On a cloudy but mostly warm afternoon, Wilcot’s brave and seasoned warriors ventured into Somerset to play old foes Beckington. Our token Aussie Doug Perrins was a late absentee following the birth of his third son but we were able to replace him at the last minute with another foreigner, the canny Scottish spinner Ninian MacGregor. On inspection, the wicket at Beckington looked hard but with a fair bit of grass showing and, had the toss gone the other way, Wilcot’s skipper would have chosen to bowl. Beckington’s skipper with a side replete with a number of younger players clearly agreed and chose to bowl.
Mark Oliver, one of the now legendary ‘Corbett four’, opened the batting with Wilcot’s vicar Mark Windsor and took the score comfortably to 60 in the 14th over when the vicar miscued one and was caught. Mark Oliver was then joined by Ash Elliott who looked slightly ponderous initially having been promoted to number 3. Mark O fell with the score on 57 rashly kicking the ball onto his stumps with the score on 99 in the 20th over. What followed is a bit of a blur and is something that your writer can only remember happening to Wilcot rather than their opponents. Incoming batsman ‘bad back’ Russ Spencer, aided by a no longer ponderous Ash started timing and hitting the ball to all parts of the ground and, in a glorious exhibition of strokeplay, took the score to 314 in the 39th over when Ash fell having made 82 and Russ had made his maiden century. Beckington might have felt that Ash’s dismissal would bring some respite but having wafted at his first couple of balls, Tim Mister was clearly seeing it like a football and scored 33 not out in a stand of 49 in the remaining few overs. Russ ended unbeaten in a magnificent innings of 122 and Wilcot reached 363 for 3 off our allotted 45 overs, certainly the biggest score in my tenure and quite possibly the biggest ever.
Tea featured an excellent variety of sandwiches and rolls filled with cheese and pickle, egg, ham and roast beef among others as well as quiche, pizza slices and mini sausages, frazzles, grapes and chocolate mini rolls. All much appreciated by not just Wilcot’s run scorers but also those who, while umpiring, had had to keep their wits about them as the ball flashed by where they were standing.
Much refreshed and with a spring in our step, Wilcot took to the field with the new ball being tossed to our Little and Large lookalikes, Billy Flippance and Ash Elliott. Billy removed the first of Beckington’s openers in his second over and the second in his 3rd over. Ash then got in on the act and with Billy also taking another wicket, Beckington were 47 for 4 in the 11th over. A cultured innings by N Millard with support from J Butler, J Finch and M MacGregor moved the score along but good bowling from Wilcot’s leading wicket taking Luke Flippance aided and abetted by our own member of Clan MacGregor meant wickets continued to fall and Beckington finally succumbed with the score on 167 in the 35th over. Although not without blemish, Wilcot’s fielding was mostly proficient.
A good performance and all credit (for once!) to Wilcot’s batsmen. Beckington also deserve great credit for the sportsmanship they displayed in the face of this onslaught and they clearly have some talented youngsters who never let their heads drop.
We welcome the mighty Marshfield to Wilcot next Saturday with our spirits bolstered by two good consecutive wins.
Wilcot 363 for 3 off 45 overs
Mark Oliver Bowled 57
Mark Windsor Caught 24
Ash Elliott Bowled 82
Russ Spencer 122 Not out
Tim Mister 33 Not out
Simon Dannreuther DNB
Billy Flippance DNB
Luke Flippance DNB
Graham Newland DNB
Ninian MacGregor DNB
Extras 7 byes, 4 leg byes, 32 wides and 2 no balls.
Beckington 2 167 All out off 34.1 overs
Billy Flippance 9-1-39-3
Ash Elliott 9-1-38-1
Luke Flippance 8.1-0-31-3
Ninian MacGregor 8-0-55-2
Extras 2 byes and 2 leg byes.