Far from the MCC

~ Est. in 1998 ~

 

 

“MAD Fail to Trespass on the Railway
In Glorious Victory”

 

 

Match:  04 / 096

Won by 62 runs

 

 

Team

 

Total

FFTMCCC

193 - 4

M. Clarke  61,  N. Hebbes  51*

 

Watchet CC

131

S. Dobner  3 - 15,  I. Howarth  3 - 21

 

 

 

 

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”: Sleepers awake, a voice is calling! Vacate your rooms by 12 noon. Shit! Captain M. Westmoreland took charge of a depleted but still capable squad for the trip to Watchet, having successfully negotiated a safe passage for all back from the delights of Minehead only hours earlier. Pre-match preparation was limited to a four o’clock Pot Noodle, a chip shop lunch and a stroll round the harbour, where it was noted Calypso had moored his boat, and where a giant red crane played real-life arcade games carefully plucking boats from the water onto the quayside.

 

 

zz2

 

The seaside pitch of Watchet flanked by its elegant trees.

 

 

The cliff-top ground beyond this scene was large, and had several challenges for a big hitter: get the ball to hit the steam train (which runs at the base of the cliff) or into the sea at one end, and into the back gardens of houses at the other. Getting the ball to the pavilion seemed to everyone to be a big hit too far. As the teams and a small (mainly female) crowd looked on with telescopes and binoculars from the grandstand, stand-in skipper Westmoreland negotiated the toss in the middle, and again the Mad went out to bat first, statistically their better chance of success if you believe that sort of stuff.

 

An opening stand by S. Dobner and M. Clarke (who eventually made 61) was cut short of the much sought-after club record by an appeal for caught behind, which unluckily coincided with a definite “click” as the Watchet signalman pulled a lever and a signal clunked into place allowing the train to pass. Umpire I. Howarth, with no hesitation or hint of revenge whatsoever, raised the finger and Dobner departed for 35.

 

Doc became duck for a record-equalling fifth consecutive innings, despite a positive and long walk to and from the crease, and it was left to N. Hebbes to partner Clarke to a maiden half century and to take The MAD towards one hundred.

 

Drinks break. 95-2. The train took the opportunity of chuffing past in complete safety, on towards Stogumber, fifteen minutes down the line.

 

 

zz3

 

Sport, sport, sport – any other interests, mate?

 

 

After seeing off the quicker bowlers, the opportunity to hit out arrived. Clarke found the back gardens with an off drive, but despite a lot of innovation, the train, and the sea, remained unthreatened. However, a suitably flighted delivery from the sea end eventually tempted Hebbes, who misjudging his stroke, hit himself on the back of the head with an over-Calypsoed follow through; the train passed by unscathed. That aside, and despite once again dropping anchor and failing to sail to the other crease leaving M. Clarke all at sea, Hebbes notched up a fine unbeaten half century. A quick cameo from J. Hoskins and some rapid fire hitting from I. Howarth, who incidentally cleared the fence at the sea end with the only six of the innings but failed to find train or sea, took The MAD total to 193-4.

 

Tea. The train took the opportunity of passing safely, twice.

 

After generous helpings of sausage rolls and cakes, Thursday night skipper M. Westmoreland, not having been required as number 11 batsman, took on the role of Tuesday afternoon opening bowler. An early wicket set the tone for the innings. Catches were held behind and in front of the stumps; Howarth took 3 quick wickets from the sea end, despite the dry conditions, and then Dobner took over with wickets of his own as the host slipped to 74-6 under darkening skies.

 

 

zz1

 

When’s the next bus arriving?

 

 

Club captain J. Hoskins, causing confusion by bowling alternate overs with and without hat, and alternate balls therein over and around the wicket, to alternate batsmen, was unlucky not to bamboozle himself a wicket, and T. Smith claimed a valuable scalp with a peach of a dipping full toss beamer. The bandaged N. Hebbes also managed to bowl a controlled spell. Despite M. Clarke repaying some of the tea-time generosity with an over of wides and pork pies of his own that allowed Milton and Woolgrove to add some respectability to the score, The MAD total was never under threat. Westmoreland bagged a rare but confidence-boosting catch (his first Doctor Beeching closed Watchet station in 1960), to dismiss Bowden and then wrapped up the innings in style by trapping another player of the same name leg before. The MAD were thus victorious by 62 runs, the game was over, and the safety of the train was assured.

 

 

 

There she blows!

 

 

And so ended the club’s most successful tour. The victorious players returned triumphantly back to Oxford, though M. Bullock and A. Fisher were disappointed at failing to break the world land speed record on the M4, though the latter, thankfully, failed also to live up to his nickname. Ever-present tourist James Hoskins, buoyed by the team’s dominance in the 35 over game and intrigued by the success of the squad rotation system, could once again focus on his tossing, and other captaincy duties, for the games ahead. Bring on the Fat Boys!

 

 

‘Beer Matt’

 

 

 

 

 

*

 

 

Statto Scorecards

 

 

 

Far from the Madding Crowd CC versus Watchet CC

Played at Watchet, 3 August 2004

 

Far from the Madding Crowd CC won the toss and elected to bat

Far from the Madding Crowd CC won by 62 runs

 

Far from the MCC debuts:  none

 

 

04 / 096

 

 

 

 

 

35 over match

 

 

 

Team

Far from the Madding Crowd CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

M. D. Clarke

run out

61

(80)

6

-

3-123

2

S. L. P. Dobner

c A. Bishop b Neilson

35

(43)

7

-

1-65

3

A. M. Mander

b Neilson

0

(3)

-

-

2-65

4

N. J. Hebbes

not out

51

(61)

3

-

-

5

J. D. Hoskins

b Bowden

10

(9)

-

-

4-150

6

I. Howarth

not out

25

(14)

4

1

-

7

E. N. Lester

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

T. P. W. Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

M. Bullock

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

A. J. Fisher +

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

M. T. Westmoreland *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extras

(W4, B1, LB6)

11

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(for 4 wickets, 35 overs)

193

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

 

1

Bowden

7

1

39

1

 

2

Merrick

5

0

24

0

 

3

Neilson

4

1

14

2

 

4

Woolgrove

4

0

24

0

 

5

Sylvester

4

1

17

0

 

6

Deeks

6

0

32

0

 

7

Powis

3

0

21

0

 

8

Jeffries

2

0

16

0

 

 

 

 

Team

Watchet CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

C. Bishop *

b Howarth

12

 

2

-

1-15

2

A. Bishop +

b Howarth

8

 

1

-

4-37

3

F. Powis

c Fisher b Westmoreland

2

 

-

-

2-22

4

A. Jeffries

c Bullock b Howarth

9

 

2

-

3-30

5

P. Sylvester

c Fisher b Dobner

9

 

2

-

5-42

6

N. Merrick

b Smith

8

 

-

-

6-74

7

P. Milton

run out

38

 

5

-

7-119

8

L. Woolgrove

not out

30

 

4

-

-

9

A. Deeks

b Dobner

3

 

-

-

8-125

10

D. Bowden

c Westmoreland b Dobner

0

 

-

-

9-127

11

M. Neilson

lbw b Westmoreland

0

 

-

-

10-131

 

Extras

(W7, B3, LB2)

12

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(all out, 30 overs)

131

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

 

1

Westmoreland

5

2

16

2

 

2

Howarth

4

0

21

3

 

3

Hoskins

7

0

21

0

 

4

Dobner

6

3

15

3

 

5

Smith

4

0

27

1

 

6

Clarke

1

0

19

0

 

7

Hebbes

2

0

7

0

 

 

 

 

 

MOTM:  n/a

Champagne Moment:  n/a

Buffet Award:  M. Clarke’s Vietcong curry (with vegetable rice)

 

 

Opposition:  V036 / 01

Ground:  G024 / 01

Captain:  C011 / 02