Far from the MCC

~ Est. in 1998 ~

 

Essays  |  Matches  |  Memorable  |  Tour  |  Tributes

 

 

 

 

Memorable MAD Matches

 

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Since the Club’s inception back in 1998 there have been many wonderful MAD memories etched in people’s minds. Some collective and some individual. Some will undoubtedly now be lost like tears in the rain*, whilst others remain lodged in cognitive grey matter, only now returning to consciousness for the purpose of this interesting little shrine.

 

This website already documents ALL MAD matches to ever be contested, but herewith are a ‘select few’. These are the ones that have proved to be more indelible, enduring and unforgettable for one reason or another. These are the ones catalogued by the players themselves – the ones whittled down to just a few selections from literally hundreds.

 

In 2016, an inaugural vote was held at the end of season AGM, whereby those present voted on ONE particular memorable game for that season. This canvas of opinion will now roll forwards each year until the Far from the MCC cease to exist – or at least none of us are able to remember anything due to advanced dementia. And if that is the case, what is the question?

 

By clicking on Match number XXX you will be taken to the scorecards for that particular game and any associated match report.

 

* - Rutger Hauer, Bladerunner - 1982

 

 

 

 

 

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#408    Carter Stars in Unexpected Non-Hammering

 

 

408

16 / 04 / 17

v  Horspath CC

(a)

Horspath

35

Won by 7 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s not that my memory is getting worse, it’s just that my life is becoming less and less memorable.” – Anon.

 

So what was it about the first match of the season that made it stick in the memories of those who were there? What elevated it above every other match which occurred in 2017? The highs (the unlikely win against Enstone and playing a tour game at one of the prettiest grounds in England) and the lows (getting tonked by various ringers and nearly dying of heat exhaustion whilst getting dumped out of the cup).

 

Well firstly it was the sheer unlikeliness of it. In five previous attempts we’d come no closer than losing by 126 runs, or 9 wickets, whichever is the closer. It was like Oxford United beating Manchester United. Alright, Oxford United beating a second string Manchester in the 3rd round of the Rumbelow’s Cup, but a major upset nonetheless. Secondly it was the hilarious thought of just how badly they’re going to stick it to us in future years. Even the 200 run drubbing we took in 2011 will look like a close run thing by the time they’ve finished with us in 2018, 2019… or however long before the committee decides that we need a more uplifting start to the season, but too late, it’s there in green ink for all eternity, we beat Horspath!

 

To beat a good team, even an understrength good team devoid of Dan Edwards and an overseas professional or two, you need things to go your way. You need your best players to play well and inspiration to come from an unlikely source. This is what happened and I think all the team were genuinely pleased to see Ian and Lee form a winning partnership, before Dave Barlow stepped in at the end to push us over the line. So thanks for the memories Horspath and please go easy on us. As Gordon Strachan reminisced when Scotland went 1-0 up against Brazil in the 1982 World Cup, oh dear, we’ve just made them angry.

 

-  M. Reeves  13/12/2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

#393    Sliding Bats….

 

 

393

17 / 07 / 16

v Cholsey CC

(a)

Cholsey Meadows

35

Lost by 174 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“That the most memorable match (as voted at the AGM) of 2016 was also The MAD’s heaviest defeat of 2016 is surely no coincidence. Recollections of thrashing about in undergrowth, disturbing foxes, live long after the memories of hard fought comebacks and narrow victories have faded. For a full account, readers are directed to Jan Webster’s excellent match report, but basically it was down to one man, Jay Rahman.

 

The moment which sticks most vividly is the first ball he received from Dave Shorten. The way he just leant in to it and with no apparent effort dispatched it ‘like a tracer bullet’ to the boundary. His first ball, a good ball, from our best bowler had just been casually dismissed. We were told after the game that his previous highest score was 89. We were then told that he’d only played once before. Comparisons have of course been made with a certain H Shallow from 2009, but which is best? You decide.

 

Would we like to be on the receiving end of that every week? Of course not. Would we even like to have someone in our team who could dish that out regularly? No to that too. However, occasionally, just occasionally, it does make an unforgettable experience.

 

-  M. Reeves  23/11/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#375    “TFNC”

 

 

375

30 / 08 / 15

v Astons CC

(a)

Aston Tirrold

35

Won by 3 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

“Best catch I’ve EVER taken – conditions were pretty bloody awful (Wootton & Bladon 2013 esq) wet, dull, misty, cold and fielding at square leg I took a one-handed blinder off the bowling of Mr M. K. Reeves to remove their very useful no.3 (C. Bonwell). It’s [particularly] memorable for me for the fact that I don’t get Champagne Moment very often, but this one even [managed to get] into the ‘2015 Champagne Moment Awards’ nominations list!”

-  R. P. Turner  02/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#362    “Biff, Bash, Bonk”

 

 

362

07 / 07 / 15

v Isis CC

(a)

Queens College

T20

Won by 67 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“Match 362 (A) Isis CC – Many others will no doubt point to many memorable encounters against our dear rivals Isis. For me this T20 on a pleasant summer’s eve was the epitome of our rather successful 2015 season. Before setting the target of 162 to win (a proper T20 score!) there were thoughts of the declaration which, as it turned out, could have come after 11 or so overs. I won’t discuss the Isis reply because someone doesn’t deserve that ‘recognition’ but it is worth quoting the Isis website again; ‘FFTMCC won their third match of four (against Isis) in the season and their first series of all time. (Where The Mad) play as a team, socialise as a team, and should be respected as a team’. Says it all really. Oh, and it became four out of four of course.”

-  G. J. Timms  17/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#332    “Padded Up”

 

 

332

15 / 07 / 14

v Garsington CC

(a)

Garsington

T20

Lost by 8 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

“2014 versus Garsington CC [sticks in the mind where I scored] 52* and shared in a MAD [T20] club 4th wicket partnership record with Spam (Ian Howarth) – quite an achievement in [that format]. It is even memorable for the fact that I needed 2 off the last ball [of our innings] to get my 50 and it looked [extremely] unlikely when my sweep shot went straight to their fielder – only for him to miss-field it for 4! Shame we still lost however….”

-  R. P. Turner  02/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#330    “At Long, Long Last”

 

 

330

06 / 07 / 14

v Milton CC

(a)

Bloxham (Warriner)

40

Won by 23 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“Match 330, away to Milton 2014. We all have our own particular demons from playing Milton away. Mine stretch back to 2006 and my first ever bat for The Mad, during a season in which I scored just 9 runs. On that day, I was batting with Thorn. I hit a very straight drive back past the bowler and called for a run. As the umpire stepped out the way I then saw that there was a fielder directly behind him. Run out like a numpty. Despite the myriad disappointments this fixture was a firm favourite with everyone with no shortage of volunteers to travel to what was almost a Tour match. With Milton needing just 128 for victory I see that I gave away 25 in just 3 overs, however Shorten and Newman rescued the situation. There were some celebrations in the Black Boy Inn afterwards, but somehow it felt like the end of an era and no real surprise the fixture was dropped for 2016.”

-  M. K. Reeves  08/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#327    “John Carpenter’s ‘The Fog’ Re-enacted on Day of Drama”

 

 

327

29 / 06 / 14

v Enstone CC

(h)

Jesus College

40

Won by 18 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“The classic, everyone’s favourite matches are those they don’t play in but have the pleasure of witnessing, right?. The beautiful Jesus College ground (less than 10 minutes’ walk from me house at the time),  blistering sunshine, pleasant opposition, great sportsmanship, a cracking encounter, and a killer dog. What’s not to like? Defending 112 against Enstone didn’t look easy but Mr Reeves (after a brisk 29 not out) had other ideas. A mesmeric spell produced figures of 5-12 with all five batsman failing to trouble the scorer (me). Teetering at 9-78 and with their number 11 retiring with a nasty hamstring injury skipper I Howarth invited number 9, D. Anthony, to bat alone. A wonderful gesture that very nearly backfired. Shorten would eventually clean up Anthony (23) with Enstone only 18 runs short of their target. For once the cricket was entertainment enough but never one to step into the shadows team dog Midge still stole the day. I’m still haunted by the howls of that poor monkjack. Blood curdling. Sorry Mike, it’s never about you!”

-  G. J. Timms  17/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#320    “Records Tumble during Isis Bloodbath”

 

 

320

01 / 06 / 14

v Isis CC

(a)

Queens College

40

Won by 20 runs

 

 

 

 

 

14/320 – Pearson’s century and the tide beginning to turn v ISIS CC”  -  M. S. Rundle  08/10/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#312    “Isis Slain in Pantomime Ending”

 

 

312

08 / 09 / 13

v Isis CC

(h)

Cassington

35

Won by 2 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“A farewell to Captaincy (five years in and an amazing ending. [Selecting just five] ‘Memorable’ games has been really tough and if I went through them again I’d probably choose at least 3 different games! [There are] just so many great memories from over 200 to choose from….” 

 

-  M. T. Westmoreland  03/03/2016

 

“[How can I not include the] 2013 match v Isis CC at Cassington? How emotions can change in seconds from the depths of despair of thinking we had lost, only to [suddenly] discover Mr N. H. R. Wyatt had stepped on his stumps (hit wicket) to pure elation! It’s just memorable for the fact that it will go down in MAD folklore and be talked about for years to come…. It may even be the defining moment versus a team who consistently used to beat us. Oh, how times have changed!”

-  R. P. Turner  02/12/2015

 

“A last ball thriller!”  -  M. S. Rundle  08/10/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#308    Rundle & Timms 10th Wicket Partnership….

 

 

308

18 / 08 / 13

v Appleton CC

(a)

Appleton

40

Lost by 2 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

A courageous last wicket partnership between number ten and Jack rescue an anemic MAD batting display, and at least give their bowlers something to bowl at. Actually, Mr. Rundle and Mr. Timms gave themselves something to bowl at – and the impossible very nearly happened….

-  Editor  06/04/2016

 

“(Ahem)… a MAD record 10th wicket partnership with (Gary) Timms!”

 -  M. S. Rundle  08/10/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#283    “FFTMCC Evoke Spirit of 1969 with Woodstock Festival….”

 

 

283

12 / 05 / 13

v Wootton & Bladon CC

(a)

Woodstock

T20

Lost by 30 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“Match 283, away at Wootton and Bladon 2013. After this pleasant trip down memory lane we come to the runt of the litter, the black sheep of the family. The blood / mud bath that was the away trip to Woodstock in 2013. It could have finished us as a club, but instead we came back stronger, vowing to never ever play in those conditions again. I remember Derek Hambridge trying to score in the horizontal rain and my trip around the boundary with Ian (Howarth) being cut short as he had to go out to bat and get a golden. Miserable, miserable, miserable.”

 

-  M. K. Reeves  08/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#276    “Money”

 

 

276

01 / 09 / 12

v Portchester CC

(h)

University Club

35

Lost by 5 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

“2012 v Portchester CC at University College – and my Highest current score for The Mad. [It also realised the] MAD Record for the 3rd wicket Partnership with Moo (Martin Westmoreland). The team [ended up] scoring what I thought was a very decent score of 216-5 off 35 overs, only for Moo to mention while we were batting, that we were  going to need around 260 plus because they had a ‘bloody strong’ batting line-up. How right he was as we then watched their openers smash us all round the ground, one shot from opener C. Locke (off Spam) was memorable since it ended up in the college ground next door, travelling [as it did so] over a huge metal fence and neighbouring trees! Needless to say they knocked them off with plenty of overs to spare….”

 

-  R. P. Turner  02/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#267    “Just Playing With Ourselves”

 

 

267

29 / 07 / 12

v Harwell International CC

(a)

Harwell Campus

40

Won by 11 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“2012 v Harwell CC. [I was] unsure whether or not to go in at no.3 instead of my allotted no.4 – after Spam (Ian Howarth) didn’t believe me (after I’d tried to convince him by the by) that a certain Mr D. M. Edwards had been skittled the 1st ball of the match for a PLATINUM Duck…. [Of course] Spam was [quietly] engaged elsewhere in the lavatory at the time, and this game is ‘Memorable’ for the fact that I remember him saying “Oh, I’ve got plenty of time (to have a dump) with Dan and Moo at the crease....” Oh, for the commentator’s curse! He must also have been very very close to [being given] out Timed out!”

-  R. P. Turner  02/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#265    “MAD Stretch the Fabric of Space and Time”

 

 

265

22 / 07 / 12

v Cholsey CC

(h)

Jesus College

40

Won by 137 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“Match 265, home to Cholsey 2012. This match is memorable for being the only one played in sunshine during 2012 and we didn’t play in June at all. Sundays were characterised by morning phone calls to relate the inevitable news that Brasenose was still under water. However this one match happened to fall on literally the only day of summer that year. It was played at Jesus College and Martin (Westmoreland) scored a hat full of runs and Stevie D also cashed in after driving his car across the outfield. We won easily, but that’s not at all the point. For one brief moment in 18 months of gloom there was sun. I wrote a pretty decent match report too if anyone wants to relive it.”

 

-  M. K. Reeves  08/12/2015 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#262    “BBC Live Text Commentary as Old Foes Serve up a Treat”

 

 

262

27 / 06 / 12

v OU Offices

(h)

Brasenose College

T20

Won by 3 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

Taught, funny and ridiculous in equal measure, The MAD somehow engineer unforgettable late evening T20 drama, whilst chasing down a paltry 12 runs in the final two overs against perennial enemies the Oxford University Offices. With 6 wickets in hand and a partially reversed batting order to draw upon, you couldn’t really make it up….

-  Editor  06/04/2016

 

“An amazing last ball thriller!”  -  M. S. Rundle  08/10/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#260    “Gareth Iscariot”

 

 

260

01 / 06 / 12

v Centrica XI

(h)

Jesus College

T20

Won by 36 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“Match 260 (H) Centrica – 2 for 14, a direct run out, and 29 runs in a T20. Not too shabby. I’d finally made a telling all round contribution to a Mad game. Obviously I was captaining the opposition. Accounting for the wickets of Shorten, Emerson, and Reeves feels even better looking back on it now.  I’m not sure I’d even totalled 29 runs in the 30 odd games I’d played for the Mad before then. ‘Is he having a fucking laugh!?’ It will be hard to forget the look on Mad skipper M Westmoreland’s face when I hit (slogged) my first ever 6.  Oh, and The Mad won, so everyone’s a winner. Except Centrica – they’re losers.”

-  G. J. Timms  17/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#245    “What Goes on Tour Stays on Tour”

 

 

245

12 / 08 / 11

v Hayling Island CC  T

(a)

Hayling Park

40

Lost by 4 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“Whilst my other ‘Memorable’ picks have tended to be more about the match itself, this is unashamedly all about me. Well almost. MAD Tours are always a wonderful experience and to score a ton on Tour is even better. But to score a ton in a great game that goes right down to the wire makes it that little bit special. Factor in a Skipper (Gonzo) who wore a toilet seat and a bandana to the ground, and who would later keep me company as we came so close to achieving the impossible in a unbroken tenth wicket stand of 49* – this particular match is hard to beat. One also remembers the agonies of Mr. M. K. Reeves trying manfully to avoid getting out to a female (Amber Longhurst) whilst T. P. W. Smith would execute the perfect leave – on middle stump. A brilliant day all round, including a mid-match trip to the local pub for teas and a top-up of alcoholic glows.”

-  I. Howarth  20/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#237    “The Duck of Death”

 

 

237

10 / 07 / 11

v Blenheim Park CC

(a)

Blenheim Palace

Timed

Lost by 28 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“This remains the only game I’ve been able to drag my wife to.  Largely due to the venue/surroundings. The wife wasn’t paying enough attention to see me bowl someone round their legs Shane Warne style but she of course witnessed the golden duck that left my last 5 innings as 0,0,0*,1,0. Binary! But more than that this was the day I realised what the Mad was all about. Chasing 88 to win in a timed game when one of your team scores 90% of the runs required shouldn’t pose much of challenge. Howarth’s failure to shepherd the tail took FFTMCC from 4-56 to 59 all out though. Whilst his tally of 47 looks impressive there was no doubt that he was to blame for the loss. Not the 7 other batsman who all failed to get off the mark, no siree. We ‘celebrated’ by going to the wrong pub, avoiding the opposition, and never being invited back. Ah well.”

 

-  G. J. Timms  17/02/2016

 

“I feel I have to make mention of a trip to Blenheim Palace to play cricket for The MAD. How couldn’t you? It’s a total unique experience to play at a World Heritage site famed as the Birthplace of Winston Churchill – a place steeped in history, surrounded by beautiful parkland and a magnificent palace – dragging your kit bags through courtyards feeling like a celebrity star. The whole day has a magical aura, before a ball has even been bowled. There is even an audience! A partially interested one too, as the paying public stop by out of curiousity, some unfurling blankets to picnic on the great lawn. Notwithstanding a particularly crap track that is underprepared due to The Duke hating the game, all three games contested were memorable in their only little ways. Two drawn matches notable for Mr. Westmoreland’s batting heroics and James Hoskins’ failure to hit a winning boundary at the death in 2009, but it is perhaps 2011’s seismic collapse after chasing a paltry 88 for victory that really stands out for me. Sure, I scored about 90% of the team’s runs that day, but I never thought for one moment when I cut a ball to S. Liddicot at point, at 56-3, that we, as a team, wouldn’t score another run off the bat in that innings!? 59ao. Incredible. Right up there with the Milton debacle of 2006 and any other insipid beauties that care to be aired. I still see Skipper Moo sat holding his head as he sat on the scorer’s bench at the end, utterly incredulous. The day forever framed by an excellent, off-beat match report from the pen of Ant Mann – writing it as he did whilst sat at home in the Blue Mountains of Sydney, Australia. Where else?”

-  I. Howarth  20/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#234    “(Almost) a Perfect Day”

 

 

234

29 / 06 / 11

v Marsh XI

(h)

Brasenose College

T20

Lost by 1 run

 

 

 

 

 

“A T20 beauty in which Dan skippered without cobbing, Gary [Timms] batted twice and in doing so racked up a Diamond Duck and a Golden Duck, and we ended up losing by just the one run.”

-  J. C. W. Hotson  18/11/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#211    “Timms Guides Team Home in Record Run Chase”

 

 

211

01 / 08 / 10

v Wootton & Bladon CC

(h)

Brasenose College

40

Won by 4 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

“Making my debut in what was (at the time) I believe The Mad’s highest ever run chase against arch rivals the Fat Boys was, in itself, memorable. Bowling four overs of military medium for 30 runs wasn’t the ideal audition but there was better to come. With the chase going well I was ready to remove my pads and celebrate a debut win. However, true to Mad form I was required to go out to bat with the scores tied. That may well be the best innings of 1 not out I’ve ever constructed. Play and a miss. Dirty swipe. Play and a miss. Edge for a single. I was always a batsman! No duck on debut see.”

-  G. J. Timms  17/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#207   “Bitterness Costs Ol’ Big Head MOTM Award”

 

 

207

18 / 07 / 10

v Astons CC

(h)

Brasenose College

40

Won by 35 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“After 175 games for The Mad, they all blend in to one really. It’s all a blur of dropped catches and wasted Sunday afternoons. Herein though is one which will never be forgotten. First up, match number 207, home to The Astons in 2010. It’s all about me of course. The 85 I scored that day is my highest for the club and is unlikely ever to be beaten. It was made even more special by sharing a 100 partnership with Martin (Westmoreland). There was as well, the cruel protest vote against the Man of the Match award, however what I really remember is one incident whilst we were bowling. I was sure I was bowling, but rereading the match report shows that it was in fact Jamo. Funny how time plays tricks on the brain. After my heroics with the bat (did I mention that) I was thinking, surely we can’t lose this game, but it looked something of a possibility as Ralph (Smith) started to accelerate. Then he smacked the ball well over my head (sure I wasn’t bowling?) and my immediate thought was ‘that’s four, or possibly six’. I then saw Martin haring around the boundary and it looked like he was going to cut it off. Then, I don’t really know what happened. Even when it was in his hands it somehow didn’t register with me that he’d actually caught it. However, what I remember most fondly is just looking round and seeing everyone on our team just pegging it towards him in something approaching euphoria. What an amazing catch….”

-  M. K. Reeves  09/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#197    “Emotional Baggage Blamed as MAD Slump to Milton Defeat”

 

 

197

30 / 05 / 10

v Milton CC

(a)

Bloxham (Warriner)

40

Lost by 10 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“How could I possibly forget Milton [away in Bloxham] a couple of years back where we nearly beat them [for the first time], but for some lanky twat holing out to the boundary instead of sixing it. Great game though.”

-  A. Darley  17/10/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#196    “Quite Possibly the Best Comeback The MAD has Ever Seen….”

 

 

196

23 / 05 / 10

v OUP

(a)

Jordan Hill

40

Won by 9 runs

 

 

 

 

 

A wonderful victory against one of The MAD’s oldest adversaries and one of their greatest comebacks. With the OUP having reached an imperious 87-0 whilst chasing down a mere 149 for victory, Skipper Westmoreland threw the ball to himself, rolled up his sleeves, puffed out his chest, and the rest as they say is history….

-  Editor  31/03/2016

 

“The OUP match #196 was a great comeback and I started it with Big Bird’s wicket….” 

-  M. T. Westmoreland  03/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#180    “William Tells of Scrumping Orgy in Middle England

 

 

180

22 / 07 / 09

v Appleton CC

(a)

Appleton

T20

Won by 1 run

 

 

 

 

 

“The Appleton T20 match back in 2009, where we won by 1 run. Thornton (Smith) bowled the final over [of the match] and the first ball was a no ball 4….” 

-  M. T. Westmoreland  03/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#171    “MAD’s Army”

 

 

171

14 / 06 / 09

v Tetsworth CC

(a)

Tetsworth

35

Lost by 207 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“Shallow [on right]!!! A pleasure to stand and watch. Not as much fun when Jackson broke my toe for a Goldie. ‘Watch the turn’ was Dan’s advice!!!” 

-  S. L. P. Dobner  16/02/2016

 

“Tetsworth 2009 – Shallow’s demolition match. How can you ever forget that one…?” 

-  M. T. Westmoreland  03/03/2016

 

“A truly unforgettable game – the one synonymous for West Indian Hylam Shallow [pictured right in photo] butchering The MAD bowling to all parts as Tetsworth locals took to reversing their cars out the ground to protect their wares. Played out under rich sultry blue skies, I remember fondly as one of my overs disappeared out of view for a disputable 34, with one ball destroying several optics bottles after sailing into the clubhouse bar. Darley would lose a hand trying to get out the way of one on the boundary – and Hebbesy looked like bettering my over after his first four balls went for six, only for the bastard to deliberately throw one down leg.

 

Following the home side’s touching and sympathetic declaration on a paltry 358-8, Shallow’s stable mate, Mr. O. Jackson, then ran through our batting order breaking Dobner’s toes in the process (now that was funny – golden as well if I remember rightly). The whole obliteration of the senses was complete with Dave Emerson collecting a diamond duck in the conclusion as Mr. Shallow casually flicked the ball back at the stumps whilst bowling. As completely hapless, one-sided, un-lubed buggerings go – this is the true barometer for all other clubbing uber-tonkings. Oh, and I scored my first 50 with the bat for what seemed a decade, but less about that… because that would be leaving myself exposed for Self Importance….”

-  I. Howarth  24/02/2016

 

“…oh, how can I ever forget Tetsworth/Antigua 2nd XI v The MAD!?!?!? THAT game!” 

-  A. Darley  17/10/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#159    “Forward Defensive Forgotten as Mad make Their Blenheim Bow”

 

 

159

13 / 07 / 08

v Blenheim Park CC

(a)

Blenheim Palace

Timed

Match Drawn

 

 

 

 

 

“Match 159, away to Blenheim 2008. I’d played in Blenheim Park before, on a pitch somewhere near the South entrance, but when we turned up in 2008 it was the real deal, on the South Lawn in front on the Palace. Yes, there’s no pavilion and yes, the pitch is one of the worst we’ve played on, but there is something super special about being able to park in a designated car park and then to haul your kit past all the tourists. I remember virtually nothing about the game although the match report shows the Essex boys didn’t fair too well that day. I do remember Spam telling Steve Parkinson to go field at Palace, something which never happened at Cowley Marsh.”

 

-  M. K. Reeves  09/12/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#158    “I’ve Had Better Games, But All in All I Thought I Played Okay”

 

 

158

29 / 06 / 08

v Milton CC

(h)

Stratfield Brake

35

Won by 5 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

What would perhaps be maybe remembered as the first win over nemesis, Milton CC (albeit at home) – could only ever be remembered for the contribution with the bat of the much-maligned poet, Andrew Morley. A game featuring the debuts of the Australian Collins Bros and a routinely, pertinacious unbeaten fifty from opener D. M. Edwards (54*), would go down in MAD folklore as the match where members of the team tried unsuccessfully to persuade ‘Morlers’ not to go out and bat. Buoyed by a 4-pack of extra strength lager and quart of neat vodka, Morlers would flay the hapless Milton bowling in a V over the bowler’s head – in a 20 minute period that had jaws dropping in disbelief and scorers taking evasive action in the scorebox. A wondrous 27 runs (from 30 balls) shattered Milton spirits to a cacophony of hysterical cheering and whooping from a delirious boundary. One of those true MAD virtuoso performances from a man always to play the supporting cast.

 

-  Editor 22/03/2016

 

“Morlers comes good: this was definitely at Stratfield Brake [Kidlington], but I don’t remember the opposition [Milton CC]. It was the day that Morlers finally showed that a lifetime of high strength lager could not (permanently) alter your co-ordination. Andy was one of guys that epitomised the ethos of FFTMCC cricket. He turned up weekly, enjoyed himself, always had a bat, rarely scored a run, rarely caught anything and only bowled under duress, yet enjoyed himself and was a valid member of the team. There is something special in the way that at that time, FFTMCC continued to connect people to cricket who otherwise would have been lost to playing the game.”

-  N. J. Hebbes  18/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#147    Saffer Speedster and an 11yr Old Scupper Hotson’s Dreams….”

 

 

147

20 / 08 / 07

v Worthing Chippingdale  T

(a)

Worthing

35

Lost by 30 runs

 

 

 

2007aug20e

 

 

“What a coincidence, it’s Jake’s second game as captain! Worthing batted first in this 35 over encounter, and we were pleased a tea to have dismissed them for just 136. Despite this mediocre score, they seemed quite chipper, even confident. Perhaps they had an ace up their sleeve.

 

Rather than employ the pool system from two years before, Jake decided to reverse his proposed batting line-up given that chasing just 136, it seemed victory was almost assured. So Mike Reeves and I wandered out to the middle of a fairly desolate field, to be greeted by a school kid bowling to five slips, two gullies, point and backward square leg. Indeed, as the batsman facing, there was not a soul to be seen forward of the wicket other than the bowler himself and the umpire. The bowler, 16-year-old Michael Straker, a South African allegedly about to sign for Sussex, bowled with tremendous pace and slightly less accuracy in gloomy conditions without the benefit of a sight screen, and he wreaked havoc in our new top order taking four wickets as we slumped to 19 for 5. The four opening bowlers took 8-25 between them, and only some late pie allowed our opening batsmen at the bottom of the order to drag us over the 100 mark.

 

Strangely, it seems Michael Straker never made it in the professional game. Presumably he wasn’t good enough. But he was more than a match for us.”

-  M. Bullock  28/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#140    “History Rewritten as Titanick Deliver Safely”

 

 

140

17 / 06 / 07

v R. T. Harris

(a)

Holton

35

Won by 1 wkt

 

 

 

 

 

“The one in which Blocker blocked while [Nick] Hebbes nudged and nurdled during a last-wicket partnership which seemed to last forever to achieve the final runs needed for victory.”

-  J. C. W. Hotson  18/11/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#124   MAD Overcome Off-Side Trap in Record Encounter”

 

 

124

18 / 06 / 06

v Hanney CC

(h)

Pembroke College

40

Won by 145 runs

 

 

 

 

 

Just a week after the FFTMCC’s worst ever collapse (by popular opinion), the club would go on to set a record MAD score of 280-5 at their home ground of Pembroke College. It was built on Mr. M. T. Westmoreland’s debut ton (106*), sharing as he did so, a record fifth wicket partnership with I. Howarth of 155. An amazing day would be coupled by an equally engaging match report from Chairman M. Bullock.

 

-  Editor 05/04/2016

 

“The Hanney CC match #124 is memorable for obvious reasons!” 

-  M. T. Westmoreland  03/03/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

#123   World Health Organisation Contacted….”

 

 

123

11 / 06 / 06

v Milton CC

(a)

Bloxham (Warriner)

35

Lost by 9 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

“The MAD have always had a certain pride and smug satisfaction when reminiscing batting collapses – an art form which they have perfected over the years and one other teams can only aspire to. In 2006, I remember slaking my thirst on orange juice during the mid-innings drinks break; jovially discussing a benign pitch with Steve Parkinson that had coughed up 95 runs for the price of a run out (sorry, Jake). It was that fucking easy – runs there for the taking. Fill yer boots! The hot and humid conditions only contributed to a look of complete resignation on the sweaty Milton faces, as they murmured and chuntered about having to chase an inevitable 200 plus.

 

Another boundary straight after the break gave no indication of what was to come – an utterly surreal, mesmerising, perplexing 9 overs whereby 9 wickets fell for a frankly unbelievable 9 paltry runs…. MAD all out for 108. Incredible. Staggering. To this day I still cannot truly fathom what happened. Naturally it took Milton CC less than an hour to knock them off for the loss of 1 wicket. And why not? The pitch was as flat as a witches’ tit after all – exemplary batting conditions.

 

All this happened on my watch – and it would set the blueprint for years to come, as demons of the mind made up for any shortfalls in the opposition ranks. The following year was almost as bad (for different reasons). We finally beat Milton in 2014 – eight years later – again on my watch – and that game (#330) very nearly made it in my Top 5 (a nigh on impossible ask as it is to ever narrow it down), but this match is just, quite simply… unforgettable….”

-  I. Howarth  06/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#118    “Netherlands 1 England 0”

 

 

118

03 / 09 / 05

v Rood en Wit

(h)

Cholsey

35

Lost by 35 runs

 

 

 

 

 

The only MAD match to date against totally foreign opposition and kudos to Skipper J. D. Hoskins for organising. After struggling to source a ground so late in the season, the club’s close ties with Cholsey CC paid dividends – thus finding The MAD getting pissed in South Oxford and enjoying a topsy-turvy match against a wonderfully charming team from the Netherlands. Unfortunately we would go on to lose after some generous decision-making, but winning isn’t everything, right?

-  Editor 01/04/2016

 

“[A memorable game] in which the Dutch tourists arrived [in Cholsey] parking their mini-bus amongst the Red Lion pub’s front seating area. The visitors would then reverse their batting line-up, we brought on some occasional bowlers, and on leaving they left us with a variety of gifts including a copy of their fines rules booklet.”

-  J. C. W. Hotson  18/11/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#113    “No-MAD Finally get Stogumber’s Number”

 

 

113

01 / 08 / 05

v Stogumber CC  T

(a)

Stogumber

25

Won by 38 runs

 

 

 

0805stg25

 

 

“Jake’s debut as captain on Tour led us to this famous victory over Stogumber. After a day on the beer, we arrived for an evening 25-over thrash with Jake sporting a plastic policeman’s helmet, which he wore for the toss.

 

Jake elected to bat, and everyone was padded up and sat on the side lines waiting to see at the fall of a wicket who would be sent out to the middle. The pool system was born. And it worked. The Mad got a respectable 178 from their 25 overs, and thanks to some late wickets from Mr. A. G. Mann, victory was sealed.”

-  M. Bullock  28/03/2016

 

“Jake’s Stogumber Captaincy. Pure MAD. Utterly memorable and utterly funny.”

-  J. D. Hoskins  18/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#104    “Winning Better Than being Mugged, Poisoned or Relegated….”

 

 

104

15 / 05 / 05

v Marlborough House

(h)

Cutteslowe Park

35

Won by 124 runs

 

 

 

 

 

A typically timeless and acutely well observed match report by Mr. A. G. Mann captures much of what was a record breaking win over The MAD’s then most rancorous opponent. A 171 run opening partnership laid the foundation for the club’s second highest total of all time.

 

-  Editor 01/04/2016

 

“Fancy a flake with that? Still the highest partnership of all time….

-  S. L. P. Dobner  16/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#099    “Victory is Fat for Jubilant MAD as Wootton Stumble”

 

 

099

22 / 08 / 04

v Wootton & Bladon CC

(a)

Wootton (Woodstock)

35

Won by 3 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“MADs best victory (at that time). Maybe it still is. It was for me anyway. Personally, I felt I came of age in this Match as a Skipper (finally actually starting to understand the game and felt in control the whole way through – probably for the first time (and one of the very few times)). We beat our big rivals. They were looking like they might pull off a victory with three overs left – but they only had one wicket.... Ant was bowling and appealing for plumb lbws every other ball but Poolie was umpiring and he wasn’t going to give anyone out. Now the way *I* remember it was saying to Ant (from long off) that Poolie wasn't going to give anyone out lbw so you’ll have to bowl him.... I am *sure* Ant bowled the last batsmen next ball but according to the scorecard we ran him out... it doesn’t matter... we won anyway, and it was soooooo sweet.”

-  J. D. Hoskins  08/02/2016

 

“A great win this one and a match that really sticks in my mind. I drove 250 miles back to Oxford after securing a golden duck in Cornwall the previous day (for Redruth CC) – only for one of our own players (Steve Hebbes) subbing for Wootton to drop me twice before I made double figures – both sitters as I remember. I put over 70 on with the late (and great) Ade Fisher to save our innings falling apart, and would later miss out on my first MAD century (95) after deciding to go for three consecutive sixes. SIX. SIX. CAUGHT. Dickhead. We would finally scrape home by a mere 3 runs thanks to a superb, tumbling Westmoreland catch in the deep, and Ant Mann bowling their final batsman after his repeated plumb LBWs were turned down by acting home umpire, Steve Poole. A true bona fide MAD classic against one our true nemesis. Sadly, the following year’s game was abandoned due to the weather and we would never play at this particular ground again. Shame, as I averaged 184.00 on it, but mentioning that would be to leave myself open to standard Club fine of self-importance...   J.”

-  I. Howarth  04/03/2016

 

“The one in which Howarth holed out going for the big one for a ton, some comment about bones was heard, and The Mad won in a thrilling final-over finish.”

-  J. C. W. Hotson  18/11/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#96    “MAD Fail to Trespass on the Railway in Glorious Victory”

 

 

096

03 / 08 / 04

v Watchet CC  T

(a)

Watchet

35

Won by 62 runs

 

 

 

 

 

One of those glorious and sentimental English summer days on Tour, played out under rich blue skies with the sound of seagulls and beer cans being opened. Atop a cliff face in West Somerset, an excellent victory was underpinned by M. D. Clarke’s superlative 61 – who unfortunately, with an historic first MAD century there for the taking, would be thrown under a train by Mr. Hebbes whilst running between the wickets. Mike is still bitter to this day. Memories of the match are bound together by an articulate and befitting match report from Chairman Bullock.

 

-  Editor 22/03/2016

 

Watchet (match 04/96): Culmination of a very fine Tour to Minehead. From a personal point of view, I managed to run out new Madster Mike Clarke on 61 then hit myself in the head whilst attempting to nobble a steam train. I then batted the rest of the innings with blood coming from my head before being bandaged up. The sun was shining, we won.”

-  N. J. Hebbes  18/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#93    “Twinkle’s Big Day Out”

 

 

093

31 / 07 / 04

v Minehead CC  T

(a)

Alcombe

40

Won by 8 wkts

 

 

 

 

 

Minehead (the revenge – after the previous year’s “Red Arrows” and “Westmoreland Brick” incidents) and a Captain’s knock etc etc etc. And of course setting up Ant for the first MAD hat-trick the following day.” 

-  S. L. P. Dobner 16/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

24/07/03    Ed’s Lonely Game”

 

 

???

24 / 07 / 03

v Unknown

(h)

Pembroke

T20

Lost by 666 runs

 

 

 

379E0077

 

 

The unfortunate cancellation of an evening’s T20 at Pembroke College Sports Ground (opponent unremembered) back in 2003. All but one of the 22 players involved would receive prior warning, and all but one of 22 players who had received prior warning would not go on to pen one the funniest and caustic match reports in MAD history.

 -  Editor  23/03/2016

 

“Match un-numbered. Ed’s Lonely Game. Taught me a lot about Captaincy and The MAD that game did....” 

-  J. D. Hoskins  08/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#066    “MAD back Increased Use of Japery”

 

 

066

01 / 06 / 03

v Marlborough House

(a)

Cowley Marsh

35

Won by 3 wkts

 

 

 

372F0063

 

 

“Marlborough House (03/66): 2003 was my first playing year for The MAD having been signed up via an Evening Course by Beermat (now known as Warnie) on Beer. Marlborough House (pub and cricket team now sadly defunct) were our rivals back then by virtue of the fact that they were based in a pub and couldn’t play cricket, we were based in a pub and couldn't play cricket. It was much like the Ashes of 2005 only at a different level (see the MAD first book “Not at this Level”). This game really had it all: comedy running, consistent low scoring, (nearly) all participants troubling the scorecards and an unlikely hero [the pictured B. J. Mander 28* at the finish].”

 

-  N. J. Hebbes  18/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#063    “Jesus Saves The MAD”

 

 

063

11 / 05 / 03

v The Bodleian

(a)

Jesus College

40

Won by 122 runs

 

 

 

Season 2002 was purportedly the year that very nearly finished The MAD – the club then going under the new pub name of the Far from the Madding Crowd. As Captain Bullock’s ‘Log’ during the fall and some pre-amble by Ant Mann [2003] would attest, being humbled week after week by ‘mediocre opposition’ whilst struggling to get a team out would prove dolefully dispiriting. Thankfully, a clutch of new faces breathed life into club the year after – the transformation apparent in the very first match.

-  Editor  23/03/2016

 

 

37GC0093

 

 

“The rebirth (of the club). A fantastic game with an influx of new players. It was probably the best I’ve ever bowled with the ball nipping back and swinging away (no idea how). The highlight of the game was Hoskers calling me through for another run with their player dying by the cease!”

-  S. L. P. Dobner  16/02/2016

 

“[Definitely] the Bodleian match – a new dawn [for The MAD], and also my first game for the club.” 

-  M. T. Westmoreland  03/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#049    “Jude Warriors Lose Their Souls and the Game”

 

 

049

05 / 08 / 01

v Marlborough House

(h)

Pembroke College

35

Lost by 14 runs

 

 

 

FFTMCCC2001

 

 

“The Ball of Victory photo [see above]. Most memorable of course for Jake (Hotson’s) five wicket haul but I was adamant it was totally bad form and indeed bad luck to pose for a ball of victory photo after tea. Of course we lost, and deservedly so for such bad etiquette!”

 

-  J. D. Hoskins  08/02/2016 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#039    Dobner / Thorn Debuts….

 

 

039

13 / 05 / 01

v Nomads

(a)

Liddington, Swindon

35

Lost by 8 wkts

 

 

 

“Debut with Thorn after Hoskers talked me into it as the Jude were short. My bowling figures look pretty but they hid the 7-8 wides which weren’t recorded. Oh, and Thorn took his first catch for the club, off my bowling, talk about giving me false hope of our catching ability.” 

 

-  S. L. P. Dobner  16/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#027    “Game of Cricket Mars Otherwise Eventful Outing”

 

 

027

11 / 06 / 00

v The Beehive

(a)

Liddington, Swindon

35

Lost by 4 wkts

 

 

 

https://1pumplane.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/black-charity-beehive-swindon.jpg?w=1000

 

 

“This was the game that had everything. Noel rented a minibus to get us to Swindon, with Eddie charged with driving us there and Jake somehow being persuaded to dive us home again. The journey there was slow, the minibus struggling to make progress on the flat let alone on any ascent, and Eddie was getting plenty of stick for his driving skills. On arrival at the car park at Liddington, we were met by a metal bar across the entrance to prevent high vehicles from entering. For some reason, it was decided that Noel was the ideal person to guide Eddie through, which he did, the roof of the bus smacking into the steelwork and leaving a large tell-tale dent. We parked outside.

 

On this occasion the match commenced at a sensible hour, and as was now customary, Noel opened for the Jude. His slightly more able opening partner, Leo Phillips, injured himself early on and had the gall to call for a runner, which was unanimously turned down from the boundary. Noel himself managed a career-best three singles, and when he was dismissed Mike Thorburn and I rushed onto the field with a stretcher we had found in the pavilion to carry an exhausted Noel from the field.

 

The Beehive went on to win the game, but the day’s excitement was not over. The minibus was equally as sluggish in Jake’s control as it had been under Eddie’s, and it finally spluttered to a terminal halt on the dual carriageway at Kingston Bagpuize. Calls to the rental company went unanswered, so Ade Fisher, myself and a few others pushed the bus a few hundred yards along the road to a lay-by where it was abandoned, and we all went to the nearby pub. Despite Ben Mander’s untimely projectile vomiting in the car park just as our taxis arrived to take us home, we did get a ride home, but had somewhere along the way lost the scorebook and Leo’s bat, both of which would never be found.”

 

-  M. Bullock  28/03/2016

 

“[Remembered vividly as the one] in which a handily-discarded stretcher was utilized to escort Noel [Reilly] from the crease, and the mini-bus broke down on the way back [from Swindon], though not too far from a pub….”

-  J. C. W. Hotson  18/11/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

#016    Apocalyptic Downpour Foils Dominant Jude”

 

 

016

04 / 07 / 99

v Team With No Name

(a)

Horspath Road

30

Abandoned

 

 

 

 

 

“At the halfway point, this game looked to be very ordinary, but the opening spell of bowling from the Jude will be what sticks long in the memory. The Jude had amassed just 71 all out from 28 overs when Howard Jones and Antony Mann were handed the new ball at the start of the No Name’s reply. Under darkening skies, Howard Jones bowled a short spell of devastating pace and accuracy, dismissing three of the batsmen for ducks whilst conceding just three streaky runs. Ant took a wicket at the other end, and the No Namers were reeling at 8-4 from 7 overs when the heavens opened to finish the game and save them from almost certain defeat.”

 

-  M. Bullock  28/03/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#011    “Upset Number Three for Jude - Pundits Under Attack”

 

 

011

16 / 05 / 99

v Isis CC

(h)

Cutteslowe Park

35

Lost by 66 runs

 

 

 

 

 

The very first match contested against what are now considered to be one of the FFTMCC’s premier rivals – Isis CC; and if one were to glance at the scorecards, you’d notice the many familiar names still playing for the opposition today. The game was also the very first MAD match (then playing as the Jude the Obscure) to be accompanied by a match report (courtesy of one Antony Mann) – initiating a club tradition which has continued to this day. If there were any precursive forays into MAD journalism before this encounter, then his or her work never found its way onto a floppy disc anywhere….

-  Editor  18/03/2016

 

 

“My first game. There I was peacefully supping a can of Stella on the boundary when I got called onto the field to “join in for a laugh”... the very first ball that was bowled was a skyer straight down my throat which I dropped... and everyone said I was a perfect player for The MAD.”

 

-  J. D. Hoskins  08/02/2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

#008    The Jude’s First Travels out of Oxfordshire….

 

 

008

13 / 09 / 98

v The Beehive

(a)

Ridgeway, Swindon

25

Won by 61 runs

 

 

 

 

 

“This was our first game away from Oxford and was the final game of the inaugural season, and was against one of Noel [Reilly’s] former pubs. This was the first and only occasion that the club has chartered a coach to take the team and its supporters to an away match – the eleven players being joined by a dozen pub regulars and staff for an away day over the border.

 

We started at the Iron Horse in Wroughton, before moving on to the Beehive where an afternoon drinking session got into full swing. At well past 3pm, the two teams reluctantly made their way to the ground to play the match, which was reduced to 25 overs due to the late start. None of our dozen supporters made it to the ground, preferring to wait for our return at the pub. The Jude’s innings was held together by debutant Lee Davie’s 67, and then in near darkness, the Beehive were skittled for just 94, with Fred Townsend taking his first and only 5 wicket haul. Much more celebration took place back at the pub, and we made it back to Oxford in the early hours of Monday morning.”

 

-  M. Bullock  28/03/2016