It's the end of the Cricketing season and Spirits are in the sky. After much anticipation throughout the week and many maths equations being made to understand how we could win the league, the final game of the season was at last upon the mighty ONES. As usual, a strong side was assembled for this last hurrah at St Sebs against a tricky Woodcote team. After winning the toss, W.Avrili decided to have a bat and look to get a score on the board to defend with our formidable bowling attack.
For the final time this season the opening pair of Whitehurst and A.Cluett marched out to the middle. An interesting LBW decision early on for Whitehurst was to be sign of things to come unfortunately for the Crows and wickets fell at regular intervals with both A.Cluett and N.Outram, who have be fantastic this season falling early. The Woodcote bowling attack was formidable and the tidy lines were hard to get away, but M.Vogel and W.Avrili did their best to score where they could putting on a small but valuable 30. Eventually, M.Vogel fell after looking to cut the ball away it could only find the edge and the keep gobbled up the chance. Next to fall was the skipper, after being rattled early in the chest by and express delivery leapt up of a length, he gallantly carried on but eventually fell to the pie chucker and cheaply chipped the ball to cover. D.Cartledge and J.O’Loughlin were dismissed in almost identically both looking to boost our small total but were unable to connect. A gallant effort from the boozy love rat ‘The Tesco Express’ K.Golding and M.Brundish boosted out total to above 100 and we looked like if we batted all our overs 150 was a realistic score. Alas a good catch in the deep saw the end of a promising innings Brundish and some interesting batting from C.Emes so him stumped, this left us with S.Chandran, who was triggered first ball for a duck. The Crows final score of the season was a below par 135, but with some heavy rain during the interval anything was possible.
After a short rain delay during lunch and the first use of the super soaker this year, the Crows stepped onto the field for the last time this season. With a small total to defend it was going to be a tough ask but this team knew that a win could see them win the league. The Woodcote openers started brightly, and we found it difficult to break them down, but a good piece of the bowling from The Judge saw the end of one of them. But this was to be our only breakthrough until drinks. At drink the Skipper had a few words with the team, he spoke of bravery, honour and pride which he hoped would galvanise the team, one piece of magic could turn the tide for us. After drinks W.Avrili decided to bring on the 2 spinners of Vogel and A.Cluett and at last we got the breakthrough. Vogel was bowling superbly; he threw down a googly that bamboozled the batsmen who looked to chip it over midwicket. However, out of nowhere the skipper leapt like a salmon and launched himself into the air, one handed, almost behind him, everyone was saying if it’s not past him yet, it will be soon. The ball landed in his hand, he grasped the ball and fell to the ground got up and said, ‘what were you worried about”. This would be the start of a mini collapse for Woodcote, A.Cluett, who felt left out, took 2 wickets in 2 balls really put us back in the game. Another sharp bit of fielding from from M.Brundish standing up at the stumps saw us continue to make inroads, the ball leapt off the pitch but the bog frame of Brundish got up well and the gloves found the ball with ease. However, the big hitting number 9 came in and took the game away from us, a total of 135 was just never enough another 20 and the game would have been interesting, but it wasn’t meant to be. As news filtered in from Shinfield that the game had been ‘abandoned’ due to water getting on the pitch we knew that we didn’t have a chance. After the game the skipper spoke to the press, when asked about the performance and how the season had gone he modestly replied “Yeah we’ve had a great season and the boys have been a pleasure to play alongside them all year and I hope we can go for the league next year, personally I think I’ve been brilliant, does anyone know if I can award myself the captains prize?”
A great effort from all the boys but it just wasn’t meant to be this year, some top work as usual from A.Cluett again with 3 wickets but the MoM performance goes to M.Vogel, a solid display with the bat and some tidy bowling getting the key breakthrough wicket as well has earned him the last MoM of the year. Finally, thank you to all the ONES players who have stepped up this year, it really has been so much fun to be a part of it and I’ve really enjoyed captaining the team. Enjoy the winter break and we will come back next year and have an eye on the league.