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Result - Demijohns

Sat Jun 27th Grannies won by 5 wickets

Match report

A new feast day entered the lexicon in Oxford on Saturday. A new saint was found who's every wish, it appeared, could be granted by some benign higher force. The summary of the day (with apologies to Shakespeare) goes:

"And Grannies in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Ely's day."

One man rose above all others, asserting his personality, Flintoff-like, to mould events to his whim. So to comment merely that the Grannies lost the toss, bowled, dismissed the Demijohns for 199 and then rattled up the runs for 5 wickets and with some 8 overs to spare, is to do a grave disservice to the theological scholars of the future who may date the next faith craze to this extraordinary afternoon.

Taking the new ball, Ely initially struggled with His new found omnipotence. Like any superhero with new found powers He struggled to control them ("with great power comes great responsibility" as I believe Spiderman averred) keeping the legside regularly doused and making life difficult even for the sprightly Tanous. Gradually however He became comfortable with the responsibility and a nagging line and length was achieved which had to lead to wickets.

And lo, it came to pass that the first five wickets to fall in the Demijohns innings all involved the great one, either as a bowler or as a catcher or as both. Indeed the flouting of these 'superpowers' started to border on the selfish when, not just content with taking his own wickets he decided to get involved with everyone else's, taking 2 catches in the outfield (dropping one for good measure as if to confirm He was indeed 'God made man') and assisting in a run out. Others could only look on and wonder whether his match fee would be commensurate with his involvement in the game.

Strangely, but perhaps in deference to the relative poverty of a different prophet, He stopped at 4 wickets thereby negating the need to purchase a jug. Then as if to demonstrate His mastery of human affairs, when required to bat He sprinted off the mark with a huge 6 over square leg. Rumour has it that on His Saturday night out in London He dumped the car at Hammersmith and walked up the river to Chelsea. There is always a nemesis however and for this prophet it appears to be the wide half volley outside off stump which was slapped straight to a disbelieving extra cover.

As with all prophets there are those that follow and there were some notable performances amongst them. First among these (Saint Peter perhaps) was Will Taunton-Burnett who bowled a miserly opening spell of 10 overs for 19 runs before scoring an excellent 60 plus, sharing in a 115 partnership for the second wicket with Johnny Rowland (also 60 plus) which effectively sealed the game.

Elsewhere, in the bowling unit Len Jackson bowled an excellent 2 spells of intelligent legspin and Tom Blackman's bowling action rose from the ashes (helpfully advised by younger brother Pete from a statuesque first slip) to bowl steadily and pick up 2 key wickets in an over.

On the fielding front Watt showed his fell-running pedigree on the side of the ground that slopes down to the river, Wilson was game and reluctant at short mid-off and Howard patrolled the mid-wicket area with a face like thunder, silently renegotiating his relationship with alcohol.

A win for the Grannies then and a thoroughly enjoyable day all round. My thanks to my team for their skill, commitment and good cheer.

Match info

All day game, including lunch and tea, against an old boys side from St Johns College.

Wadham College, Oxford,
Marston Ferry Road,
OX2 7EE,

How to get there
From the centre of Oxford on St Giles, head north up the Banbury Road towards Summertown. At the junction of Marston Ferry Road and Banbury Road, turn right at the set of traffic lights. The entrance to the ground is the second turning on the left and is a little track that leads up the side of Cherwell School. The ground is behind the school. Sports ground number is 01865 310382.