First things first, apologies to any of our rivals who came here to read a detailed match report of any of their victories over us in the last 3 weeks. When it comes to Wantage CC reports, losses don’t count…

At Britwell, a small ground, Ian won the toss and elected to bat. In the absence of Colin, Vendor got a chance up the order, and he and NiB looked assured for the first few overs. Dave flicked a couple of nice shots off his pads, and had a slice of fortune when caught at mid-wicket off a no ball. Ultimately though it was Nick who went first – bowled off bat and pad, although having been dropped by the ‘keeper the previous over he “couldn’t complain too much”, in his own words. Barry was next in, in search of some form. He had an on day, hitting plenty of boundaries and looking back to some of his best form. Dave departed after trying to hit a full ball slightly too much towards leg and getting bowled, but Barry and Mikey put together a superb third wicket partnership, pushing singles (one or two perhaps a little too cheeky) and generally ensuring the scoring rate remained high.

Barry hit one majestic six over cover, and brought up his 50 with another six, off 44 balls. Duncan was playing himself into good scoring form on the sidelines, ably supported by Dave, and everyone was having a whale of a time, watching the runs pile on for Wantage, and listening to the runs pile on for England at the test match. Chaz had a moment of disappointment with his frisbee, conspiring to throw it on the roof of the pavilion, but luckily Ryan was on hand with his fold up ladder and Chaz was able to retrieve it.

On the pitch, Barry hit a majestic hit over the top which went straight to the Britwell skipper. Unfortunately for him, he dropped it over the boundary, and to compound his misery, had to come and have his finger seen to. It didn’t look broken, but it was certainly very bruised and Barry had escaped with his wicket intact and moved to 70. Alas it all ended next ball as he was bowled after a good innings and Ian joined Mikey with the score on 150. Mikey, who had been looking in excellent touch (including playing three reverse sweeps – which fortunately did not lead to the loss of his wicket!) continued to push singles, and Ian, perhaps trying to emulate him too hard, pushed for a cheeky 2 and managed to run him out for 46 – nice work, skipper.

Despite that disappointment, Dave Summerset and Ian stuck at the task in hand nicely, putting on 50 in 6 overs, including some bludgeoned sixes over the top, and one into a nearby garden from Dave. When he was bowled, Ryan, Stewie and Will ably supported Ian and they lifted Wantage to a total of 245-7, with IC bringing up his 50 in the final over off 30 balls.

Teas were splendid, with an array of well considered sandwiches, a fruit platter and some home made cake, and we went out to bowl with suitably full stomachs.

Chaz was fired up and ready to blow after a good spell against Cairns the previous week, and he bowled nice tight lines, with Ryan at the other end bowling up the hill and getting some variable bounce. There were no wickets, but Barry replaced Ryan after a 5 over spell and snared one – caught behind by Stewie in his first appearance as keeper this season. Chaz got a deserved wicket the following over in the same way, forcing an edge behind to leave him on 1-10 off 9 overs. In such good form he earned the right to continue, and finished up with 1-23 off 12 overs, figures which might have been improved even further were it not for some chronic backing up from Duncan and Will. Add a no ball to the mix which was called for Barry sitting on the boundary fence and therefore being off the pitch and Chaz could reasonably argue that his 12 overs might have gone for 17.

At the other end Barry captured another wicket after some argy bargy with the Britwell number 4, and finished a 9 over spell with 2-20. From there the baton was passed to Mikey and then Will. Mikey bowled tight lines for 4-5 off 4 overs, including bowling three men and forcing a catch to NiB at square leg. In an effort to rest his apparently injured shoulder, skipper brought him off, compounding Mikey’s day by denying him a 5-for to go with the denial of a maiden Wantage CC 50. Double jug avoidance for somebody!

Dave got an excellent run out after a stop at square leg off Barry saved 4 and confused the non-striker, who was devastatingly run out without facing a ball – something I’m told by Spence is a “ruby duck”.

Replacing Barry, Will bowled nicely without being able to force the final wicket, partly due to some professional leaving from the Britwell number 10, and it was the return of Ryan, who snared an LBW in the 40th over, who saw us over the line. The Britwell skipper gave batting a miss after bruising his fingers earlier in the day, but Duncan could console him, joining the injured list himself, not to mention the ever-increasing list of TFC winners after pulling his quad muscle before the Britwell innings had even begun.

Ultimately though, it was a polished showing with some good individual performances. Good news also came when the Britwell umpires revealed that Cairns Fudge had had a horrible day, losing by 8 wickets to Fringford on a pudding pitch. Promotion will be difficult after three bad results, but all we can do is keep trying.

Pig’s Ear had a lot of nominees, though Ian got a deserved win for running out Mikey. Also nominated were Chaz for throwing his frisbee on the roof, Will for letting the ball through his legs when trying to back up, Duncan for his own misfield when backing up, and Mikey for dropping a catch at gully.

Champagne Moment was an exciting Paper Scissors Rock Affair, Barry ousting Dave Spencer in a tense sudden death round. He won for his wicket after some verbals with the batsman. Dave was nominated for his excellent run out, Chaz for an outrageous dive, Baz for his 6 over cover and Dave Summersbee for a palpable hit into the nearby garden for 6.

TFC went to Duncan. There were, quite reasonably, no other nominations!

Motm was Mikey for his 4-5 and 46 runs. Barry got an honorouable mention, and IC for his 50.

Quote of the day was awarded to the umpire – who suggested that Barry “didn’t shout so much at him next time!”