3rd's vs East Oxford - From the ridiculous to the sublime...
By Jan Simmonds
Charlie Corbett's first runs for the 3rd's and Thomas Cunningham highest scorer by 100% margin...
Yes, the wicket was like a soggy green sponge, but even that shouldn't have seen the opening four batsmen out for a measly 13 runs. (Lucky for some, but not for us today.) But that's not even the ridiculous part. That would be the fact that pre-match banter with a typically friendly and warm welcoming East Oxford side was a joking observation that their average age was knocking the higher forties and ours nearer 15. Personally I thought it would be all over for 20 runs. Our 3 oldest players, either through over cautiousness on a wicket that should have seen them come out and attack more, or complacency, had just ten runs between them.
But then the sublime... In walks Thomas Cunningham who starts batting like Root on a good day. Within a couple of overs he was joined by Charlie Corbett who had yet to score runs for the 3rds. Between them they secured a mature 34 runs with Charlie 9 and Thomas an elegant 25. Oscar and Rory shouldn't be concerned it wasn't their day and Calum Ardron did well on the wicket to get a respectable 10 runs. His brother Josh, with the world on his young shoulders, managed a few runs before one of EO's mature bowlers, on his home pitch, left Will Price standing not out. We were never going to win from there and in similar fashion, Charlie Corbett had the catch of the day behind the wicket and Will Price got the other two wickets. (2-19) Needless to say East Oxford reached the 63 required within 11.5 overs.
So as a game, it felt a bit ridiculous. But as a peek into the future and a demonstration of our young talent, it was sublime.
I also wanted to add that I overheard several players saying that they were keen to play because of the circumstances of the whole club and to support the 1st XI, who would be significantly impacted if they didn't show up. A frustrating game on the one hand, but an impressive display of talent and character across the board. Hat tip to Sam English for fronting yet another David & Goliath battle on behalf of all of us who care about the club .