THURSDAY 31ST MAY v CLUB CRICKET CONFERENCE - WON BY 80 RUNS 5-0
Day 4 Weather: - Cloudy and overcast.
Finchampstead was the venue for the annual crunch match with the Club Cricket Conference. This match is the annual competitive yard stick by which the week is measured. Going into this match the Conference held an impressive 50% winning ratio against BP, with 17 wins in 34 matches, BP winning just 10.
BP won the toss and batted with Greg Gillespie and Huw Evans opening up, with a clear determination there would be no early scares as the pair put on a high class 112 in 92 minutes before Gillespie was out for 35 (1x6, 3x4’s) bowled by Cama. Huw Evans had been positive from the off, with a range of quality strokes showcasing his undoubted quality until he was dismissed by Churchill LBW for 68 (8x4’s, 1x6) in 87 balls and 102 minutes, the total 132-2.
Another stand was required to maintain momentum and Ray Doyle (33) and Phil Gray duly obliged with 47 runs until Doyle departed on 179-3 bowled by Churchill. On 202 Gray (33) left the middle to a Yarnley caught and bowled. However, there would be no let- up in the run rate with contributions coming from Duncan Midgley (20), Ted Roe (15), Steve Greig (14) and finally Peter Barnett 20 not out and Gareth Morris 7 not out. The scorecard showed the team ethic with No’s 1 to 8 in the order all reaching double figures to achieve a total of 270 for 7 wickets.
Note: The Secretary had just lost a £5 bet with the Sponsor as to BP reaching 300!!
The Conference steadily replied until Nigel Fretwell joined the attack in the 12th over, clean bowling Hussain (19) with his 3rd ball of a wicket maiden (45-1). Gareth Morris brilliantly ran out Yarnley (18) with the reply on 83. A stand of 26 for the 3rd wicket ended when Steve Greig, hit the right note, with Ray Doyle composed enough to catch Handel (52) who was starting to get into a rhythm.
BP were turning the screw and Gareth Morris bowled Chodhury (17), Steve Greig had Sikander (3) held by Ray Doyle and Chohan (19) was caught behind by Huw Evans, leaving the Conference a mountain to climb on 147-6.
BP’s fielding was outstanding and continued with Greg Gillespie holding onto Smith (2) in the long grass, Evans smartly stumping Cama (2) and Duncan Midgley brilliantly catching Singh (14) one handed - all off the bowling of Gareth Morris. The match was concluded when Greg Gillespie made another magnificent catch in the deep to get rid of Churchill (16) off Nigel Fretwell. The total was 190 all out.
Steve Greig 3-51, Nigel Fretwell 2-26 and Gareth Morris the fabulous return of 10-1-26-4 did the damage.
This was a resounding 80 run victory for BP, who never relaxed their grip on the game from the very first ball.
The Man of the Match went to Gareth Morris and was kindly presented by match sponsors Reynolds Dawson, represented by Colin Reynolds and Lucy Linington.
FRIDAY 1ST JUNE v ROYAL AIR FORCE - T20
MATCH 1 - WON BY 22 RUNS 6-0
Following the last curry supper in Reading it was a weary BP squad that assembled at Vine Lane, Uxbridge for the final two T20 matches of the week. Already 5-0 up for the week, could they emulate the clean sweeps of previous Captains Alan Hampshire (1993), David Fraser-Darling (1998) and Graham Shaw (2002 - 2003)?
In 2011 the RAF had defeated BP at both the 50 over and T20 formats, they would no doubt provide one of the stiffest tests of the week.
Winning the toss the RAF inserted BP who lost an early wicket 13-1, with Richard Grant out for 0 caught by Chapman off Turner in the 4th over. Phil Gray (2) departed by the same method 30-2 off 6 overs. Opener Greg Gillespie had scored 43 from 38 balls out of a total of 59 when 3rd to go, bowled Edmed. Ted Roe (4) left early stumped by Wray down the track to Magee, 70-4 in the 12th over. Ray Doyle and Russ Bryan put on 47 runs before Bryan was out for 25 in 18 balls, caught Edmed bowled Watson - the total 117-5 in the 19th over. Time was called with Ray Doyle in typical style, unbeaten on 51 (3x4’s, 2x6’s) from 42 balls in 55 minutes. Peter Barnett helping the effort with 7 not out. The total 138 for 5 wickets - the pundits insisting it was 20 runs short!
Chasing, the RAF were always up with a rate of around 7 an over but thanks in the main to an opening salvo from Nigel Fretwell and Russ Bryan, were always losing wickets. Compton (9) launched into Fretwell and Phil Gray made ground to juggle and hold onto the catch in front of the pavilion at the 3rd attempt, 17-1in the 3rd over. The other opener Chapman (6) went 4 runs later, bowled by Fretwell. Cessford (9) crashed Russ Bryan towards the cover boundary where Ted Roe took a fantastic diving catch 37-3.
Bryan got his 2nd with Morris holding onto a chance from Fisher (7) 42-4 in the 6th over. There was a lull and a stand of 43 threatened to redress the balance until Richard Grant came on and in his first over trapped Catlow (19) LBW, leaving it 85-5 in the 11th over. At the other end Nigel Fretwell came on to finish his spell and left with a wicket. Watson (18) cleared Richard Grant at mid-off who was being seemingly being outpaced by the ball going over his head when he miraculously dived to take the ball inches from the turf.
The board read 85-6. A smart bit of fielding from James Ellis ran out Wray (9) 97-7. Richard Grant then chipped in with 2 wickets, trapping Williams LBW (7) and bowling Magee (0). Ted Roe got the final wicket Turner (1) with Gareth Morris taking the catch. Fretwell 3-29, Russ Bryan 2-24 and Grant 4-0-16-3 led the way.
RAF 116 all out, Match 1 to BP by a 22 run margin.