In a season where the leadership of the WCCL Div.1 has gone back and forth between MCC and close rivals Wootton Bassett our consistently, relentless run scoring (3023 @ 50+ for each wicket!) has seen our 1stXI win their first League title since our glory days in the early 80s.
So what does this mean for the Club. As a result the Club’s 1st XI is promoted into the fourth tier of the West of England Premier League and our 2nd XI, who had the ‘anti’ season, finishing bottom of their division are dragged with them. A higher standard of competition and better quality pitches to play on are likely, especially for our 2nds. If you are an adult player reading this then I don’t need to tell you what this means but as a parent of one of our current youth players it may not be so obvious. So let me take this back 5-10 years to explain the relevance. At that time, of the current Championship squad, at least 12 of the lads were playing for MCC in our age group games, just like your sons & daughters are doing now. So although it took us 4 months and eighteen games to win this title the seeds were really sown a decade ago.
Five years ago, faced with the harsh financial reality of heavy debt, we dispensed with the normal practice of recruiting an overseas player. We dropped down divisions as we discovered that they had been largely carrying us for several seasons. Since then, our ethos has been to invest our time and money in our youth policy and also to maintain the high quality of our playing surfaces. So wind forward another five years and I believe we will still be relying on the product of our youth squads to push this Club to play as high a standard of cricket as possible and on the best surfaces we can afford.
Thank you to all those players, parents & friends in the past who have made this championship possible and to all those today who will make future wins happen.
First for a while, apologies.
In what must be the game of the season the 1stXI lost their second game of the season to promotion rivals Wootton Bassett. Batting first they posted a competitive score of 231 for 7 . George Royle 90 and a quick fire 40* from Michael Collison led the way. In response WB were cruising at 180 for only 2 down when Josh Langley 4-51 ripped the middle order out. Wickets fell steadily but WB made it home with 3 balls and 1 wicket to spare. Malmesbury still top the League by 1 point so it’s still all to play for.
The 2nds in contrast subsided meekly to the top of the table, Ramsbury conceding 250 runs and replying with 104 only acheived with a last wicket stand between Henry Gaunt 18 and John Williams.
Fortunately the U13s avoided a winless weekend by beating Calne by 73 runs. Runs from Toby Kershaw and Jacob Thomas and wickets all round including 2-9 for 10 yr old Millie Powell.
In a weekend blighted by bad weather and despite a torrential downpour at midday, both Malmesbury adult games went ahead. The 1st Xi played on a wet ground at Swindon Civil Service and won an important toss and then the game by bowling out SCS for 105. Josh Langley continuing his wicket taking season with 3-16. With all other Div 1 games called off, the win puts MCC at the top at the half way point in the season.
After a monumental ground clearing effort by Richard Mosdell the 2nds were still unable to notch a first win but pushed second placed Blunsdon close with Theo Blundell (41) and Fin Beldon 3-43 the pick of the MCC players on the day. Scant consolation but Blunsdon expressed surprise that our 2nds had yet to win a game.
The U15s maintained pressure on Burbage at the top of WYCL Div 2 with a 170 run win over Calne. Ben Kavanagh had a fine match with 63 and 4-7 and there was 57 from Henry Gaunt.
The u11s played League leaders, Purton, with Toby Kershaw top scoring on 36 and another good contribution from Charlie Hosking (16) but Purton ran out winners by 5 wickets.
Special mention to Malmesbury Mid-week who won their first midweek game for two years but way too late to qualify for the CDCA knock out stage.
The 1stXI went back to the top of Wiltshire Div 1 with a resounding win away to Hinton Charterhouse based on a possible Club record opening partnership of 240 between Jack Ward (117) and George Royle (97 again). This set the basis of a total of 309 for 4 from 45 overs. Hinton responded with 214 for 5 but were never really in the frame with even Marcus Bond bowling an over.
The 2ndXI again got themselves into a winning position by bowling out Wootton Bassett 3rds for 108, with 3 wickets for Fin Beldon and the returning Stuart Brazington but their batting agin let them down as they fell 17 runs short in replay with only Richard Mosdell (45*) and Stuart Brazington getting into double figures.
Marlborough surprisingly conceded the match against our U15s which may be key for the final placings and our U11s carried on new coach Michael Collison’s 100% record with an 11 run win over Goatacre/Spye Park. 26* from debutant Charlie Hosking the key difference between the two sides.
Wiltshire Div.1 >>> http://www.wccl.org.uk/2014/division1
Wiltshire Div. 4 >>> http://www.wccl.org.uk/2014/division4
WYCL U15 Div. 2 >>> http://www.wycl.org.uk/Under15Div2/2014/
WYCL U13 Div. N >>> http://www.wycl.org.uk/Under13Div2North/2014/
WYCL U11 Div. N >>> http://www.wycl.org.uk/Under11Div2North/2014/
Another dominant batting display from the 1stXI, racking up 260 for 5 against bottom of the table Collingbourne lead to an 81 run win. James Gillespie continued his run of impressive scores (46,32,91*,55) with a maiden MCC century of 104*. This puts him at 328 runs from 5 innings and an average of 109. Not far behind is his opening partner George Royle with 227 at 75.6. Josh Langley returned a career best 6-40 in Collingbourne’s reply 0f 179, with several catches grounded.
The 2nds were undone by
spin slow bowling at Bathford slumping from 60 for 1 to 80 for 6 before the younger team members showed the adults how to bat, rallying to 144 ao, still a defeat by 60 runs. Special mention to Robert Walker (14) with 3-44 and 22*.
Finally on Sunday the U13s wasted a good bowling and fielding display away to Shrivenham falling 12 runs short of the 94 target. Toby Kershaw batted through most of the innings for 24 but was run out as he ran out of partners.
Disappointing results for the adult sides with the 1stXI losing by five wickets to Wootton Bassett and the 2ndXI encountering a couple of very good batsman in Wiltshire Div4 and losing by 83runs. James Gillespie continued his good early season form with 55 taking him to 224 runs from 4 innnings and an average in the 90s. However, we know, from experience, that scores below 185 are difficult to defend at The Wortheys and that proved to be the case. Highlights for the 2nds were a return 50 from Theo Blundell which was worth at least 80 if the outfield grass had been 2 inches shorter.
On the up side the U13s recorded their first win of the season over Calne scoring 146 (65 extras!) for 4 from 35 overs (Julian Shirnia 31*) and then wickets all round the side as Calne were all out off the penultimate ball.