Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 - away to Croughton
The season opened with what is normally a real tester for our boys - away to Croughton. Mind, you, this normally occurs in the middle of a July heatwave with baked grounds and a stiff breeze pushing the ball to the longest boundary (at least during the Croughton innings). We fielded first - never a good omen at this venue. Nonetheless, the Croughton batsmen seemed unable to score at any sort of a pace thanks to our relentlessy accurate bowling attack. They only seemed to show any intent towards the end of their innings when Atkins (R) and Weatherill put on a few. We restricted Croughton to 112 for 6 and there were some notable performances from our attack. New boy, Luke Jenkins, showed promise without getting any wickets whilst old hand, Chris Bowmer, failed to get his customary clutch. True to form, Neil Taylor got his usual early season wickets, taking 3 for 21 from a full, 12-over spell. Mark Neil (Curly) took just the one wicket for 14 from his spell. Clearly, though, from his 10 overs the Croughton batsmen could not score off him unlike Simon Fleming off whom they could. He managed 1 for 24 from his 4 overs. (Not surprisingly, there were no maidens in this spell.)
When our reply opened, Simon Horley (Sinbad) stroked an elegant 6 and was out, also elegantly, on that score. This was to be Croughton's only success with the ball as they had to face two on-form batsmen from this point on. Pete Allen (our other opener) scored exactly 50 with 28 of these coming in boundaries (including 2 sixes). Neil Taylor, who came in at number three, scored at a similar rate to his partner but lagged slightly behing him due to his later arrival at the crease. He decided to rectify this problem with just two runs required and smashed a six to win. The whole reply took just an emphatic 20.4 overs with Neil's 54 including 30 in boundaries with 3 sixes.
An excellent win for the lads. We can but hope that this success will carry us forward to a winning season.
Saturday, May 9th, 2009 - away to Evenley "A"
Saturday, May 16th, 2009 - home to Silverstone
Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 - away to MK Air
Saturday, May 30th, 2009 - home to Preston Bissett
Saturday, June 6th, 2009 - away to Sibford
Saturday, June 13th, 2009 - home to Hanslope
Saturday, June 20th, 2009 - away v. Wardington
It was as solid a result as it looks. We were 133-3 after 30 and everyone looked solid. Pete Allen came in during the 34th over (149-4) and blasted the bowling. We hit 67 off the last 6 overs and Pete got 58 of them. He was in for 36 whilst Bowmer faced 6 and Dave Robinson faced another 6 - amazing stuff!
They were always behind
the rate. Curly (Mark Neil) bowled very tidily as did Simon Fleming. Wardington
were 34-0 off 10. Neil Taylor and Chris Bowmer came on and Neils lack
of pace did for them. Three quick wickets heralded the end of their challenge.
Their number three was dropped twice off Bowmer in his first 3 balls (tricky
edges). He batted well after that but ran out of time and partners. They had
probably 6 lads under 18 some of whom looked really good but the number 11 could
not have been more than 10.
Saturday, June 27th, 2009 - home to Preston Capes
We fielded a somewhat weakened team this week whereas our opponents looked relatively strong. So, overall, this was a decent performance (despite the result).
Sinbad (aka Simon Horley) got out early having a dart at a wide one. Skipper Adam Holton and Bod (André Bodily) struck some lusty blows, particularly against some of the short stuff. Bungle (Dave Robinson) and ex-skipper Chris Bowmer batted for 12 overs without scoring many runs. This pair did, however, see off the quickest 17 year old Bowmer had ever faced (and he's old enough to have faced a few). It was probably just as well he was a tad erratic. Robinson went on to top score with 30, and the general opinion was that we were just a few runs short of setting a good target. It didn't help that we were unable to use all of our overs with the last wicket going down at the end of the 38th over.
Curly (Mark Neil) and BowmerI bowled well. They contained the Preston batsmen with Curly getting a couple of early wickets. The number 3 batsman, a very stubborn gentleman named Grundy (who was, incidentally, required during the first over) batted all the way through the rest of the 34 overs for his 36 no. It may well have been a different story if we had been able to remove him.
When the opening bowlers finished their 12 over spells. Bod and Simon Fleming, despite taking a wicket each, could not keep up the pressure and the run rate climbed too much. Despite the consensus being that this was a good all-round performance, it was clearly not quite good enough on the day. Wicketkeeper Robinson had another ball in the face keeping wicket. He appeared to keep all his teeth but there was some blood. A metaphor for the day, really!
Saturday, July 4th, 2009 - home to Evenley "A"
We batted first and opened with Mike Bristow (good call) and ... Chris Bowmer ...? Bristow made his usual start and usual useful contribution .... and his usual failure to kick on. How about Bowmer, I hear you ask? Well, he batted like an opening bowler and didn't trouble the scorers too much. Our middle order puttered along without too much urgency - even allowing for Dave Robinson's monumental, if predictable, hangover. After 32 overs we had just 92 runs. Even Pete Allen - who, once again, top scored with 29 - pushed a number of singles. The crowd had already gone through the restless phase and were about to begin barracking when the Cavalry arrived from a somewhat unexpected source. Matt Baker and Simon Fleming arrived at the wicket as the last pair and duly proceeded to smack the Evenley attack to all corners (mostly to the one populated by members of the bovine community). Baker flat-batted one six back past a startled bowler and trundled several quick(ish) singles. Fleming tucked 3 successive fours through backward square leg and smote one mighty six past a disbelieving pair of fielders. They put on 27 in no time at all and allowed us to set a hitherto unlikely-looking yet respectacle total of 151 for 9.
In reply, we bowled tidily without any great penetration. Fleming, Neil, Jenkins and Bodily shared the wickets between them and most of the bowlers (with the exception of Allen) were economical. Unfortunately, we could not take enough wickets to threaten their poise and the best batsman on display - Walker - steered them home with an unbeaten 69.
See the pictures here.
Saturday, July 11th, 2009 - away to Silverstone.
Silverstone batted first and made consistent progress. None of their batsmen really failed and we were unable to contain them. Ironically, their second top scorer (who also had a good day with the ball) was GNCC old boy, Gary Hirst. Gary, why are you playing for the old enemy? He made 49 - half of which were scored in boundaries and was applauded (mistakenly) by his own team for his half century. He promptly lost his head, was run out going for a quick single and stormed off in high dudgeon. Now I remember why he doesn't play for us. In all fairness we do seem to have lost some of our usual penetration with the ball this season. Those matches we have won have been on those occasions when we have bowled with penetration.
In reply, we started more slowly than them and continued falling behind the required run rate. Mike Bristow got a steady and valuable 38. Lower down the order our tail decidedly wagged. New boy Luke Jenkin equalled his top score with 24, Matt Baker managed 15 not out and Chris Bowmer (restored once more to his rightful permission away from the dizzy heights of number two) scored a valuable 18 Before being caught off Hirst. Oh wel .... there's always next week.
Saturday, July 18th, 2009 - home to Croughton.
Croughton visited Greens Norton on a blustery day with a couple of lads and some psychological warfare. When the opposition skipper puts you in so they can 'give us a game' you know you are in for trouble.
Croughton's attack looked reasonably normal with Mahmood his normal miserly self. Norton started well with Holton and Horley putting on 42. Taylor (39) and Bodily (14) accelerated before a final onslaught from Baker (36 no) brought Norton to a healthy 184 for 6. A decent effort.
Croughton started their
response poorly with Wright out second ball. D Atkins then batted well for 48.
With some support from all comers runs, which were tight, continued to add up.
The required rate, however, was rather too much. It gradually climbed and, with
too much to do, wickets fell. This left Taylor (3-37) to clean up the last few.
Once he had disposed of Atkins (caught on the boundary) the rest gave up the
chase. The final total was only 22 short but it did seem a little more comfortable
Saturday, July 25th, 2009 - away to Preston Capes.
Norton visited table-topping Capes on a warm and sunny interval in between rainy days, the pitch was damp but hard and Norton won the toss and elected to bowl.
A great initial spell from Bowmer and Taylor saw Capes struggle to only 45-1 off 20 overs but drinks brought a change of approach from Capes who started to pick up the pace. Once the openers had finished this brought on Dave Wilson on a rare outing, and he showed us what we are missing. The initial pressure he created produced a tremendous effort in the field. He picked up 6-22 in a really good spell, helped by some excellent catching and ground fielding.
This was a really good all round effort on a good track with a fast outfield.
The batting however was a sorry disaster. Holton was out in the second over. This brought in Taylor and he and Horley batted securely against a hostile if inaccurate attack. Runs were scarce and the pressure was mounting. An injury to Capes' opening bowler brought on the redoubtable Bull who soon claimed the wicket of Simon Horley. Having first hit a tremendous boundary, Horley was unlucky to be caught at point off a mishit. Taylor went immediately after to be followed by Baker, Chadwick and Wilson as part of a hat-trick for J Wilson. He actually managed to get three straight balls in a row, something he had failed to do previously.
The tail subsided with barely
a whimper for a sorry total of 42, extras top scoring with 15.
Saturday, August 1st, 2009 - away to Hanslope.
Saturday, August 8th, 2009 - home to Sibford.
Saturday, August 15th, 2009 - away to Preston Bissett.
Norton lost the toss and were put in on a hard dry wicket which never bounced quite as much as it looked like it would.
In the best start of the year Sinbad and Mike Bristow put on 75 for the first wicket in 15 overs, appearing very comfortable. At that point Bissett put on their decent bowlers with the very straight and economical Hunt and the not very straight and annoying Valambhia. This, combined with a few injudicious shots from Bristow and Sinbad (having hit 8 off the over) saw the slowdown of runs. A suicidal run out of Bod saw us only get to 162 - a total which should have been much higher.
the Biossett reply began with their batsmen facing Bowmer and Willis. No real attacking shots were seen until Flower really clouted one straight back to Wilson who, in a sense of self preservation, caught it. After that Norton brought on Bod and Simon who chipped away at the home batting. There was not, in truth, much in the way of a run chase. A couple more wickets brought in the dangerous Valambhia and Da Silva. This turned out to be their cunning plan, with the idea being to chase from the middle order. They both holed out to mid on in the deep to Fleming with Bowmer both times the catcher. This effectively ended their hopes.
The next few overs saw the Bissett tail enders (starting at 7) blocking and not really trying anything. Eventually the Norton skipper got fed up and brought back Bowmer and Willis to clear up the tail, with Bowmer getting the last 3 wickets in 4 balls.
All in all this was a really comfortable win against a fairly weak side. In terms of the table, it was a much needed point gathering exercise.
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 - home to Wardington.
We batted first on a glorious day with the sun cracking the flagstones. What a day to bat on! As it turned out it was a cracking day on which to bat. Our openers, Brizza and Sinbad, took to the Wardington attack with some relish. Suffice it to say that 170 runs later Horley was the first man out (for 76) with Bristow fast closing in on his maiden ton for the club. Bristow was finally out for exactly 100 - although when first out he thought he had scored 98 and there was much bat, helmet and equipment throwing (or so I am told). Upon mature reflection, and an approach to the scorers, he found that they had miscounted and he had, in fact, reached the golden figure. Thereafter, you couldn't pry the beam from his face with a crowbar. Well Done Mike (and Simon). We did have a few big hits after the partnership was ended - Neil Taylor with 14 from 5 scoring shots and Mark Neil with an even more impressive 14 from 3 - but the innings was all about two batsmen.
In reply, the Wardington batting line up was a little dispirited, to say the least. Two of their batsmen put up creditable fight. Baker got to 40 whilst Jobbins scored a fighting 65 before edging Donger to the keeper. It was not surprising that they did not get near the required total. It would have been a daunting task for any side. (As England found at the Oval, it is possible to bat even the best sides out of a match.) The wickets were shared evenly between our attack. The leading wicket taker was Chris Bowmer with 3-34 whilst Bodily, Donger and Taylor grabbed 2 each.
On a separate note the race for the batting and bowling awards is hotting up nicely. Three batsmen are in with a shout and all could hinge on next week's performances with the bat. I wonder who is available? For once, there is a real contest to be the leading wicket taker. Bodily and Bowmer are neck and neck in this contest. Who will be given the ball first next week? Don't miss it. The match against MK AIR will start at the Recreation Ground at 2.00 p.m.
For once, you can see the pictures here.
Saturday, August 29th, 2009 - home to MK AIR.
The opposition batted first and were never really at the races. They only managed 121 all out in just 36 overs. This was largely due to some tremendous bowling from Bodily, Bowmer and, in particular, Donger. Bodily took 3-30, Bowmer 2-34 and the mightily hostile Donger ripped the top order apart with 3-21. Even Horley chipped in with one over of spin to take 2-3!
In reply, Bristow and Horley set the pace again this time with a supremely confident looking opening stand of almost 100 Horley top scored with 43 whilst Bristow looked very confident in search another high score. He made 42*. Predictably, the match was finished off in some style by Donger, who appeared to have become fed up waiting for his turn to bat. He walked in, took two singles to get his eye in and then promptly smacked the bowler backover his head for a six to win the match!
Just in time for the close season, the Greens Norton team has found its collective form. The team cruised to a 7-wicket victory on Saturday over promotion-chasing MK AIR. After a good start and an inspired end to the season we finished in a solid mid-table position. If we could only remember to playin the middle part of the season, we'd be a real threat.
We also managed to hold an end-of-season barbecue at the ground. Fortunately (or unfortunately as those with sore heads will testify) we were able to start earlier than expected. This, of course, was due to the rapidity with which we managed to dispatch the visitors' challenge. Pictures from this will appear shortly. Thanks must go to skipper, Adam Holton, who selflessly not only dropped himself to allow others to play in the last match, but also arranged and set up the barbecue whilst also building himself a new house in his spare time!
See the pictures here.