Here we are again, against the old foe Crowmarsh. Luckily (soon to become unluckily) this is not the highly competitive, life changing, win at all costs Derek Shorter Memorial match. It is only the highly competitive, life changing, win at all costs friendly between us and them. I want to make sure Crowmarsh feel satisfied by this match report, after some website abuse which was received from one of their players, who will remain nameless, because looking at the scorebook he didn’t dare show his face at the ground (or of course gave fake details). Moving on, as per usual good old skipper Steve took the reins of the team. Oh no wait, that’s right, he was too hungover to captain today due to a rather successful beer tasting evening the night before. Therefore the armband was handed to Duncs, and myself. Duncs took the toss, and lost it (a real Wantage captain), and we were set to bat first. Andy “Dundee Ferret” Gray and Alan “Raffles” Mercer were sent to face the opening attack. Both making a solid start, fending off banana balls from one end and attempted bouncers from the other. It’s well known that the opening batsman’s job is to see off the opening bowlers, therefore Raffles succeeded in doing this by getting bowled, for 19, by the last ball of the opening bowlers spell. Dundee was next to go, caught for 12. This brought Barry “Circus” Martin and Dave “Muppet” Henson to the crease. Barry instantly stepped into his normal role of confusing the bowlers, Crowmarsh Captain Rich was surprised to see Circus walking down the wicket to take his customary new guard whilst the bowler is still 3 or 4 paces from delivery. Muppet was dismissed for 3 after playing around a straight one, Duncan “LongDog” Wooloff didn’t last much longer before being caught for 7. Both wickets falling to Chris Strange. Me (Pod) next, after fending off a number of beamers I got myself out, won’t give my excuses I’m sure I complained to everyone about it on Sunday. Whilst all this was going on, Circus was spanking the ball to every part of the ground. When Crowmarsh brought on a young spinner Circus decided to push on a bit. Hitting 4, 6, 6, 6, 1, leaving Andy Steer to hit a 6 from the last ball of the over. Circus was finally dismissed by a “good” catch by Strange, there was a feeling of a misjudgement but you can’t question a one handed catch when the ball is flying over your head. Circus finished on 71 with great support from Andy with 29. Wantage finished with 166 from their 35 overs. Teas, thanks to Muppet’s mum who did teas. Well volunteered Dave. The only way to describe the cakes is by quoting Peachy: “Hey Steve, Libby has competition here”. Need I say more? No ham though, or Ice lollies (which I really hope we get next week). Time to field, LongDog and Alex “Panels” Peach opened the bowling. Mainly because we made Panels bat 11 and because LongDog had to leave at 6 to go for dinner with the misses. He bowled 6 overs, with figures of 6-1-13-0 before having to leave and handing the captaincy to me (Pod). With no early wickets the two openers were starting to settle down, taking advantage of Circus’s batting tiredness hitting him for 4-0-33-0 from his spell. Moobs bowled well, but again no wickets. Time for some spin me thinks, Muppet and Raffles took up the task. Last bowl of Muppet’s first over got the wicket of captain Rich trying to sweep, top edge and a dolly catch for me (Pod) behind the stumps. Big high, which only got higher when Raffles got a wicket, LBW, with his very first ball. Both openers gone and Crowmarsh still requiring 80 from 13 overs. Muppet took the third wicket with his first ball of his second over, hat-trick ball, no luck! Raffles finished with figures of 6-0-17-1, Muppet with 7-2-23-3. With two overs to go, Crowmarsh required 25, pressure on, Moobs had asked to bowl the final over from the top end and didn’t he do well. Quick, straight, only conceded one run, by far the best over he bowled. Meaning 24 from the last over, which Panels started, only for the scorers to change their mind and decide he had already bowled his 7 overs. Raffles took over to bowl the final over and only went for a couple. Meaning that Wantage won by 20 runs! Not surprisingly, LongDog got pigs ear for leaving early, champagne moment went to Raffles, not for his bowling but for catching Chris Strange. Man of the match had to be Barry for his runs! Great result guys, well played all around. Good solid batting performance, good bowling and brilliant backing in the field. Lets make sure we keep this up for the real game, the Derek Shorter later in the season! Pod