Turville Park – 247-8
Middleton Stoney – 129 all out
We do love playing Away......
On the back of a rousing success at Didcot in our first road trip of the season back in July, our second and final away game of 2016 saw us travel to Turville Park for a 1’o clock start so some early departures all round. This was not great news for Danny Clark who upon pick up at a previously agreed 11.30am was still showing some signs of “celebration fatigue” following a Saturday night / Sunday morning toasting Bicester and North Oxford 1St XI’s promotion.
Still, fortified by the brunch of champions (a Kentucky Fried Chicken box-meal) at Oxford Services, some signs of life were beginning to stir in the back seat as we navigated our way through / past enchanted forests, ramblers, cyclists and some of the narrowest country lanes know to man/car to arrive at our destination, the cornfield surrounded splendour of our hosts home pitch.
In hindsight not getting lost on the way to the ground was one of the few things not lost on the day. Perhaps it was the effect of the bright pink ball (FACT - easier to spot in the cornfield when breaching the boundary fence which proved to be true and was tested on any number of occasions), but we lost the toss, lost our ability to bowl tightly (247 runs conceded in 41 overs), to catch (at least 5 chances, ranging in difficulty were grassed) and then post a most enjoyable tea (great sausage rolls), lost the ability to keep our wickets intact (129 all out from 31 overs) and consequently the match. Thereafter followed, Tim losing his boots (now recovered) and Olly losing his cricket trousers and birthday present jumper (at the point of writing both still unrecovered). All in all we did not do the skipper proud and our post match debrief was very reflective of this fact.
There were some high points as there always are. Danny recovered from bowling two long hops with his first two balls to take a 5-for which included 2 separate hat-trick opportunities. Both from a financial and health perspective he declined the purchase of a jug so one in the bank for end of season dinner. The skipper, the author and Olly contributed a wicket each in support. The skipper also took a contender for catch of the season taking a sharp slip chance with his wrong hand a foot from the turf. Stuart Midson (who to continue the loss theme was playing with 2 less wisdom teeth than he had the previous Thursday) was suitably athletic and energetic in the field with Tim House (2 stumpings) very tidy behind the wickets. Joe Moorman also took a fine catch at mid-on having popped down from his comfortable perch atop the boundary fence to send their skipper back to the shed.
From a batting perspective Nick Moorman (21 including a couple of imperious 6’s) and Dan Simpson (top scoring with a powerful hitting 32) both made starts and the skipper (4 no) and Olly (10) made a determined if ultimately unsuccessful last man stand in an effort at batting out a large number of overs for the draw.
For the opposition their skipper James Hunt made a super knock of 103, albeit shouldn’t have got anywhere near that total, the author dropping him in the mid 60’s (I’ll say is was a difficult chance as I’m the author and I can but in reality it should have stuck), their opening bowler Nick Henry took 4 for and there was some great fielding by two junior substitute fielders brought into the game when their wicketkeeper unfortunately dislocated his shoulder at the end of the first over of our reply and had to be taken to hospital by first slip.
Post match inquest involved discussions around Bests (few) and Worsts (far too many to catalogue) of the day.....
Ball of the Day – Nick Moorman (voted for by Nick Moorman who will be a stone lighter the next time he dons the whites apparently) with a pacy one that found the edge but not Tim’s gloves
Catch of the Day – Gold - the skipper, Silver -Joe Moorman Bronze - the skipper
Dropped catch of the Day – the author (sorry again)
Best Shot of the day – Nick Moorman (voted for by Nick Moorman) with a towering 6 into the adjacent tennis courts.
Worst shot of the Day – Joe Moorman (voted for by Nick Moorman).
A disappointing day for Middleton however the match was played in a fine spirit and well done and thank you to the opposition for their win and hospitality respectively. We look forward to catching up again next year. So ends our fixtures on the road and back to the safety / security of home for next week’s fixture with the Law Society. Here’s to a more favourable outcome.