MSCC won by 52 runs

Match Date & Time

Date Time Season
July 10, 2022 2:00 pm 2022

Match Report

High Summer in Middleton Park, a story in eight parts.

Part 1: The Back Story

Sunday July 3

“Banbury may be struggling for a team. They have a cup match next Sunday” say Simmo.

“I think we may be too, we only have five confirmed players” “ Maybe a Sunday without a game would be best, I’ll let the fixtures secretary know” I said.

Mr and Mrs Simpson are doing teas this week, they’ll need some notice if the game is cancelled.

Tuesday July 5

Banbury would love to play, they have raised XI….. lets see what we can do, maybe some of Wednesday’s team will help out.

Wednesday July 6

Four more players are conjured from the ether, and from nowhere Simmo’s sons agree to play.

The wicket mower stops working, “I’ll call Robby”, It might be a bit grassy on Sunday.

Friday  July 8

The mower is mended, thanks Robby, Messrs Riley, van de Kerkoff and Wordsworth have drowned the square in as much water as the hose will allow, the wicket is cut and rolled the outfield, parched by the mid summer sun, has had the buttercups and daisies decapitated. All is ready to go.

Saturday July 9  8.30 am

“Its Simmo here, I am afraid we have all tested positive for Covid”   That’s two players and the tea makers out of action,

“Yes I know I said I would play,” says another “but now I cannot.”

Part 2: The club rallies round

Cue the miracle of modern communication, a quick plea on the group chat and within an hour offers of cakes and sandwiches pour in. Richard Morris offers his service and we are ready to play.

Part 3: The match begins

It always helps to win the toss on sunny days. It was the warmest, stillest day of the season so far. Banbury had an interesting mix of a team, a couple of senior seniors, fresh from umpiring the U 11 and U 13 teams in the morning, a former first class player,  a brace of thirty somethings and handful of junior players. Middleton had a brace of Richards, Simpson and Morris, making their season’s debut, as was Chris Price.  Jonty Devine was to make his debut to add to the usual cast list.

Howard Lancaster and Matt Carpenter, the Deadly Deddington Duo, opened the batting. There was swing in the air, Matt was careful but picked up a single from the fifth ball of the first over. Howard was left to face the final ball, fortunately the outswinger was much too good for Howard to lay a bat on.

A proper opening partnership, a proper spell from the openers. Runs accumulated, oohs and aahs when the bat was beaten, polite applause for the occasional boundary. Nearly an hour played, a half century on board and the first bowling change is made. A short wide ball on the legside is edged behind to the keeper; Matt nods his head, and walks off saving the umpire the need to signal. Richard Morris was at three. He continued the watchful approach but latched onto anything too short, playing a vicious thwack through mid on to get off the mark.

Part 4 Enter Jonty

Howard was ready to accelerate. The change bowlers were on, albeit that one of the change bowlers had bowled in a test match or two. Attempting a lofted drive Howard found the one player tall enough to take a catch above his head and departed. Jonty Devine, younger, stronger and fitter than the departing Howard joined Richard at the crease. Soon the runs began to flow, the boundary seemed closer and thoughts of an early declaration were rising. Having doubled the total, Richard was defeated by a young leg spinner to be bowled for a spirited 25. Chris Price batted for the declaration, attacked his first ball and was caught at mid off…. At least he got out to a first class bowler.  Meanwhile Jonty hit the afterburners, and with Richard Simpson padded up as next man in carnage was in the air. Jonty survived two dropped catches, one of which nearly carried the fielder over the boundary with the ball such was the ferocity of the striking. Tim Riley nudged and nurdled in support. With one last thump for four the skipper declared, fifteen minutes before scheduled tea break.

Part 5 Tea

Andrew and Rona seem to be there at the most important times. Tea had been set out, the urn boiled and the cakes cut. It might not have been the feeding of the five thousand but the make do and mend tea, featuring Howards homemade pickle… (from 2002….oops I mean 2020) and Seril’s salmon went down so well that the interval was extended by ten minutes.

Part 6  Banbury look in control

Asif and Robin Cummings took the new ball. Asif was as deceptive as ever, swinging the ball in late and causing problems, Robin settled into a steady line and length. Richard Simpson was lurking at leg gulley and twice saw the ball pass him at a catchable height but too far his left or too far to the right. Just as Middleton had begun in steady fashion against steady bowling Banbury looked to do the same. A platform for victory had been established. The half century was up and the opening bowlers were flagging in the heat. Seril took over from  Robin at the Church end.  Batter Miller took advantage of a couple loose deliveries, a little sloppy fielding  and a fast outfield and Banbury were racing.

Part 7 The spinners bowl

Richard Simpson had not had a chance to bat, and therefore the Pavilion roof remains intact. He did get the chance to bowl. Slightly quicker of run up than his father and bowling his leg spin he was soon finding a good length, if not his usual amount of turn. 16 overs had been bowled when the captain brought himself on to bowl.

The first wicket fell in the 18th over, opener Finlay kindly played a false shot to a low full toss  to be caught and bowled.. The number three kindly played a false shot to a long hop and was also caught and bowled, this time to rather better catch, wide to the left and snaffled mid air one handed. The batter was in disbelief.

Meanwhile Miller the other opening bat was looking in great form. He looked to play aggressively and swept and drove with aplomb. The third wicket fell to another short ball from the skipper, caught by Chris Price at square leg, who did well to watch the ball coming directly out of the sun.

Middleton were into the softer underbelly of the Banbury middle order as the final 20 overs started. Miller continued to attack while younger batters came and went stumped Carpenter as they failed to deal with the skipper’s flighted filth. A partnership between Miller and Taylor, looked Banbury’s last winning option. Miller found himself finally beaten by the slow left armer, and was still falling forward as Carpenter whipped off the bails for his third stumping. Taylor continued to look for the win, but he too fell victim to the Riley Carpenter combo giving the skipper his seventh and final wicket of the afternoon.

Part 8  The coup de grace

Seril Shah and Jonty Devine took over from the tiring spinners, just as Richard picked up his first wicket  and Matt Carpenters fifth dismissal with a sixth ball caught behind from Richard’s best over of the day.

The pace of Devine was enough to cause the last two of Banbury’s senior players to look vulnerable. The fielders clustered around the batters looking for the nicks and edges Jonty took them out of the equation hitting first the off stump for the ninth wicket and then the leg stump for the final dismissal with just two overs and two balls of the overs remaining.

As ever, as the players departed the field Andrew and Rona had tidied from tea and opened the bar and set the barbeque in motion. There was a generous sprinkling of spectators from both sides enjoying the evening sunshine who for the first time in a month or so had arrived with the game still progressing. Many thanks to Chris for his scoring services and to the club stalwarts who rallied around when the game has seemed so unlikely earlier in the week.

Tim Riley



Banbury CC



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