Long Marston 3rd 225-7 (45overs)
Matt Doran 3-44
Ellie Norton 4-57
Charlbury 2nd 226-2 (39.4 overs)
Michael Rae 102 not out
Robert Jenkins 46
Simon Smith 49
Charlbury won the toss and on a hot day they decided to field first. The annual Charlbury Beer Festival was on the main pitch and so the second team had to play their game on the nursery ground. Matt and Ellie opened the bowling for Charlbury. Both bowlers quickly settled into a good line and length and started to cause a few problems for the batsmen. The nursery pitch is much smaller than the main pitch and so any deliveries that broke thru the inner circle shot off for four. Ellie was bowling well, getting a bit of movement of the pitch and causing a few problems for the batsmen. Matt too was bowling a good spell, getting a bit of bounce and movement. The overs ticked by and Charlbury could not get a wicket. Charlbury had started the game one short and when the last man arrived they finally had a full complement and could block one hole in the field. As the overs went by the batsmen grew in confidence and started to play a few more shots. Charlbury were fielding well, making several diving stops to back their bowlers up. Matt came out of the attack and Mark entered it as Charlbury sought the breakthrough wicket. The runs continued to come and one batsman in particular was scoring heavily, Charlbury would need him out if they were to keep Marston to a gettable target. A double change in the bowling was then made as Ellie and Mark left the attack and Josh and Liam entered it. Both bowlers settled into good lines and lengths, but by now the batsmen had their eye in and so only took a couple of overs just to see what the new bowlers were like before they started to try and attack them. Liam started well, getting the ball to nip off the seam a bit and causing a problem or two at the start. Josh too bowled well, getting the ball to swing around in the sultry conditions. The hundred mark had been passed and still no wicket, Charlbury were getting desperate. The batsmen were both now starting to play a few more shots and the score was starting to mount quickly, it looked like Charlbury might have to chase a big score. 30 overs in and still no wicket down and the score was now starting to go towards the 200 mark. Another change in the bowling was then made as Ellie returned to the attack in place of Liam. In her first over back Ellie got the breakthrough when she clean bowled one batsman. Next ball the new batsman hit the ball straight to Neil and he took a catch. Then last ball of the over things got even better for Charlbury as Ellie found the edge of the bat and wicket-keeper Adam caught the new batsman out leaving Long Marston 171-3. Ellie had dropped into a great line and length and now all of the batsmen were struggling to lay a bat on her. Matt now re-entered the attack in place of Josh. His first over was a good one too when he clean bowled the new batsman. Charlbury were now right back in the game and with the overs running out Marston had to keep trying to press hard. The opening batsman was still there and Charlbury would need to get him out if they were to win the game. A couple of overs ticked by and the batsmen again seemed to be getting the upper hand, but then Charlbury got the wicket they wanted most. The opening batsman tried to hit out at Ellie, but did not catch it right and the ball flew high in the air, Liam came round and got underneath it and took a great catch. The 200 mark was now reached as the new batsman hit a couple of fours, but when Matt bowled his quicker one he found a way thru his defences and the batsman was bowled. Only a couple of overs left and the batsmen were running for everything and throwing the bat in order to try and pick up a few boundaries. Matt clean bowled another batsman to pick up his third victim of the day as Long Marston finished on 225-7.
Charlbury were going to have to bat well if they were to reach their target. Michael and Robert opened the batting for Charlbury and got them off to a brisk start. One of the bowlers settled into a good line and length and made run scoring hard, but the other did not settle at all. Robert took a liking to one bowler and flayed him for several boundaries and with a few wides thrown in as well the score started to race along. Robert was playing the more attacking role, throwing the bat and finding a few boundaries. Michael was playing a more defensive role, keeping out the good deliveries, but also making sure he got himself in. Robert crashed one delivery for six and so this prompted an early change in the bowling. The new bowler settled quicker than the previous, but Robert still thrashed an early delivery over the boundary for six. The fifty mark had been reached and in quick time, Marston were already looking desperate for a wicket to try and take back some control of the game. Then disaster struck as Robert tried to hit out at one delivery from the new bowler, miss-hit it and was caught for a quick fire 46. Simon now strode to the crease. Both batsmen now contented themselves with pushing a few singles and the odd two around as Charlbury were well ahead of the required rate. Michael was slowly getting into form and managed to stroke a couple of deliveries to the boundary for four. Simon started confidently, hitting one early delivery to the boundary to get himself going and also pushing runs on both sides of the wicket. Both the Marston bowlers had by now settled into good lines and lengths and Charlbury were finding it slightly harder to score runs. Then a double change in the bowling was made as Marston sought to get the breakthrough wicket. Charlbury took this as a time to start accelerating the innings and Michael in particular hit a few boundaries to ensure the score started to move quickly. The hundred mark had been reached and only one wicket down and plenty of overs left. Both batsmen were running hard, pushing the ball around on both sides of the wicket and looking for the quick single. Simon hit of back to back fours to ensure the score started to race along. Michael then pushed a quick single to reach a well deserved fifty. The 150 mark had now been reached and still with fifteen overs to go and so Marston again changed their bowling around as they desperately searched to break this blossoming partnership. Two new bowlers entered the attack, but neither batsman gave them any time to settle attacking right from the off. Simon was looking in top form now as he stroked the ball around and looked destined to reach his fifty. Then disaster struck. Another change in the bowling was made and in the new bowler’s first over he had Simon caught for a great 49. Josh now came to the wicket with the score 191-2 and still many overs left. Michael now took control smashing the ball to all parts and running hard for every run. Josh just looked to give Michael the strike as he pushed a few singles around. One bowler came out of the attack and the expensive opening bowler returned to it. Six needed for victory and Michael launched him back over his head and out of the ground to not only bring up victory, but also his own century on debut for the seconds.
A great win for the seconds built on great bowling displays from Matt and Ellie and then Robert and Simon batted around Michael who completed a fine century – well played lads and lasses.
Charlbury 2nd 25 points