2017 limps to a close…
The 3rd XI welcomed Chippenham 4th’s to Tormarton for the final league game of the 2017 season. Victory would mean a respectable 4th place finish, while defeat would almost certainly consign us to 6th, behind both Chippenham and Box. The Skipper won the toss, decided to field and led out a pretty decent looking XI, with the possible exception of one C. Buckets, who bilious complexion warned of unpleasant things to come.
The Chippenham openers were confronted by an energised ‘Morne’ Shipp and Mr. No-Longer-Down-the-Hill-at-the-Withy. Neither batsman knew quite what to do with Warren who achieved some remarkable lateral movement in both directions and some decent legs on the ball when the mood took him. Mr. NLDTHATW, on the other hand, plonked the ball on line and length inducing somnolence in both batters and fielders. Eventually, however, Morne got his just desserts and a snick was snaffled by the Captain.
At the end of that over, an interesting exchange was overheard between the remaining opener and new no. 3:
No. 3: “So, what are they doing?”
Opener: “Well, the young bloke is a handful, so watch out.”
No. 3: “And the old guy, is he spinning it?”
Opener: “It’s definitely coming through very slowly, but he hasn’t spun it once.”
This information had not escaped our glorious leader, of course, and he soon decided that some Irish magic from the pavilion end might move the game more in our favour. Daniel proved as hard to hit as Warren and, after a number of tight overs, removed the usually aggressive no. 3 for just 7 to a well-judged catch by Mini-Chops. By now, Warren had been given a well-earned blow and a bronzed Ellsy took over and delivered a miserly 9 overs for only 19 runs. Taking wickets, though, was proving difficult and the score had passed 130 before a returning Morne finally bowled the no. 2. Mid-innings drinks had been and gone and the opposition clearly realised that some acceleration was needed.
 Although not cricket-related, I do need to record that C. Buckets was absent from drinks and the Captain’s pep talk. According to at least two very credible eye-witnesses, instead of drinking his squash like a good lad, Callum was in fact experiencing an emetic moment in the car park similar to that reported in the press this week about the Duchess of Cambridge. However, even though I’m not a medical doctor, I can assure you that Callum’s symptoms were not associated with his third pregnancy, but involved an altogether different pathology.
With Morne and Ellsy bowled out, the Skip decided to save some of Daniel’s overs and brought on Dicko and Mini-Chops. This had the desired effect (for Chippenham) of increasing the run rate and, eventually, for us, when Mr. Miserly bought us a wicket after conceding more runs in 4 balls than he usually gives up in 9 overs. Will again took a finely judged catch a yard in from the long-on boundary. With Dicko finished (1-45 off his allotted overs being enough to break the tie with absent Chris Ruddell for bowler of the year), Will switched ends so that Daniel could bowl out. Initial signs were not good as the left-handed Chipp no. 6 effortlessly punched a long 6 down the ground and into the road – not the shot of your typical 4th team middle-order batter…
Daniel, though, is made of stern stuff and kept firing the ball in, finally bowling the aforementioned miscreant and taking two other wickets for good measure (9-2-22-4), both caught again by Mini-Chops (4 on the day). Will himself picked up the wicket of the Chippenham skipper, stumped by ours, and the innings closed on 176-8. This was a good effort in the field against a side that had some proper batsmen – we’ve definitely bowled worse and got teams out for lower scores. Tea duty was shared between Warren, Will and Callum and was anticipated with some trepidation, it must be said. However, our negativity was improperly placed as the spread produced was plentiful and edible! A member of the opposition was even heard to remark that it was “the best tea of the season”, so well done chaps and supporting family members.
The Marshfield reply was led by Ellsy and your correspondent and faced far-better-than-average pairs of opening and first-change bowlers. Having made it to 40, though, things did not look too bad until Ellsy had a smear and missed, bringing Olly Hendy (who had fielded like a man possessed) in at no. 3. Olly had tortured Chipp in the match at their place with some exquisite edging of the ball between WK and gully and he was soon up to the same tricks. Instead of perhaps following suit, the VC managed to get out caught to an opposition fielder who had apparently dropped a few over the season (cue uproar when the ball stuck – “no, Richard, it wasn’t because they got you out”). Daniel and Olly rebuilt for a while but then 72-2 disintegrated to 78-6 with Olly and Terry Bish going to soft dismissals, Daniel trapped on the crease to one that kept low, and Commander Roper castled by a faster-than-he-thought yorker for a blob.
Mini and the Captain brought some sense for a while and saw the total past 100 before Will succumbed. Dicko came and went in a blur having successfully redirected a ball missing leg stump by a foot and a half back onto middle by the creative use of his back leg. Warren made 1 before joining the procession back to the showers and the less said about Buckets’ appearance at no. 11, the better. Although less green than he’d been all afternoon, his hand-eye coordination had not been restored at all (mind you, that’s not so easy to tell, to be fair). Wooman left stranded on 13, MCC all out 114 and defeat by 62 runs.
A less than satisfactory conclusion to the season, therefore, and not the first time that the old “if only this or that had happened” was heard in conversations in the bar. The 3rd’s have definitely had worse years and it’s clear that without our firm foundation the 1st and 2nd XIs would never have achieved their impressive successes of 2017! Seriously, though, well done men! Difficult to identify a MoM for the game: there was excellent bowling from Morne, Ellsy and Daniel, sustained catching by Will, and faultless fielding from Olly (and Bish, of course). Too hard to call.
Champagne moment occurred in the bar post-game when a revived Buckets made a grand entry wearing a very fetching and form-fitting grey frock set off by an understated string of pearls (what style, no?). Upon catching sight of this vision of loveliness, Ellsy was stirred to exclaim poetically, “whoar, I’m going to fancy you in a couple of hours!”. Your correspondent regrets that he didn’t stick around to see if the promise was kept. Bring on 2018, you know we’ll be back.
|Type :||League: WCCL Division 8 - 2017||Date :||Saturday 2nd September 2017|
|Toss:||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to field||Start Time:||13:00|
|Ground:||Tormarton CC||Rules Type:||Standard|
Result: Chippenham CC, Wilts - 4th XI - Won by 62 runs
|Marshfield CC - 3rd XI||Chippenham CC, Wilts - 4th XI|
|Score||114 all out (44.1 overs) 't'||176 for 8 (45.0 overs) 'b'|
Chippenham CC, Wilts - 4th XI Batting
|1||Adrian Hollingdrake||ct Tim Woodman||b Warren Shipp||12||1||0||32|
|2||Guy Thomas||b Warren Shipp||45||6||1||100|
|3||Greg Smith†||ct Will Christie||b Daniel Paul||7||0||0||34|
|4||Ollie Rew||ct Will Christie||b Mark Dixon||46||6||1||51|
|5||Jon Clark||ct Will Christie||b Daniel Paul||11||0||0||28|
|6||Matt Chapple||b Daniel Paul||24||2||1||20|
|7||Matthew Jenkins||ct Will Christie||b Daniel Paul||2||0||0||3|
|8||Peter Lakeland*||st Tim Woodman||b Will Christie||1||0||0||3|
|9||Bradley Milton||not out||2||0||0||3|
|10||Darren Armstrong||not out||1||0||0||1|
|11||Andy Couzens||did not bat|
|Extras b (4), lb (2), w (10), nb (4), pr (5)||25|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
21-1 Adrian Hollingdrake (Guy Thomas-0*); 53-2 Greg Smith (Guy Thomas-21*); 133-3 Guy Thomas (Ollie Rew-46*); 133-4 Ollie Rew (Jon Clark-0*); 163-5 Matt Chapple (Jon Clark-5*); 171-6 Matthew Jenkins (Jon Clark-11*); 172-7 Jon Clark (Peter Lakeland-0*); 175-8 Peter Lakeland (Bradley Milton-2*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||11||0|
Marshfield CC - 3rd XI Batting
|1||Richard Guy||ct Guy Thomas||b Matt Chapple||33||1||1||75|
|2||Andy Elliott||b Ollie Rew||11||1||1||27|
|3||Oliver Hendy||ct & b Darren Armstrong||10||0||0||44|
|4||Daniel Paul||lbw||b Bradley Milton||10||0||0||35|
|5||Terry Bishop||ct Matt Chapple||b Darren Armstrong||3||0||0||10|
|6||Will Christie||ct Bradley Milton||b Darren Armstrong||12||1||0||32|
|7||Martin Roper||b Bradley Milton||0||0||0||4|
|8||Tim Woodman*†||not out||13||2||0||24|
|9||Mark Dixon||b Peter Lakeland||4||1||0||5|
|10||Warren Shipp||ct Jon Clark||b Matthew Jenkins||1||0||0||8|
|11||Callum Duckett||b Andy Couzens||0||0||0||6|
|Extras b (7), lb (1), w (6), nb (3)||17|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
41-1 Andy Elliott (Richard Guy-24*); 55-2 Richard Guy (Oliver Hendy-5*); 72-3 Daniel Paul (Oliver Hendy-9*); 74-4 Oliver Hendy (Terry Bishop-1*); 77-5 Terry Bishop (Will Christie-1*); 78-6 Martin Roper (Will Christie-1*); 101-7 Will Christie (Tim Woodman-8*); 111-8 Mark Dixon (Tim Woodman-12*); 114-9 Warren Shipp (Tim Woodman-13*); 114-10 Callum Duckett (Tim Woodman-13*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||8||0|