Looks like this will be the first match report of the season, based on Barry forgetting the rule that MOTM has to write the match report.

Two changes to the team this week, Duncan dropping out for what we assume to be work reasons and Bully dropping out for what we assume to be trouser issues, unconfirmed reports that he had to look at wedding venues.

We turned up at Witney Swifts full of excitement, just to see the dark clouds gather and the brand new covers quickly see their first action. Half an hour of heavy rain later we were out in the middle for an ‘inspection’. The verdict, where the covers had been the strip was lovely and dry, the rest of the square not so much, and a patch on a length where the cover had dropped all the water, not so much. The umpires decided we’d give it 30 minutes and begin play.

The game had already been reduced to 25 overs a side from the offset as per the new rules in the OCA. Everyone agreed this was a good decision by the umpires. This made it appear to be a very important toss to win. True to form, skip decided to lose the toss, and we were put in to have a bat in difficult conditions, with our number 3 still at Sainsbury’s buying ice lollies.

Opening was Colin at 1 and Miranda Chapman at 2. After a couple of overs to have a look some slightly more aggressive shots quickly followed, and some more aggressive running too. Some of which was too aggressive for the wet slippery conditions and Miranda inevitably stacked it. The gale force wind from one end and a very short boundary on one side of the pitch meant that there was a sensible area to target. With the score on 80-0 Colin brought up his 50 with a 6 over long on in the 12th over, shortly before both the openers were dismissed. Miranda fell to a bouncer from the first change bowler, how planned the bouncers was we’ll never know, but the way he was sliding all over the place in his delivery stride suggested he wasn’t getting the control he wanted. It took an excellent catch from short fine leg running around though. Not the case for Colin, an outside edge to gully from the first change bowler at the other end.

This bought the inform Barry Circus to the crease, to be joined by Princess Spencer. I’m told that Circus hit 26 off an over, but I’ve no idea as I was taking the pads off. A number of crashing blows straight, a couple of quality cover drives and some nice work off the pads took the score into the region of 180-2 when Barry was caught at long on shortly after he brought up his 50. With Shoulders Konschel at the crease we needed 10 or so from the last over to get the final batting point and to set Witney a chase of over 200. Two ‘huge’ sixes from Princess to the short boundary saw us there with ease, finishing with a total of 207-4, Princess being dismissed on the final ball, strategically making Limmy Tane be padded up, but not get to bat. Probably lucky as he’s due a no-ball duck.

After tea we braved the conditions and went out to bowl, knowing that we had to get through the overs as quickly as possible to beat the 5pm forecast rain. Opening the bowling was T1Harvey and Mikey. Both bowled well, Mike taking the first wicket in his second over with a ball that came back a mile off the pitch and crashed into middle stump, sending the non-existent bails flying. Good catch at gully from Will gave Mike his second wicket. Will was wicketless and replaced by Chief who deserved some wickets from his good balls, but instead got a wicket with a full toss, a solid catch by Spence. Circus replaced Mike and ended up quite expensive, bowling into the wind with the short boundary on leg side, the batsmen had a pretty consistent wagonwheel. His one wicket came from a stumping.

Witney finished on 139-4 from their 25 overs, a much improved performance in the field from Wantage made sure that Witney were never quite up with the rate and always going to finish short.

27 points full scorecard on OCA website here.

MOTM was Colin for 52, a stumping and no byes.

Some pretty strict fines from last week’s TFC Limmy Tane will have helped build a decent end of year fund. Fines included the top 5 for not letting him bat, Will/Chief/Steve for ‘talking about computer stuff’ for too long and Mike got a double fine for complaining about an LBW decision that wasn’t given.

Champagne moment was the second of the sixes that Spence his over the trees in the final over.

Pigs ear was Barry for a rather odd incident in the field. A skier heading to mid on, where Princess was standing underneath it, running around behind him Barry called for it, and dropped it, without getting more than a faintest of touches to it.

TFC was Skipper Challand, for losing the toss, not batting or bowling, and for hiding in the field, citing an infected finger as his excuse. Admittedly it did look pretty disgusting, luckily Nordic took a picture of it so if you want to see it ask Steve.