GRAFTON END LEAGUE CAMPAIGN WITH WIN

BLOCKLEY 188 ALL OUT
TGCC 190 FOR 5

Blockley and Grafton were both pretty certain about their relative fates come 1.30pm last Saturday. Blockley facing their second consecutive relegation off the back of a few seasons of turmoil, and Grafton still scratching their heads to try and work out how they were still in with a vague possibility of promotion after a season where they had flattered to deceive in the main. Given the circumstances, hindsight determines that what unfolded made perfect sense; however as the TGCC players assembled at about 2pm looking at a score board displaying 90-2 off 8 overs there were a few flummoxed faces about.

Following the delayed cancellation, bout of finger pointing, creation of pdf documentation and general sense of ill feeling from Grafton’s drive over to Sparmoor earlier in the season, there was every reason to feel that our Division 3 campaign might end with a general feeling of negativity. Given what had been a huge improvement on the previous few seasons in the CHL, it would have been a real shame. Thankfully however, the mustachioed Eddie Stansfield had evidently seethed himself into such a fit of anger that he elected not to travel. Instead we had a cracking afternoon with a demob happy bunch who fancied a bit of a smack about and some beer. Excellent news.

Blockley were one shy at the toss. Indeed I’m not even sure if Holty made it to the middle before claiming the toss declaring he wanted to bowl and promptly marking out his run up. Badger had been swotting up on the rules and declared that a 25 point victory coupled with a freak meteor shower in the Earlswood area putting paid to the Woodbourne/Tanworth promotion battle, so bowling them out for 200 then knocking them off for no loss. Simple really. Division 2 here we come.

But…we return to the scorecard after 8 overs. 90 for 2, it’s safe to say that Blockley went for it. Jamie Vick showed his intent off Holty’s second delivery by trying to dispatch it over extra cover into the nets. The rest of the over passed by serenely before he was back on strike to Milky for the second over.

4 – wide outside off stump, carved through point

4 – on off stump, carved through Howard at point

4 – over off stump, edged through gulley

4 – over off stump, dropped at first slip

4 – on off stump, smashed straight through Badger at extra cover

dot ball, great come back. Never before had Milky been so speechless, that is until Winna chipped up with some helpful advice from square leg and got an earful back as the bearded wonder sloped off to sulk at fine leg. Vick’s assault continued with neither opener particularly willing to bowl at him, Milky had Eddols caught  then saw Dan Knight brilliantly snapped up by Matt Harvey two balls later to add a modicum of respectability to his figures. Holty withdrew himself and hauled Milky off to be replaced by Adam Waters and Howard. Vick was now joined by skipper Simon Dyer who had larraped 93 at Ebrington the previous week . Dyer decided he fancied some of the action and carried on swinging. Having reached his 50 off about 15 balls, Vick mistimed one off Howard and was snaffled at mid on by Mark Johnston.

Grafton’s catching to date had been exceptional, aside from Winna who put two regulation chances down and was now being bullied by Milky in an attempt at revenge for his earlier misdemeanour. Holty got in on the action grabbing one to give Adam his first league wicket and the fielding roadshow continued with Benny Joyce grabbing a fantastic diving effort at gully to dismiss Dyer. 130 for 5 now and certainly into the Blockley tail. Ben came on and bowled three consecutive wicket maidens to swing the pendulum in favour of an early visit to the pub. Badger’s demands that we allow them to score at least 194 were being ignored. However Simon Vick; he of 80’s metal mullet hair fame had decided it was his turn to have a go. He marshalled the strike with the tail well and smashed anything short through the legside. He eventually perished caught in front of the changing room patio for a well paced 64. Blockley all out for 188 in just 32 overs. Milky claimed 4 wickets at some cost and only Benny 3-9 and Adam 2-33 emerged with any pride in their figures.

Tea was a beauty from Helen Joyce with some Benny assistance. Given the time no-one was in any particular rush so it was devoured. Cake, cake and more cake. Awesome.

The Grafton innings in response was a perfect example of how to pace a run chase, something we have lacked in recent times. Solid opening partnership between Russeller and Neil. Matt Harvey diligent, watchful and aggressive where necessary. The usual panic set in as Johnston and Winna fell cheaply leaving TGCC at about 90-4 but Matt found an ally in Ben Joyce. Their first meeting may not have been overly civil at Woodbourne, but together they added 69 for the fifth wicket to effectively see Grafton home. Ben was bowled for 32 but the Badger was resolute and ended on 75 not out following a Dan Gould cameo to cap an excellent first league campaign with the bat at the GCG.

Grafton don’t do patient, competent run chases these days. How refreshing to have another string to the bow. We’ve only conceded 200+ once all season, and if we can chase 200 down with minimal fuss it bodes well for next season. Tommy’s first season as skipper must be classed as a huge success considering we should really have been relegated last season. Let’s take it forward to 2013.

SCORECARD
Temple Grafton claimed the toss and elected to field

Blockley Innings
Batsman          How Out          Bowler        Runs 

J.Vick           ct. Johnston     Benjamin H    68
Eddolls          ct. Waters       James         3
Knight           ct. Harvey       James         0
Dyer*            ct. Joyce        Waters        20
Watson           ct. Holt         Waters        17
S.Vick           ct. Powell       James         64
Hardwick         b.               Joyce         4
C.Oakey+         ct. Waters       Joyce         1
R.Vick           b.               Joyce         0
J.Edwards        b.               James         0
W.Edwards        not out                        0

Extras (6w,1nb,3b)                              10
Total (all out off 31.3 overs)                  188

Bowling:
Bowler        Overs  Maidens  Runs   Wickets

A.Holt        4      1        28     0
R.James       8.3    0        69     4
A.Waters      8      1        33     2
H.Benjamin    7      2        45     1
B.Joyce       4      3        9      3

TGCC Innings
Batsman          How Out         Bowler        Runs Balls Mins 

M.Russell+       b.              Dyer          24   33    36
N.Powell         ct. S.Vick      R.Vick        11   22    24
M.Harvey         not out                       75   96    113
M.Johnston       b.              R.Vick        4    9     8
A.Hopkins        lbw             Dyer          5    16    15
B.Joyce          b.              J.Vick        32   48    55
D.Gould          not out                       9    17    21

Extras (9w,2nb,12b,7lb)                        30
Total (for 5 wickets in 40.4 overs)            190

A.Holt*, H.Benjamin, R.James & A.Waters DNB

Bowling:
Bowler         Overs  Maidens  Runs   Wickets

S.Dyer         10     0        25     2
R.Vick         10     0        41     2
S.Vick         6      0        31     0
D.Knight       7      0        30     0
J.Vick         4.4    1        11     1
T.Eddolls      2      0        14     0
J.Hardwick     1      0        19     0

Temple Grafton won by 5 wickets

Posted in Match Reports

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