Saturday, February 24, 2024

Cricket: Nessun Dorma for Orsett and Thurrock

Orsett & Thurrock 4th XI played their final league game of the season last Saturday at Langdon Hills Recreation Ground against Basildon & Pitsea CC.

The match was eventually ended in a draw by the weather halfway through the second innings but there were some performances of note to end the campaign. First of all, the team got their highest total of the season by amassing 282/5 from 45 overs. This was helped by Henry Colbourn who despite being spurned by other teams, was looking very much at home with the 4th XI, scoring 55. Skipper Tyrone Owen, who lost yet another toss, scored a season’s best 87 runs and it was a double celebration for Elliot McCartney. He scored 59 as he scored his second half century against Basildon this season, they must be almost sick of the sight of him as we are! McCartney wasn’t finished there though, the part time firefighter turned part time spinner to claim his first league wicket of the season in the second innings before the heavens opened. Dean Wright on his return to the team also was in the runs with a cameo of 29 in the closing overs.

In reality Basildon & Pitsea were never going to chase down the mammoth target and it was just a case of whether OAT could bowl them out.

Skipper Owen opened with Bill West and young newcomer to the adult teams, Will Hudson. Hudson took the only wicket of the opening spell when he had Northwood edged to keeper Iain Oakley.

After the curtain raiser of the new ball, the real excitement started. Coming into the final game there was a race between two veteran heavyweights of the game to be the 4th XI leading wicket taker. I say race, it was more like a gentle stroll at their age! Anyway, Stuart Creosote Paint Chart Warren had 23 league wickets and Michael the silver shuffler Parker had 22 and skipper Owen bought them both on in tandem at each end with full control of the field. Tensions were running high about who had bribed what fielder in this battle for supremacy. Parker was first to show his hand as it became abundantly clear he had Henry Colbourn on his payroll as the Doctors son dropped 2 chances of Warren’s bowling including one he had two attempts at!

Warren having recently become a father again was understandably low on funds so could not bribe anybody, so instead he played a clever trick. He bought his rival Parker into short cover and then proceeded to bowl a juicy half volley that was smashed at Parkers wrist. People say that the Silver Shuffler might have psychic powers and this might have been proven as he screamed loudly before a nanosecond later when the ball actually made contact! Despite near misses, play and misses and edges going over and wide of the slips, both bowlers remained without a wicket as the highly anticipated bowl off become as much of a damp squib as the weather. Eventually both captains decided enough was enough and both teams nearly broke into a sprint for the sanctuary of the changing rooms with a draw the final result.

So with the teams maiden season under there extra large collective belts are they happy?

A third place in the league was achieved and with it being the first season for many of the players in the Shepherd Neame Essex League and with different rules, I’m sure they will look back with pride on the achievements and performances as a whole.

The leading run score was the captain Tyrone Owen. Danny Groves surged into the lead in this category early season but had to miss the last league game of the season with Owen just 30 behind. As mentioned above, Owen took this opportunity and scored 87 to claim leading run scorer for the season.

The highest score of the season was the match winning century by Mason Wren against Horndon on the Hill. Legend has it that he hit the ball so far that day, that it is competing for space in Earth’s orbit along with Chris Waddle’s Italia 90 penalty. Special mentions must also go to Iain Oakley who hit a 93 not out and Elliot McCartney who hit an 86 not out this season.

The leading wicket taker was as also previously mentioned, Stuart Warren. He finished 1 in front of his nearest rival, who to be fair dropped a few of his bowling and had a couple of 5 wicket hauls. A great achievement for a man of his age I’m sure you will all agree! Hopefully next year we can have some competition from Klay if he is allowed out to play more matches!

The next category surprised everybody, including the winner himself! Most catches this season was won by Michael Parker. Firstly he doesn’t keep wicket and secondly, he had an awful run of dropping catches in the last few games of the season. It must have been that tear gas in Marseille that affected his coordination and eyesight after June!

Last of all a couple of mentions for some special opposition this year. Firstly best opposition captain goes to Barry from Chelmsford. Purely down to the fact that he bought us a beer, then another etc etc! Villain of the year shall not be named but at our home game he moaned constantly about the facilities, he should of played against us at our old ground at Blackshots, plus his home ground is not Lord’s! Then once he got out nearly proceeded to smash the stumps out of the ground which if he had done so, would of been the only thing he hit all day!

So that’s the end of the league season for another year and hopefully next year will be just as fun with the rest of the piggies that play for Orsett & Thurrock 4th XI.


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