“The Over-40s Martlet tour rolled onto May Bank Holiday Monday at the same venue and against the same opposition as 2022 – however, unlike the heroics of last year, where a 9 man team salvaged a draw, we were soundly beaten. Several members had a slightly fraught journey to the ground, caused by tailbacks on the M4 coming out of Bristol, and then bizarrely the team found itself distributed across two seperate dressing rooms in the ample pavilion of St. Hugh’s School, Faringdon.
How much these factors contributed to the Martlet score of 9-4 after 7.4 overs we can leave to the reader’s imagination.
Having won the toss, the Savage/Boulter opening pair contributed the grand total of 1 (by Savage), whilst poor Dan Jackson, who had joined the tour just the night before for this game only, had the same aggregate. Bush swung and departed for 5 and it was left to David Mann and one of our younger Over-40 members Sam Collyer to rebuild. David played very well, hitting some crisp shots square of the wicket and
also over the infield on several occasions, the ball running somewhat better than at Stowell Park the previous day, whilst Sam provided great support for a while, before he departed for 12 in the 18th over. Once again the Chairman produced something of a score, 18, but no one else got into double figures and David’s 70 was the only really decent knock for the Vets, getting us to 128.
Of course it was never going to be enough against the well organised and cheerful SOA. At 61-3 possibly we had a chance if it were not for the entry of Alex Wildman, who had hit us all over the park last year, and did so again this, in a relatively restrained fashion for 44 not out off 27 balls, leading the SOA to a comfortable 6 wicket victory. Jeremy McGahan was the pick of the bowlers, 2-17 off 7 overs, and Walker and Christmas got a wicket each: Sam and Degsy tried their best, but it was left to Dan Jackson, playing in golf shoes, to suffer the coup de grace, 20 hit off his 10 balls – better luck next year, Dan ! I think you deserve the prize for “best tourist” anyway.
One should mention that Sam fielded like a dervish, easily our fastest over the ground, and David kept wicket beautifully as usual, if not very quietly.
We were all pleased to see President Nigel Russell with Lynne at the game, sorry we failed to put on a better show !
So the tour ended with two losses but super memories again, especially for those who went for the whole program – and special thanks to Mike Charman for umpiring in both games and John Betts for scoring at SOA. Gloucestershire Gipsies and South Oxfordshire Amateurs were generous and charming hosts on two delightful grounds, and all tourists owe a debt to the organizing Committee of Alan Newman, Degsy and Phil.
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