||401|
MCC 3rd XI
|Richard Guy *||b Tom Ponting||1||0||0||0|
|Andy Wills||b Connor Rafferty||12||0||2||0|
|Martin Ould||b Pete Knight||8||0||2||0|
|Alan Chivers||LBW||b Connor Rafferty||0||0||0||0|
|Alastair Christie||ct Tom Mills||b Tom Mills||15||0||3||0|
|Robert Redman||ct Unsure||b Thomas Brazier||5||0||0||0|
|Terry Bishop +||b Thomas Brazier||18||0||3||0|
|Charlie Chivers||b Thomas Brazier||4||0||1||0|
|Andrew Pierce||b Thomas Brazier||0||0||0||0|
|Harry Smith||b Ryan Williams||15||0||3||0|
|Mike Threadgill||Not Out||10||0||2||0|
|Extras||( 10b 4lb 6w 3nb )||23|
|Total||( all out , 37.4 overs)||111|
Fall Of Wickets
2-1 Richard Guy (Andy Wills-0*) ; 11-2 Martin Ould (Andy Wills-0*) ;
21-3 Alan Chivers (Andy Wills-6*) ; 44-4 Alastair Christie (Andy Wills-7*) ;
50-5 Andy Wills (Robert Redman-0*) ; 67-6 Robert Redman (Terry Bishop-6*) ;
79-7 Charlie Chivers (Terry Bishop-13*) ; 79-8 Andrew Pierce (Terry Bishop-13*) ;
88-9 Terry Bishop (Harry Smith-4*) ; 111-10 Harry Smith (Mike Threadgill-10*) ;