Horspath Win Opener
By James Wheeler
The 2019 League season got underway on Saturday but not without the challenge from the wet weather affecting matches up and down the country. Our ground on matchday was looking a picture and all down to the hard word of our groundsman David Doyle.
Our visitors Horspath won the toss and decided to bat first. Shelvin Gumbs gave three League debuts to players who joined the club over the winter, allrounder Steve Clark, opening bowler Tom Weymes and young spinner Sanjoy Bassi.
Horspath started very steadily scoring 25 for the opening partnership, which only brokeb by a brilliant left hand diving catch at slips by Charlie Macdonell to give Simon Stanway his first League wicket of the summer. Stanway was extremely economical with figures of 2 for 19 off his 10 overs. Our bowlers contained Horspath very well chipping away at the wickets at regular intervals until the 7th wicket partnership which composed 67, the best of the match by far. The innings was interrupted twice with rain and cut short by three overs.
With seven overs left of the Horspath innings, wicket keeper Steve Dutch suffered a horrific Achilles tendon injury which not only ruled him out of the game, but also the whole 2019 season. Everybody at the club wishes him the best in the recovery.
Andy Harris was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4 for 41 from his 9.4 overs. Clark picked up two and one each for Weymes and Gumbs with Horspath ending on 191 after 47 overs.
Based on Duckworth-Lewis, our target was reset to 194. We saw a steady start from Macdonell and Clark until the 10th over when Clark was LBW for 10 in an opening stand of 32. AJ Woodland and Macdonell put on a further 37 before Macdonell was bowled for 28.
Woodland occupied the crease well but with little support from the other end until young Solly Woodall joined him after the quick loss of Michael Payne and captain Gumbs. The pair put on 52 before Woodland eventually fell for 61 leaving Bassi to join Woodall.
The finishing line was now looking out of range but some early season time at the crease was achieved by all as we ended on 160 – 9 in the 44th over.
Next weeks’ game will be away to current holders Henley. This match will be an ideal opportunity to truly establish where we are at as a team, although we will be one batter light and Gumbs standing in as keeper. The team however, is well up for the challenge.