At what appears to be two fairly evenly matched teams it took a big effort from the weather to eventually help decide a game that for long periods could have gone either way. Shipton skipper Nobsy won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a very decent deck, the toss was completed and the opening batsmen were padding up at around the same time Elliott Bryant managed to arrive with his usual swagger, and went about telling and showing everyone who would listen about his on going ankle injury of epic proportions. Shipton's impressive young gun Dee Jarvis was elected to open the batting alongside Luke Champion (fractionally less young and less of a gun) and the two looked very comfortable navigating the early overs with some well placed boundaries and some decent running between the wickets. Champs and Dee put on an opening stand of 47 before Dee was cleaned up through the gate by one of the best nackers of the day, a ball worthy of breaking the partnership. A typically attacking Ian Harris came out and after padding away as many balls as possible from the big Charlbury quicky in his first over set about using his bat from then on to great effect and looked in fine fettle. Champion, adamant never to make a score outside of the 30’s picked his time to ensure his wonderful recored of only ever scoring 30 something by spooning a full toss to mid off. Beanz (Harris) and Mr Cricket aka Paul Hemming then set about navigating the middle overs in the style we accustomed to from the pair with Paul Hemming narrowly avoiding the 50 he deserved falling for 44 shortly after Ian Harris had gone for 32. So far every batsmen looking confident and a score of 250 looked possible. Sadly Elliot Bryant fell LBW for 1, sadly not the inning he had hoped for but the plus side was it meant more time to find people to show his injured ankle to, every cloud. A swashbuckling 36 from Adeel Rehman and some decent pinch hitting from the tail saw us sneak up to 209 from 47.3 overs. Brad Bryant, looking every inch a centurian in full kit and designer quiff sadly left not out at the non strikers end contemplating what could have been.
An okay tea, considered a banquet in light of the offering from the previous week, was a time of positive reflection with most thinking 209 was a decent score to bowl at. The opening over of Charlbury’s innings would have been more in place in the IPL than the Cherwell League with 18 runs, 2 no balls/free hits and a six coming from it. Adeel then found his composure and worked well with poster boy Brad Bryant to contain the 2 opening batsmen for the following few overs before the rain came in slowly… Adeel finding his straps and dismissing the opening bat clean bowled. Bryant bowled with impressive control (0 for 19 off 8 overs) and soon paired up with Chris Panter to put some considerable pressure on Charlbury’s streaky opener who impressively weathered the storm and ended up carrying his bat for a not out 60-something. The rain came harder but was never enough to remove the teams from the pitch. With each drop the ball became harder and harder to work with and all life was sapped from the track slowly but surely and left Charlbury with the task of methodically chipping away at our 209. The task was impressively managed by the hosts who arguably had the best of the conditions, but still, the runs had to be got. Not withstanding a worldie catch from Pants from the bowling of Paul Hemming, and some fantastic fielding from Freddie Norridge in the deep, and fellow "youngster" Luke Champion in the ring, all helped the cause, but in the end was not enough.
Charlbury in the end deserving winners but will get a proper game from us in the return fixture where we intend to get one back on them. All in all they were a lovely bunch and the Cotswold Lager on draft in the tidy new club house did well to soften the blow.
Updated 15:14 - 15 May 2018 by Justin Hemming