Cricket: Wilcot succumb to Corsham's third team - was the dog to blame?
Wilcot welcomed a youthful side from Corsham to the old school field on a sometimes windy but mostly warm and sunny afternoon. The wicket that had been masterfully prepared by Peter Williams looked to be full of runs so, on winning the toss, Wilcot's skipper felt the obvious decision was to bat first and take advantage of the benign conditions and allow Wilcot's talented strokemakers to show their true form.
As ever, things did not start well with Mike Stobbs lobbing a long hop that probably should have landed in the field, gently to the fielder at square leg: 0 for 1.
Shane Bryant and Russell took the score to 25 until Russ caught a full toss on the bottom of his bat and lobbed it to cover. Shane in the meantime was finding his timing and played two or three glorious straight drives before being well caught at slip off a wide-ish delivery, having made 26.
Mark Oliver, undeterred by the presence of a girl fielder, walked confidently to the wicket and played a couple of elegant shots before playing on, 57 for 4. Jamie Guerin who also looked in good nick was the next to fall having made 18, dragging a full toss from outside off stump onto leg stump, having made 18.
The skipper, having used his thigh to stop a well-timed Guerin drive, fell next, missing a straight long hop, 85 for 6. The returning Charlie Corbett had clearly mastered the technique of not offering a stroke to Corsham's youthful off spinner, but found it did not work so well with a straight one and was bowled.
Luke and Billy Flippance were both bowled playing shots that, even kindly, could be best described as agricultural. Whilst all around him were losing their heads, a bemused Ash Elliott hit some lusty blows and had made 32 before succumbing to the general malaise and playing across the line to a straight one - leaving Ninian MacGregor, who had found the middle of the bat with every ball he faced, unbeaten on 0.
The recurring theme of the innings was Wilcot players' ability to invent ways to get out and 122 all out off 41.2 overs looked a woefully low total on a beautiful batting strip against an attack that really should have yielded many more runs. The call at the early stage of our innings to remove an errant dog's offering on the square was certainly the precursor of events to follow.
Another excellent tea was enjoyed outside by players and spectators alike. The break allowed Wilcot's skipper to consult the wisdom of his senior players in the hope of coming up with a cunning plan to defend our paltry total against the mostly youthful opposition.
Charlie Corbett's suggestion of telling them that the existence of Father Christmas is a myth was considered dastardly, but not one we could rule out.
To our dismay, two of the senior Corsham players marched to the wicket and Billy Flippance, who was due to open the bowling one end, was nowhere to be seen having prematurely retired to the pub to drown his sorrows having made his second consecutive duck.
The Corsham openers soon showed what an excellent batting strip it indeed was and dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground with timing and force that belittled our earlier effort even more. In desperation, Wilcot's skipper regularly rotated the bowling and finally turned to our canny Scottish spinner but when he induced a couple of chances, Wilcot's by now weary fielders spilled them.
Jamie Guerin took a consolation wicket when the score was 113 but mercifully Corsham passed our total after 20.4 overs.
We travel to Royal Wootton Bassett next week in the hope that we can be inspired by our illustrious surroundings to recover some sort of batting form. Past encounters with this opposition have included some fiery moments so lets hope the inner flame that is currently latent can come to the fore.
Wilcot 122 All out off 41.2 overs
S Bryant Caught 26
M Stobbs Caught 0
R Spencer Caught 13
M Oliver Bowled 11
J Guerin Bowled 18
MFG Bowled 5
A Elliott Bowled 32
C Corbett Bowled 2
L Flippance Bowled 7
B Flippance Bowled 0
N MacGregor not out 0
Extras 3 byes, 2 leg byes, 1 wide and 2 no balls.
Corsham 3 124 for 1 off 20.4 overs
A Elliott 4-0-30-0
S Bryant 4-1-13-0
L Flippance 3-0-25-0
B Flippance 2-0-17-0
N MacGregor 4-0-18-0
J Guerin 3.4-0-21-1