Bodley’s cricketers have recently just from their annual three day tour, enjoying three days of gorgeous weather, three games against friendly opposition, much curry and quite a few lovely local ales in Winchester.
First up on Friday evening was a twenty over game against a team of Doctors from the local hospital. Bodley bat first and Tim Philipson (Reader Services) and Tim Saunders (friend of the team) scored well as others either flitted or flailed around them to give us a total that the opposition got close too but not past. Andy MacKinnon (OLIS, I think?) held on to his traditional sharp catch to turn the game in our favour whilst others bowled and fielded well (mostly, ahem) to see us kick off with a win, which hasn’t happened for a while. Drinks with the opposition were swiftly followed by a curry and then a few more drinks before bed.
Saturday morning was spent discovering the joys of Winchester before setting off for the days match. The team were originally set to play a team from Newbury but they’d pulled out disastrously late leaving us without a fixture. A raft of emails were sent out to clubs asking for a game and, after a few days anxious wait Hawkley CC offer us a match and how glad we were that they did. Hawkley have the most beautiful of grounds, fielding on one side of the ground opens up a vista of gently sloping farm land topped by a heavily tree’d wood while turning around the village is laid out before you, gorgeous flint houses hidden amongst the trees and a fine church spire, with the elegant club pavilion directly in front.
The game, played in sunshine throughout, is a timed match. Bodley, batting first, go through till 4.30, then tea is taken and the opposition then have a set time to either beat our total to win or, if that proves a step too far, at least not get out and get a draw. Our total is a good one, just creeping over 200 with a thumping driven four off the final ball of the innings from Gareth Jones (Special Collections), after James Shaw (Document Delivery) and David Shackleton (Reader Services) had both scored entertaining 50’s. Tight bowling from Bodley manage to keep the opposition in check, and the slow flighted deliveries of Andrew Milner (Official Papers) and Gavin Robinson (Facilities) manage to pick up some crucial wickets but unfortunately we couldn’t get enough, and the game ended a draw, which was probably the best result considering the excellent spirit in which the game had been played and the beautiful surroundings. A drink with the opposition and a finishing up of the tea left the rest of the evening free to have more drinks in one of Winchesters best pubs, the Black Boy, a labyrinth building full of little nooks and crannies and bizarre furniture (including a stuffed giraffe, neck and head only though) which the team explored to the full.
Sundays game was played following a heavy downpour, which we liked to think affected the pitch and caused it to do unpredictable things. At least, we’d like the think that was the reason behind the team posting such a small total – only Stuart Ackland (Maps) and Andrew giving the bowlers any real trouble. The opposition were thus able to win with some ease, though it being the third day/game of the tour after a late night out physical ailments may have also played a part. Either way no-one covered themselves in a great deal of glory here, though Matthew Neely (SCWMSS) kept very tidily on a tough track and James took some nice early wickets. After a quick drink with the opposition in another lovely pub the team headed back to Winchester and, after one last curry during which next years destination was discussed (Whitby maybe, or South-West for the sea) the team departed, some to travel back to Oxford and some for a few more drinks and one last night before the journey home. For the record Man of the Tour was David Busby (Reader Services), for a memorable innings on Friday (a Bodley legend in the making), a peach of a ball on Sunday, and an iron will to find Winchester’s hidden gems.
So a win, a draw and a loss – not too shabby and a result that bodes well for the rest of the season. SA,GJ