Withy Triumph Leads The Way To First “Happy Hour” Of The Season!

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Aconvincing win by the MCC 3rd XI provided the first essential component of the club’s first “hat trick” of the season and, finally, a 2015 “happy hour” to be celebrated at Broadleys. All credit to the 1st and 2nd XIs, who realised what a unique opportunity was available once the unusual news of a 3rd XI victory was received from the Withy. So, how did this remarkable event come about after a soul-sapping run of 6 defeats on the bounce?

Selection roulette again led to personnel shifts between the 2nd and 3rd teams. Notably, the MCC Cricket Manager (aka 3rd XI skipper) and Terry “bucket hands” Bishop joined young Ilo (aka 3rd XI vice-skipper) in the 2nd’s, and a University of Bath chemist (Woodman T) was replaced by a mathematician (Sankaran G) from the same esteemed academic institution; Commander Roper 008½ assumed gloveman duties and our complement of players from north of Watford was increased by 100% with the return of Chris Middup from the less ambiguous side of the Pennines.

This reorganisation of deckchairs meant that the Assistant Deputy (Acting) Sub-Vice-Captain (AD(A)SVC) was in charge for the fourth time this season and he immediately strutted his stuff by winning the toss and confidently inserting the opposition. Of course, he did the same against Marlborough 3rd’s in the away fixture earlier this season, a game that we lost by a nice, round 100 runs, so history was not entirely behind this potentially foolhardy decision…

Those of you who have played for, or observed, the MCC 3rd XI over the years will recognise just how appalling this spectacle must have been and even your correspondent (who has produced 6-ball collections of astonishing rankness) could only watch this over in utter disbelief.

- Richard Guy describes Pierceys 1st Over..

The ever-reliable DDT (Dicko down t’hill, that is, not his pesticidal character), however, quickly snaffled an opener, via a sharp low catch by Commander Shaken-but-not-stirred, and an optimistic buzz in the field was quite tangible. Two slips, a gully, and two short extras applied psychological pressure to the other opener and the oppo number 3, who both failed to convince, but also failed to get out either to DDT or to a dangerously unpredictable Big Chris up the hill. With Marlborough approaching 50 with only one out, it was therefore time to call on Messrs Middup and Pierce to turn the tide back in our favour.

3rdsMarl180715 5345 2Unfortunately, AP had not read the AD(A)SVC’s script and he proceeded to serve up, even by his own admission, possibly the worst, first over ever bowled in the history of cricket. Those of you who have played for, or observed, the MCC 3rd XI over the years will recognise just how appalling this spectacle must have been and even your correspondent (who has produced 6-ball collections of astonishing rankness) could only watch this over in utter disbelief. In contrast, other teammates – so-called – found the experience highly entertaining and were far from supportive of their suffering colleague during his time of need. The behaviour of the “chuckle brothers”, Revell and Dixon, was particularly egregious.

Nevertheless, after this less than promising start, it was His Treasurerness himself who removed the increasingly dangerous looking Marlborough no. 3 and, shortly thereafter, their no. 4 too, both batters deciding not to hit straight balls. “Arnie” Middup was not to be left out, however, and he induced the stubborn oppo opener to mishit to cover where the Senior Professor took a remarkable catch, trapping the ball between left hand and right wrist (see Chris Grubb’s fantastic collection of photos from the game elsewhere on the website).

Wickets then began to fall with incredible regularity; another cleaned bowled by Piercy and three more to Arnie, including one that was particularly well-held by Willsy (challenging TB for the 2015 David Coleman “hands-like-flypaper” award). By now DDT was madly waving his arms at the AD(A)SVC, who correctly recognised that this was an urgent need for a rabbity snack and not a request for a comfort break. Back in the action, the team (and indeed the entire population of South Glos, West Wilts and BANES) then witnessed the largest earthquake ever experienced in Marshfield since 1542 as Dicko “dived” forward to take an unlikely caught & bowled. Not only was the unluckily dismissed batter completely unnerved by this freak of nature, the no. 11 was also so traumatised that he too was soon another DDT victim, and Marlborough were all out for 85 off 36.1 overs. Excellent bowling figures for the wicket takers: Arnie 4-24, AP 3-28 (most runs off over number one), DDT 3-10.

A slightly stunned 3rd XI took an excellent tea courtesy of Big Chris and Gregory’s obviously accomplished, cake-making daughter, amid much speculation as to whether the oppo’s total was in fact attainable. In newly conservative mode, the AD(A)SVC decided on a “safe” professorial opening pair, only to watch his senior colleague play on in the second over for an uncharacteristic duck. Big C at no. 3 then committed run out suicide and also departed without troubling… etc., and MCC were 3 for 2 with less than 12 balls bowled.

3rdsMarl180715 5468Enter Piercy at 4 and time for some sense to be brought to the proceedings. The AD(A)SVC’s approach was to score only in 2’s thereby ensuring that AP was unable to play any rash shots while catching his breath and was limited, therefore, to helping wayward balls to the boundary for 4 (i.e., no running). This strategy seemed to be working pretty well and MCC were just over halfway to their target when a substantial aftershock to the earlier earthquake unbalanced the AD(A)SVC causing him to be bowled in a most unfortunate manner.

Dicko was next in and, acknowledging his culpability to the AD(A)SVC’s demise, proceeded to bat quite sensibly while Piercy feasted on a series of the longest hops that we’d witnessed since earlier in the afternoon (see above). Not to be left out of the action, Dicko managed – for once - to avoid getting out to a juicy full toss which, instead, he rather unbelievably hit for 6. Soon after, our target was reached with only 19.2 overs required and we recorded a nice, big win by 7 wickets and 22 points!

A fine performance, without question, thanks to some decent bowling and (like last week) a really proficient effort in the field – some excellent stopping by Charles, Arnie, Gregory and Willsy, in particular, come to mind, as well as some fine backing up by Sandra, whose cricket brain should eventually be preserved in formaldehyde and displayed at Lords. MoM has to go to AP for his decent bowling spell (after the first over) and his masterly 42 not out that took us to victory. The volume of sweat that he secreted during his innings (estimated at 17.3 litres) is believed to be a club record. Next week, the local derby away to Box – we’ll need to be even better.

Click here for the full collection of Chris Grubbs superb photo's.

Richard Guy

Fixture Details

Type : League: Wiltshire League Division 6 - 2015 Date : Saturday 18th July 2015
Toss : Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to field Start Time : 13:00
Ground : Withymead Rules Type : Standard

Highlights :

Andy Pierce 3-28 & 42 Not Out. Threaders with a shockingly good catch

Result Summary

Result :    Marshfield CC - 3rd XI - Won by 7 wickets
  Marshfield CC - 3rd XIMarlborough CC - 3rd XI
Score 89 for 3 (19.2 overs) 't' 85 for 10 (36.1 overs) 'b'
Game Points 0 0
Total Points 0 0

Marlborough CC - 3rd XI


 NameHow OutBowlerRuns4s6sBalls
1 Vannie Williams ct Mike Threadgill b  Chris Middup 17 0 0 0
2 Oliver Rawlings ct Martin Roper b  Mark Dixon 1 0 0 0
3 Josh Bates   b  Andrew Pierce 35 0 0 0
4 Wes Gilbert   b  Andrew Pierce 5 0 0 0
5 Andy Rawlings ct Andy Wills b  Chris Middup 6 0 0 0
6 Dylan Murray   b  Andrew Pierce 5 0 0 0
7 G McDonald*   b  Chris Middup 5 0 0 0
8 F Owen not out   0 0 0 0
9 Bradley Whatley ct Gregory Sankaran b  Chris Middup 0 0 0 0
10 D Fuller Webster   ct & b Mark Dixon 0 0 0 0
11 D Murphy   b  Mark Dixon 0 0 0 0
  Byes (2), Leg Byes (1), Wides (8) Extras11  
    Total 85  
    Wickets all out  

* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper

Fall of Wickets


* = not out batsman


  BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsWidesNo Balls
1 Mark Dixon 7.1 4 10 3 0 0
2 Chris Revell 5 1 20 0 0 0
3 Chris Middup 12 5 24 4 0 0
4 Andrew Pierce 11 3 28 3 0 0
5 Gregory Sankaran 1 1 0 0 0 0
  Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets 3 0
  Total 36.1 14 85 10 0 0

Marshfield CC - 3rd XI


 NameHow OutBowlerRuns4s6sBalls
1 Richard Guy*   b  Andy Rawlings 18 0 0 0
2 Mike Threadgill   b  Andy Rawlings 0 0 0 0
3 Chris Revell run out (Unsure)   0 0 0 0
4 Andrew Pierce not out   42 8 0 0
5 Mark Dixon not out   19 1 1 0
6 Andy Wills did not bat          
7 Charles Harris did not bat          
8 Martin Roper did not bat          
9 Chris Middup did not bat          
10 Sandra Rouse did not bat          
11 Gregory Sankaran did not bat          
  Byes (4), Leg Byes (2), Wides (3), No Balls (1) Extras10  
    Total 89  
    Wickets 3  

* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper

Fall of Wickets

0-1 Mike Threadgill (Richard Guy-0*); 3-2 Chris Revell (Richard Guy-2*); 44-3 Richard Guy (Andrew Pierce-18*); 

* = not out batsman


  BowlerOversMaidensRunsWicketsWidesNo Balls
1 Oliver Rawlings 7 1 30 0 0 0
2 Andy Rawlings 8 0 22 2 0 0
3 Wes Gilbert 3 0 20 0 0 0
4 G McDonald 1.2 0 11 0 0 0
  Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets 6 1
  Total 19.2 1 89 3 0 0
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