This was a rematch against a Shipton side we tied 212 with, after being 24-4 earlier in the season. Due to Cokethorpe being unavailable  we had initially booked the Ducklington pitch but this fell through midweek. Thankfully with Paddy Daniels help we located a few grounds that may be available and the first we called, Eynsham were more than happy to host our home match.

We had a strong team with some 2nd team regulars, Graeme Coates and Will Hook. Marcus Charman was in the team and ironically was returning to his previous club’s ground for his first match Downs 3’s.  Marcus pointed out that the wicket did play very well and it wasn’t unusual for scores in excess of 250 at Eynsham.

Downs lost the toss, Shipton put us in the field which was our preference anyway! We started very well with Sam Collins and Freddie Selby-Lowndes bowling the first 11 overs and restricting Shipton to 30-2. Over the next few overs the batsmen settled in on a good wicket with a very fast outfield and started to put more runs on the board. Though there were a number of difficult chances they seemed to get all the luck. We worked through the rest of the bowling with some success but not quite able to bowl Shipton out. Shiptons innings finishing on 218-9

Our reply started well with Tom Ling and Nick Angus, Tom was bowled on 16 playing and missing a peach of a ball that clipped the top of off. This brought Graeme Coates to the crease. Due to Graeme’s new bat not being knocked in, not surprising as it was only purchased that morning, he had to use a borrowed bat. After a scratchy start Graeme started to put some runs on the board, briefly assisted by Will Hook and Marcus 17 off 13 balls. Once Marcus was caught Freddie Selby-Lowndes went in at number 6. Freddie batted with real confidence and skill forming a fantastic partnership of 95 with Graeme, finally being given LBW on 21.

Graeme was on 91 at this point, we need 39 runs to win. William Selby-Lowndes at number 7 batted superbly and was quickly knocking the ball for 4’s square and straight down the ground. Graeme was on 97 runs though he was not clear on how many he had scored, as he kept looking over to the scoreboard later he said he just wanted to know his score. Graeme eventually regained the strike from William and hit the next ball for 4 to pass 100 and eventually finish on 107 not out, with William on 22 not out – another red inker.

Man of the Match – Graeme Coates with his first league 100.

Other notable performances; Alex Bellenie 11-1-46-3, Sam Collins 8-1-27-4

Thanks go out to Eynsham Cricket Club, especially Ian Miller (Chairman) for being great hosts and Frank for running the bar all day.

PS. By the way Graeme you can keep the bat for as long as you need/want it, I couldn’t score any runs with it anyway! Mark.