Smith leads Oxton to victory
By Oxton Admin
The Oxton Lions returned to Townfield Lane to face off against the well placed Davenham, who sat just above them on the ladder.
Having been cruelly denied a win last week as the umpires decided that the playing conditions were too wet after a Sale player decided to play slip and slide in the middle of the wicket, the Lions were raring to go with a further 25 points up for grabs.
Captain Jack Smith, who was playing his last ever game of cricket as his family had finally decided it was time to put him in a home, was desperate to win the toss to give his dream team opening bowling partnership of Magann and Fennah first use of the good looking wicket.
To nobody’s surprise, Captain Jack lost the toss... again. Making his final tally of tosses won 2 out of 10. Well done Jack.
Much to the surprise of the 7 people in the crowd, the Davenham skipper elected to bat first to try and set a competitive total to give his bowlers something to bowl at. Unfortunately for them, winning the toss was the highlight of their day.
Shortly after the toss, the Oxton bowlers were warming up to the prying eyes of the Davenham batsmen. Young, strapping Magann had just bowled a ball, and what an absolute peach it was. After seeing this, the young Davenham opening batsmen suddenly dropped to ground clutching his knee saying that he would be unable to play today. In fairness, Magann does have that effect on people. So with no time to get a replacement, the tourists were down to 10 men for the day. In all seriousness we wish the Davenham player a speedy recovery.
As has been the case many times so far this season, the two bowlers kept it tight and did not give many opportunities to score early in the innings. It was in the 7th over, with the score on 8-0 when Pat took his first wicket of the afternoon when Ben Gough was adjudged LBW for 7. His second came soon after when he forced one through the Davenham skipper’s defences bowling him with the score only having progressed to 15-2. It was a superb spell of bowling from Magann and Fennah and it laid a solid platform for the rest of the day.
The second wicket brought the dangerous Sam Hunt to the crease joining Peter Gallichan and the Davenham pair began to slowly build a partnership though runs were still hard to come by.
At the conclusion of Magann’s spell, he was replaced by Lewis Knowles, a big West Indian giant playing his first 1st XI game for Oxton. Captain Jack was expecting a mix between a young Curtly Ambrose and Joel Garner, however what he received was more a mix of Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin. There were half volleys, half trackers, full tosses and everything in between in his first 2 overs. In his third over, after getting rid of the nerves he began to work over the Davenham number 4. With a really good half tracker, Hunt spooned a catch to mid-on, only to have it dropped by the Oxton fielder.
In the 23rd over the visitors had moved onto 64 when a mix-up between the batsmen led to the runout of Hunt for 29 (35 balls) after Dane Williams calmly threw the ball to the bowlers end where Knowles was ready to remove the bails. And thank god that run out happened because that bloke was absolutely pumping them!
Knowles finished with figures of 6-1-15-0 and was replaced by Matty Darlington, now fully recovered from a shoulder injury sustained at winter nets.
With the second ball of his season Matty was in the wickets when Robbins got a thin snick, and to everyone’s surprise, the catch was held onto by the keeper Debrabrander.
The score was now 82-4 in the 27th over and Davenham were going to need to accelerate the scoring rate if they were to post a competitive score.
The Davenham number 3 batsman, Gallichan, was playing well scoring all around the wicket and was the key wicket.
Davenham passed the century mark but a wicket followed when Hornby was dismissed caught behind off the bowling of Magann - the poor bloke probably got ball of the century.
The sixth wicket fell to Matty Darlington when he bowled Blackie for 6 and Darlo took his 3rd wicket in his next over with Bliss dismissed LBW. The crowd were now right into the game with the chant “daaaaaaarrrrrrlllloooooooo” now being sung in the stands.
Davenham were struggling on 124-7 with only ten available to bat. However Gallichan was still at the wicket and had moved onto 51. Gallichan had started to struggle with a sore back and shoulders as he was trying to carry the whole Davenham community with him.
Following Darlo’s spell of 7-1-19-3 the experienced Greg Shillinglaw was brought into the attack from the far end. Basically there was no one else left to bowl and Shilly is a pretty decent bloke so he got the nod.
The batting pair began to take more risks in an attempt to post a score and with a few boundaries managed to push the score onto 162 with 4 overs remaining.
Alston was bowled by Shillinglaw bringing the last man to the crease.
Gallichan was eventually dismissed for 81 with the first ball of the final over which was bowled by Richard Fennah, always great length from Richard. The visitors finished on 174-9 off 49.1 overs.
Following tea Jack Smith & Marc Debrabander opened up for Oxton as they looked to chase down the 175 required.
Smith looked in fine touch right from the start as two cover drives passed the boundary rope in the first over and Oxton never looked back.
The Oxton faithful were thrilled to see that Jack had waited until his last game to finally score some runs. Cheers for that Jacko.
Debrabander was also finding the boundary with regularity. After 10 overs the score was 59-0.
Not to be outdone by Lewis Knowles, the Davenham bowlers dished up a very healthy supply of half volleys and half trackers that our batsmen gobbled up.
Debrabander missed a genuine straight ball and was bowled by Blackie for 62(79 balls) but the score was 136-1 with 29 overs gone and with Dane Williams on his way to the crease the victory never looked in doubt.
Dane & Jack continued to score freely and the crowd were hoping for a Smith century. However, Dane had other ideas. Instead of allowing Captain Jack to reach his century in his last ever innings, he decided to start smashing bombs left right and centre to deny Jack the chance.
Dane scored 26 off 25 balls but was LBW to the bowling of Blackie with the scores level.
Chris Williams joined Jack at the wicket and it was left to the outgoing skipper to hit the winning runs finishing on 90 not out.
The result sees Oxton move back up to 2nd in the league table and the captaincy is handed over to Dane Williams who we have no doubt will carry on the good work started by Jack.
Next week Oxton will make the trip to Urmston on Saturday following our match against the PCA at Townfield Lane on Friday afternoon.