Shaw tames the oppo!
Initially our batting line up looked a little light. However we had not accounted for Will Shaw. That’s Will Shaw, not to be confused with that County of carrot crunchers to the south west – this was Will Shaw the proud Yorkshireman (like there’s any other type). After a nervy start, more from Shaw Snr (from beyond the boundary) than his younger relative to be fair, the latter got going with a massive 6 (like there’s any other type) which set the tone for the innings. Boardman stuck with him for 10 overs before being given out LBW to Mather. Which seemed fitting as even the opener’s mother would have had to have given it.
Other partners came and went every half a dozen overs or so, but Shaw the Younger kept going. As he plundered, biffed and, on occasion, caressed the ball, usually to the boundary, questions were being asked in some quarters about family lineage. Could they really be related? By the end of our allotted 35 overs the young tyke had amassed an assured and undefeated 102 (six 4’s, six 6’s) out of our total of 160-5. A generous 22 wides were gifted by our benevolent visitors but no-one else managed the lofty heights of even double figures – Skipper West, and Spearman (J) missing that milestone by one a-piece.
With the track deemed treacherous to all from south of the Watford Gap, this seemed an above par score and one which we were Shaw we could defend. And so we did. And although collectively the bowling unit performed well on a helpful wicket, the extent of the victory lay as much with the reluctance of the top order to show any intent whatsoever as to the combined efforts of the 5 bowlers. At 28-3 off 21 it was enough to send even the most ardent of insomniacs into a stupor.
Walker (2-6) & Weedon (0-14) exploited conditions well with the former delivering his trade mark swinging ball pitching on leg and hitting middle. He struck again when Spearman Snr clung on to a swirling steepler of a catch at mid-off facing directly into the sun that had made an all too fleeting appearance on an otherwise ‘two jumper’ day.
It was the same Spearman (2-12) who, as 2nd change, accounted for the opener to dispel (once again) vicious and unfounded rumours than he can only dispense with tail end rabbits. Hitherto that end had been shored up to such an extent that King Cnut himself would have been proud.
Elsewhere in the field, Parker clung on to a sharp chance in one of the silly positions (more so in that it was Stan bowling at the time). Kerr, the keeper was tidy behind the stumps and unusually well-mannered, allowing just the odd bye through whilst also snaffling one off Angol (3-30) himself.
J Spearman (3-14) returned to the attack at the death and suggested that maybe rabbit slaying does indeed run in the family after all, sending 3 back to the hutch as cheap as chips. With 10 men in the field by this stage, and one catch put down he figured he needed to finish the job himself – and so he did bowling two and finishing the innings with a cracking caught & bowled. Thame has subsided to a tame 78 all out in 33.4 overs.
We then experienced the legendary Shaw hospitality with a socially distanced BBQ where we all huddled around the fire to keep warm and make merry. If you liked succulent steak to die for and cooked to order, quality sausages and burgers with marinated salad and gherkin or jalapeno peppers (or both if you were greedy), you were in the right place. And in the dying embers and fading light of this most peculiar of summers we all knew that we were.
Presentations then followed. As is customary at a Blenheim social, Rob Kerr invited himself to make a speech and, before blowing some appropriate smoke, he suggested we could say what we liked about Mr Shaw. Micro seconds passed before 3 members stood up simultaneously to voice their opinion before being quickly drowned out by this years un-elected captain Malcolm West who went on to present the club awards which were as follows;
The Andrew Shaw batting award: Lee Keys
The Nigel Walker bowling award: Raj Gokani and Tom Weedon
The David Hughes fielding award: Jake Spearman
The Stan Angol Clubman award: David Hughes.
Obviously, with the surreal period we are in, these were for the 2019 season. As Bob Dylan, almost once said – The Times They Are Unprecedented.
So, a cracking days cricket and a fine early evening’s BBQ Bonhomie to finish.
Both meat and team selection were spot on and for that we must surely thank our esteemed Chairman.
Match report: Rhino