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Town Mayor's team well beaten by Marlborough Cricket Club eleven in match to help cricket loving refugees

Mayor Noel Barrett-Morton with 4MI team members: l to r Reza Greaves, Craig Dudgeon, Michael Phillips & Alex Hadcock [Click on photos to enlarge them]Mayor Noel Barrett-Morton with 4MI team members: l to r Reza Greaves, Craig Dudgeon, Michael Phillips & Alex Hadcock [Click on photos to enlarge them]The rain held off, the evening sun shone, the Marlborough Cricket Club ground was looking its very best and...

But this is not a detailed report of play during the Wednesday evening (August 3) fixture between a Marlborough Cricket Club eleven and the Town Mayor's team - which from time to time seemed to exceed eleven players.

It can be reported that in this match of 15 eight-ball overs a-side, the Mayor's team reached the creditable score of 80 - only to be overhauled after eight overs and the loss of just two wickets by the Marlborough Cricket Club team.  A very comfortable win for the home team!

It was said that the Marlborough Cricket Club's team had just two members who had found a berth in their first eleven.   The Club obviously has, as I think sports writers say, talent in depth.  What can be said for sure is that the match was played in the best of cricketing spirits.

The fixture had a clear charitable aim: to raise money to help refugees settled in Berlin - mainly from the cricketing nation of Afghanistan - to get the cricket equipment and facilities they need.  A cause that had come to the attention of St Mary's Curate the Rev Dr Janneke Blokland.

The match raised £615. That is enough to buy a bag of kit for a team of the budding Afghan cricketers of Berlin - and with a bit of money to spare.

Captains Ed Puddick & Alex Hadcock and a coinCaptains Ed Puddick & Alex Hadcock and a coin Andrew Studdert-Kennedy turns the ball safely away Andrew Studdert-Kennedy turns the ball safely away Did the man from the Outside Chance get an outside edge?Did the man from the Outside Chance get an outside edge? The Mayor's team score The Mayor's team score

Town Mayor Noel Barrett-Morton's team should not, your reporter was told, be described as a scratch team.  

It included four members of 4MI Battalion from Bulford - the Battalion with close links to Marlborough. They were Alex Hadcock (who took over the captaincy from Councillor Justin Cook who was not sure of enough of the rules), Reza Greaves, Michael Phillips, and Craig Dudgeon.

The Rev Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy (who should have been at the Test Match, and impressed the crowd with his batting), Jim Patterson (Councillor Fogg's son-in-law), Jason Hull and Scott Light (Councillor Alec Light's grandsons), Jamie Lloyd (whose parents live in Minal and got drafted while visiting the Outside Chance - where Scot is the manager), Sean Watts (who took a brilliant catch) and Mark Oliver and his son Oscar - father impressed at the crease and his son's bowling and fielding were most impressive.

A Cook delivery...A Cook delivery... Oscar Oliver fieldingOscar Oliver fielding Suddenly the Club team had wonSuddenly the Club team had won Captain Ed Puddick, the trophy and the Town Mayor Captain Ed Puddick, the trophy and the Town Mayor

The umpires were Henry Pearson (Andrew Studdert-Kennedy's predecessor at St Mary's who agreed to umpire so long as he could carry on listening to the Test Match through his earpieces!) He was joined by a variety of ad hoc substitutes and then by Derek Fuller-Webster.

Neville Cardus this is not:  but some cheeky running and some good strokes (especially from the Rector, Michael Phillips and Mark Oliver) had the lights on the scoreboard showing a steady increase in the Mayor's team's score.  (I doubt Mr Cardus would ever have committed to paper two apostrophes in succession.)  

When the Mayor's team took to the field they seemed, after a quick conference between rival captains Alex Hadcock and Ed Puddick, to have been allowed twelve fielders.  Some quick changes in the field - in a sort of running conveyor belt of substitutions - managed to keep the number of fielders in the plus-or-minus twelve range.

Justin Cook took to the field - and bowled an over.  But despite an over from Oscar Oliver (which I think produced a six from the Club team) and some very diligent fielding, the Marlborough Cricket Team made it comfortably to the total set by the Mayor's team.

The teams were applauded off the field by a good crowd and the Club's quick total left plenty of time for the beer and for raising money through a raffle and a spot-the-cricket-ball competition.

The latter was said to be an easy challenge for anyone with a fair knowledge of cricket.  Your reporter thought the batsman - one of the Club's top scorers - might have edged the ball back over his head...surely not a very good call.


The assembled players - Marlborough Cricket Club to the left and the large contingent of the Mayor's team to the rightThe assembled players - Marlborough Cricket Club to the left and the large contingent of the Mayor's team to the right

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Winning ways: Who called down the freak storm to give Wilcot the advantage over Ramsbury?

The weather was warm but somewhat steamy as a freak storm on Friday night had swept across the ground obliterating the boundary line the skipper had carefully prepared earlier and in a couple of places encroaching on to the wicket under the covers.

With the boundary line restored and the wicket re-rolled, it still looked as though Peter Williams had prepared another excellent strip likely to produce plenty of runs, but it remained to be seen if the drying pitch would cause problems, a view shared by Ramsbury's captain who chose to bowl when he won the toss.

Wilson Saraj and Ed Mardon were chosen to open the batting. Wilson seemed in good form and had made 13 of the 16 runs scored before meeting his nemesis - an LBW decision once again adjudged by Luke Flippance - although on this occasion no one threatened the umpire.  

Steve Sadler arrived at the wicket and played some lovely shots that unfortunately mostly went directly to fielders as did the catch he offered to cover, 37 for 2 and a moment for a slight tremor of unease.

Ed Mardon however was finding his form and the Stowell sheep would be pleased that they were not in the adjacent field as it would have been the ovine equivalent of the blitz as Ed hit no less than seven sixes.  

Joined by Mark Oliver who played an elegant but less spectacular innings, the pair took the score to 172 before Ed was caught having made his maiden century.  Mark was next to go on 52.  Their stand of 135 and useful late cameos from Russ Spencer and Ash Elliott meant that Wilcot reached a respectable total of 216 for 6 off the 45 overs.

It was a joy to play in a game where the opposition were not verbose in the field and the fact that Ramsbury's shirts were adorned by the name of their sponsor, that well known hostelry The Bell Inn, showed that they were good sorts and likely to appreciate another of Linda Keepence's excellent teas.  

Linda surpassed herself with a copious supply of egg, prawn and cheese sandwiches, the captains favourite malt cake and those little sausages and scotch eggs that particularly attach the attention the prowling Godley dogs when tea is taken outside.

Ash Elliott and Wilcot's vicar were chosen to open the bowling and Ash struck in his first over with Jamie Guerin taking a high spiralling catch.  Mark Windsor then struck twice in quick succession and when Ash (10.3-1-38-4) took his second wicket, Ramsbury were suddenly 21 for 4, a score normally associated with Wilcot's finest.  

Messrs Williamson and Gilligan steadied Ramsbury's ship before the introduction of Luke Flippance allowed the skipper to finally make a contribution with a catch that took the score to 85 for 5.

Ramsbury did not give up easily and given Wilcot's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, there were still odd uncomfortable moments to follow, but the removal of the dangerous Williamson, bowled by a fiery J Guerin and luckily better catching than ground fielding, meant that Ramsbury were bowled out for 176 off 42.3 overs.

This writer is pleased to be able to report Wilcot's return to winning ways and hopes that we can maintain our good start to the second half of the season when we travel to Biddestone next weekend.


Wilcot  216 for 6 off 45 overs

W Saraj LBW 13
E Mardon Caught 102
S Sadler Caught 1
M Oliver Caught 52
J Guerin Caught 4
R Spencer Caught 16
A Elliott Not out 8
MFG Not out 0
T Mister DNB
M Windsor DNB
L Flippance DNB

Extras 9 byes, 1 leg bye and 10 wides

Ramsbury 176 All out off 42.3 overs

A  Elliott 10.3-1-38-4
M Windsor 12-2-38-2
J Guerin 11-1-43-1
L Flippance 9-0-43-3

Extras 8 byes, 1 leg bye, 15 wides.

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