A tale of 10 losing by nine

The plan had been simple. Turn up with 11 players and chase. But the game didn’t go to plan. The Buccs turned up with nine and were inserted, ironically by Mark Searle of Warborough, who then generously offered himself to the Buccs’ cause in an effort to level up the sides. 

Although the batting card, of 10, was shorter than hoped, and both the pitch and the bowling were stickier and slower than desired, the Buccs innings began solidly with 22 off the first six overs. Archie Valentine’s departure (to his dismay, two runs short of his personal, even intimate, target) brought Archie Marsh to the crease. The subsequent 15 overs were the high point of the match for the Buccaneers, methodically moving towards what looked set to be a low but competitive total. Ollie Robertson led from the front but was overshadowed when his swashbuckling father, Neil, entered the stage and bashed 13 from 12 to record the best strike-rate in the family. After Ollie fell – another one, bowled – for an innings top-score of 36, Eric Wedge-Bull saw off his partner, mistaking him for a younger and quicker Robertson in a calamitous run-out. Briefly he and the bristling Rob Rydon looked like they would swing momentum towards the batting side. However, the innings eventually folded for a sub-par 134/9, not for the first time in Buccs history being cleaned up by a mesmerising spell by a Tilley.

What followed was a delicious tea. What followed that was sickening. The pitch dried and quickened, and the result became increasingly inevitable. Hamish and Ollie Robertson bowled a truly memorable opening spell which on another day might have bagged them several in the office: the Buccs had three slips despite only playing with ten, but somehow – incredibly – nothing worked. Ollie took a wicket with perhaps the only bad ball of the brothers’ spell, but Warborough & Shillingford cantered home led by excellent batting by their skipper and their former Oxfordshire opener. The penultimate word should go to the wicket-keeping of Andy Morgan, which was jaw-droppingly athletic and skilled as the ball zipped around. His first Buccs game of season ensured he remains an active player in his 56th season for the club. The final word should go to the hospitality of Warborough & Shillingford and the healing cosiness of the Six Bells. With rumours flying that the legendary luncheon might return in 2023, the team departed: chastened, but looking forward to the fixture next year.

Full details of the scorecard can be found here

Innings of Buccaneers

O Robertson b Iswariah 36
A Valentine b Potter 13
A Marsh b Hassan 12
N Robertson run out 13
E Wedge-Ball c Hassan b Tilley 19
R Rydon b Hassan 15
H Robertson c Potter b Tilley 8
A Morgan c Ward b Charters 0
M Searle c Gregory b Tilley 5
W Okines not out 7
Extras 6
Total (39.4 overs) 134 all out


I Potter 7-1-19-1
A Gregory 6-1-16-0
R Iswariah 9-2-14-1
J Hassan 9-1-47-2
J Tilley 4.4-0-14-3
P Charters 4-0-24-1

Innings of Warborough & Shillingford

F Iswariah b O Robertson 7
A Zagoritis not out 62
A Hobbs not out 64
Extras 4
Total (26.5 overs) 137 for 1


H Robertson 8-3-20-0
O Robertson 6-1-25-1
A Marsh 5-0-29-0
R Rydon 4-0-19-0
W Okines 2-0-18-0
A Valentine 1.5-0-24-0

Warborough & Shillingford won by 9 wickets

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