Frustrated by the abandonment of the previous week’s game against league leaders Marshfield, Wilcot’s stalwarts including our venerable Chairman, who had chosen to umpire, gathered at the Old School Ground confident that the journey to Bradford-on-Avon was doomed to failure as the rain sweeping in from the West would surely make completion of the match unlikely. The late arrival of Ollie Lanyon made the journey to Bradford in the skipper’s car more hairy than it might have been otherwise but, as the weather got brighter, a surge of optimism prevailed. The wicket was green but surprisingly hard and, on winning the toss yet again, Wilcot’s skipper chose to bowl.
Bradford’s openers made a (very) steady start against Wilcot’s opening duo of Billy Flippance and Ash Elliott and a wicket might have fallen as early as the second ball of the match when the ball sped to Ed Mardon’s right hand. Much playing and missing ensued and finally with the score on 29 in the 13th over, Billy removed one opener LBW followed by the second in the 18th over with the score on 37. Ash meanwhile toiled for little reward and was at his magnanimous best (worst?) when Luke Flippance, replacing him, took the next three wickets and, with Ollie Lanyon introduced at the other end also bowling well and taking another, the score became 56 for 6 in the 26th over. A flamboyant innings by D Newmarch with good support from P Wilson restored the balance and took the score to 117 before the introduction of Wilcot’s revered modern day Rob Roy bamboozled three home batsmen into committing hari kari and a fired up Ash was allowed to down the final man with the score on 128 in the 41st over.
Tea was taken with Wilcot’s players making nervous glances to the West as the storm clouds gathered. Undeterred, they availed themselves with relish of the selection of cheese and pickle, cheese and ham and egg sandwiches, 2 different quiches as well as crisps, sausage rolls, melon and strawberries and a couple of very moreish cakes.
Much refreshed, openers Wilson Saraj and Ed Mardon set about the task in hand and took the score to 29 in the 9th over before Wilson was dropped at square leg but lacked enough momentum to beat the direct hit at the following end when called for a run by his partner. Ed meanwhile was clouting the ball about to some purpose including a big six that may have disturbed Bradford’s rail travellers. The incoming Doug Perrins, clearly exhausted by both being Australian and playing his 6th match of the week offered little resistance and when Ed also fell with the score on 45, Wilcot were once again poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Wilcot’s vicar Mark Windsor ‘relegated’ to no 4 was made of sterner stuff and, aided by the athletic quinquagenarian Tim Mister, took the score to 72 in the 19th over before the onset of his 60th birthday took its toll and Tim missed a straight one. Ash joined the vicar briefly before the rain arrived with the score at 78 at the end of the 21st over and the players came off after genial discussion between the opposing captains.
Bradford’s captain Jon Moss and his players deserve credit for their willingness to try and complete the game but, with the weather deteriorating by the minute, the two captains took the decision to abandon the game and retire to the pub. Only when Jon and his team mates arrived at the pub did it become clear that Wilcot had done enough to win the match under the league ‘weather interference’ rules as we had scored more than enough runs than those needed.
If my reader is still awake, I would like to add that this game was played in a great spirit and both teams were keen to enjoy a game of cricket in conditions (particularly when Wilcot were batting and Bradford fielding) that were at best inclement.
There is no league fixture next Saturday but I am keen to hear from anyone who might like to be involved in a friendly inter-club match at Wilcot. This could be a great opportunities for fathers to line up alongside their sons.
Our next league fixture is on the Glorious Twelfth and is the much awaited reverse fixture to the earlier controversial Potterne match and I have a long list of players keen to take part. Applications are now being considered for the role of cheerleaders on the day as many of our regulars will be attending the Lanyon wedding. I have made enquiries as to whether a piper could attend to pipe Potterne’s players on to the pitch but please be aware that this match may not be one for the squeamish.
Bradford-on-Avon 128 All out off 41 overs
Billy Flippance 9-5-14-2
Ash Elliott 7-3-15-1
L Flippance 9-1-47-3
Ollie Lanyon 9-5-26-1
Doug Perrins 5-0-17-0
Ninian MacGregor 3-1-7-3
Extras 2 byes, 5 wides and 1 no ball.
Wilcot 78 for 4 off 21 overs
Wilson Saraj Run out 5
Ed Mardon Caught 32
Doug Perrins Bowled 0
Mark Windsor Not out 21
Tim Mister Bowled 10
Ash Elliott Not out 0
Billy Flippance DNB
Luke Flippance DNB
Ollie Lanyon DNB
Ninian MacGregor DNB
Extras 5 wides and 5 byes