v Steeple Aston 2023

Match Date & Time

Date Time Season
May 28, 2023 2:00 pm 2023

Match Report

One of the first lessons learnt by the young cricketer is that the umpire’s decision is final and to be accepted without dissent. To quote my father, “the umpire is always right, and even when he is wrong he is right”.  I am pleased to report that Middleton Stoney’s cricketers accept those decisions in good grace, no matter their opinion of the accuracy of the adjudication. The same could not be said for one member of this weekend’s opposition. 

The week had been dry and much warmer than those that had gone before. The grounds team had mowed, rolled and marked, and the pitch looked good for batting. With the sun still shining the decision to bat first was easily taken. Jay Mumtaz, arriving in a white convertible, (only outshone by the red e type jaguar of the opposition) was skipping in delight when asked to open. Stevyn Jackson, fresh from carrying his bat in Bicester III’s Saturday victory joined him. The Steeple Aston attack was modest, their team lacking the youthful bowlers of last season. Runs accumulated steadily.

The score passed 30 when Jay was bowled, and passed 50 when Stevyn was spectacularly caught at midwicket, almost on the same spot where Stevyn had held his catch the week before. Ben Merritt and Eliot Barton, the youthful heart of the Middleton Stoney batting played well. The running between the wickets was somewhat quicker than the opening partnership. Both looked to attack off the front foot, both found timing difficult on a pitch which was slower than might have been expected.

Meanwhile a quick count up found that only 10 player had arrived for the home side.  Michael Robinson phoned home, and half an hour late a very enthusiastic George was on the ground ready to seize an unexpected opportunity. When Eliot was dismissed the score had reached 80, half the allocated time had passed and MSCC were in a good position to attack.  Jamie Lumb was positive in approach, always looking to pick off the over pitched ball. When Ben was caught and bowled the skipper joined Jamie and run rate picked up nicely.

With 20 minutes left till tea, Jamie fell and Michael Robinson marched to the wicket. Captain Tim, showed his intentions with a brace of reverse sweeps, more conventionally Michael launched into some meaty leg side blows including, in the final over before the declaration his first six for Middleton into the base of the oak tree. (did you see that son? not really dad I was checking the football score)  Unusually all the Middleton batsman used had passed 20 runs, but none had passed 40. A team effort indeed

The tea provided by George and Georgina, with cakes and scones from Richard Morris was engulfed by hungry hordes. The sandwiches were generously filled, labelled to perfection and of course led to an extended tea interval. The highlight of the feast was the presentation of a cake for David Moorman and rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. 

Rob Barton and Paul Wordsworth opened the bowling. Steeple Aston would need around 4 and a half runs an over. After a creaky first over, Paul settled into a pleasing rhythm, while Rob prompted by helpful advice from Eliot at mid off, strived to find the necessary line and length. This he did perfectly to pick up the first wicket, clean bowled with the ball hitting the top of off stump.

That was the only wicket taken in the first 14 overs. Steeple Aston were handily placed a 50 – 1.  Ben Merritt bowled first change from the Church End.  He struck immeadiately in his first over, hitting the stumps with both his third and fourth deliveries. In the space of four balls from Paul Wordsworth there were four stumping attempts by Jamie Lumb, two of which would have been sent for review if we had the technology! Jamie was having a good game with the gloves, very sharp especially on the legside.

In his third over Ben struck again with Jamie Lumb taking the catch with the help of both thighs. At drinks the game was well balanced. Ben was bowling well, looking dangerous and keeping the scoring rate down.  With a new batter at the crease the ball was thrown to George Robinson, the field spread and George breathed deeply before his first delivery. Breathing even deeper was dad Michael. The first over survived without damage Goerge bowled again to the left handed batter. The magic moment came on his third delivery, a deliciously flighted ball that gripped just a little, sneaked between bat and pad and nudged off the bail. George was thrilled, Michael was ecstatic. It was the family moment of the day, even greater than Michael’s earlier six.

Steeple Aston began to rebuild, in much the way that the Middleton Innings had been constructed, picking up singles freely with just the occassional boundary. Six and over were required and mostly being achieved. Tim Riley replaced George, coaxing an unwilling shoulder into action. After creating a chance of a caught and bowled, he found the right line and length, trapped the batter playing outside the line of the ball and was pleased to see the umpire raising his finger.  With the fall of the wicket Steeple Aston looked to close the shop and play out the remaining overs. The fielders began to gather around the bat, but the benign wicket offered little help to the bowler. A late flurry of runs from the Steeple Aston skipper was not enough to offer realistic chances of victory, but from nowhere  the visitors were left requiring six to win from the final ball. Eliot had been offered the last two overs, he was not to allow any chance of a boundary from the last ball. 

Once again the Hickman’s did valiant service with bar and barbeque. My thanks to Chris for scoring and to the umpires Messrs, Lumb and Simpson. 

Bowling O M R W
Rob Barton71261
Paul Wordsworth91500
Ben Merritt111183
George Robinson30221
Tim Riley70311
Elliot Barton20190

Steeple Aston CC

Batting   R
Steeple Aston CC Total 161
Bowling O M R W
Steeple Aston CC Total4131875


Middleton Stoney Cricket Club | Middleton Park
Bullmarsh Cl, Middleton Stoney, Bicester OX25 4JF