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.