A bright and breezy afternoon at the Windmill saw skipper Rammy back from holiday as the first team continue to look for their elusive first victory of the campaign.
From the outset the signs were pretty ominous, losing the toss we were invited to bat first (not sure if we could have declined the invitation but we’re an awfully polite bunch) on a damp wicket with some obviously damper patches. The first wicket went down before we had troubled the scorer bringing Webby in to join Ollie Redford at the crease. The two batted circumspectly sa conditions dictated, taking us past last weeks total (a measly thirty for those who don’t read regularly) including Webby clubbing a maximum over cow on his way to 27.
Runs remained difficult to accumulate as the innings progressed, some good bowling and fielding and some variable bounce keeping us in check. Chris Blackburn contributed 31 as a highlight, but wickets fell at regular intervals to check our progress before Stu Leece strolled to the wicket in the final over of the innings to hoist the ball into the tennis court. We finished having achieved one of our goals of batting 45 overs, falling slightly short of the other to make a minimum of 150. Progress….
After some good sustenance we began our defence brightly, Adrian Bletchley pouncing like a tiger at backward square to snaffle a sharp chance, then Stu trapping another victim leg before pegging back the visitors before some controlled batting from Radcliffe took Uffington to 80-2. We continued to bowl well and as in the first innings scoring was not easy, especially as the fielding was good with Georgia Adams’ safe hands especially busy on the bumpy football pitch at the Hempton Road End.
Ivo Macfarlane, our Red Army Comrade almost capped a good spell with sharp return catch off his own bowling but at 6’4 he could quite get down and get his fingers under the ball. With time running out the skipper threw the ball to the club’s premier cricket bat salesman and chief barmaid & waitress worrier, Oliver Redford. Despite being, in the words of his favourite band 1D, up all night, Ollie blasted out 4 quick wickets to give us some hope. Bowling in tandem with the skipper Rammy, Uffington were sweating a little with 36 needed from 10 overs with just 4 wickets left.
The turning point in the game came when huge Deddington appeals for a catch at the wicket were turned down, despite the entire Windmill including the visiting team hearing a snick, the umpire’s finger remained firmly in his pocket. 7 wickets down at that stage and the game was in the balance, but alas, it was not to be. A couple of well struck blows then brought the total within reach and in the end the target was reached comfortably with 20 balls to spare.
So, in the end another defeat, but the margins tighter than the result suggests, but not as tight as Shadder’s trousers that were washed at 90 degrees the week before…..