Category: Match Report


BPCC V Steeple Aston 1pm 20th September 2015

Courtesy of Phil Spearman and thanks to the BBC

Q of Sport

One last hurrah was required from the Blenheim blunderbuss as we turned up at Barton Abbey for an away fixture against Steeple Aston.  Early signs were good as we won the toss and elected to bowl on what looked to be a sticky wicket. Previous encounters with the opposition had mostly ended in defeat and our vice-captain summed up the situation neatly when he suggested that we must get their left handed opener early otherwise we were probably *****d. Walker took full advantage of the early conditions and opened with 2 superb wicket maidens (both bowled) to peg the Steeple-ites  back at 4-2. Opening partner Talbot (G) was unlucky in having the left handed opener miscue a pull directly to the aforementioned vice-captain stationed at mid –on. As the ball went straight in and out again (a la the confectionary stand at Headingly, 1981) it felt at that moment like were indeed well on our way to being *****d.  Further chances went begging as Canham saw the ball fly millimetres over the 5’ 6” mid-on and Canham himself shelved a difficult c & b chance larruped back at him. The opener continued to ride his luck as another miscued drive went fractionally over the same 5’ 6” fielder by now stationed at mid-wicket. 

 In another brush with dismissal the same batsman was well out of his ground backing up as his partners straight drive demolished the stumps having fractionally missed the outstretched hand of (you’ve guessed it) the 5’ 6” bowler on the way through. Eventually wickets did start to tumble however, with Walker picking up a third towards the end of his spell (for 20 off 8) and a wicket a piece for Talbot (G), Canham and a caught and bowled for Gokani.  Spearman weighed in with a brace. Despite the near misses Steeple at no point took the game away from us and they finished their 40 overs on 164-8.  Other highlights in the field included a stunning catch by Engel at slip and the moustache raising moment 6’ 5” Coxy had with the electric fence.  We also witnessed the comedy moment of the match/season/decade. In years to come you may come across the following footage on A Question of Sport

Sue Barker: So we move onto the What Happened Next round and Matt, you go first. Here we have a local village cricket match and as the dibbly-dobbly bowler comes in to bowl, the young batsman advances down the track to cart him out the ground. What happened next? 

2 minutes of conflab later 

Matt Dawson: Well Sue, we think he’s gone for a big shot, top edged it, and 3 players have run in and all collided with each other.

 (General guffawing)

 Sue Barker: It’s a good answer but its not right. Over to Tuffer’s team:

 2 mins later:

 Tuffers: Well Sue, I reckon he’s played the shot, made good contact and carted him right over cow corner and straight into a cow-pat.

 (Titters all round)

 Sue Barker Wrong again guys. Lets see what really happened: 

The bowler’s bowled, the batsman has completely missed it and just as it’s about to hit the top of middle stump, the keeper has fumbled the ball in front of the stumps and trashed the wicket.

 Tuffers (somewhat bemused): Come off it Sue, not even a Blenheim keeper would do that.

 Matt Dawson (frowning): Are you pulling my chain Sue – that didn’t really happen did it?

 Sue Barker: It really happened.

 Yes, 24 hours after the event when we all woke up the following morning it dawned on us – it wasn’t just a bad dream – Stan had actually fumbled the ball before it had even reached the stumps.  As a slight sweetener, in the chaos that followed a call of ‘no-ball’ (for that is what this wicket taking delivery had technically become) was overlooked. No one was sure whether this was due to the umpire’s inability to get back on their feet after crying with laughter or out of genuine sympathy to the bowler and the rest of the team but either way it was a nice gesture.  

So, we batted.  

At 39-2 after 10 we were still in the game but to be fair we were a couple of batsman light and with West and Cox back in the shed it was always going to be an uphill struggle. Further chaos was to follow however and in this time of the Rugby World Cup it was somehow appropriate that there should some shilly-shally on the boundary line as first Canham’s helmet and then his bat felt the full force of his frustration at having been run out for 25. There followed a farm yard full of ducks to add to the cows and horses in this most rural of settings and the 39 -2 had quickly become 48-8. It was left to Talbot (J) to play some impressive big shots and a more than useful last wicket stand between Walker (with two cracking pull shots) and Engel for us to retrieve at least some respectability from the jaws of humiliation. Our season had ended with us all out for 75 from 24.3 overs.  

So the last words of the season are probably best described by Steeple Aston’s emotional Norwegian commentator who popped in towards the end of the game (for they know a thing or two about cricket in Norway)… 

‘Blenheim, Blenheim – birthplace of giants (and 5’ 6” midgets) …

 Capability Brown, The Ladds-Gibbon, The Dukes of Marlborough (numbers 1-12), Rob Samples, can you hear me Rob Samples? Sir Winston Churchill, Steve Kemish, 

We have beaten them all. We have beaten them all.  The Mock Mayors (past and present), Sir John Vanbrugh, Mike Henman (and your tennis playing brother) Your boys took one helluva beating today’.  

And so we had. 

This week’s Altruistic Addendum

 … Is given over to one David Hughes who has, throughout the season, selflessly prepared wickets, organised fixtures, and managed the team. All without barely gracing the South Lawn himself. Buy that man a beer.

 I would also like to personally thank: 

  • Andrew Shaw our chairman for being our chairman and sorting out the wicket so that our batsman could contribute a tad more to our games (not before time frankly).
  • Mike Stone for preparing teas.
  • All other volunteers who have helped prepare the pitch (and clear away afterwards).
  • Allan Engel for tirelessly chasing money. And collecting subs and match fees.
  • Anyone who volunteered to umpire …
  • … and to score.
  • All other team managers of the month.
  • I should probably also thank Stan individually for the pure entertainment value in this last game alone. As well as for all maintenance he has undertaken.  

Guys its been a hoot again this season. Looking forward to next year already.


BPCC V Salix 1pm 13th September 2015

Courtesy of Phil Spearman

So, we bowled first and two separate Talbot micro-climates emerged at either end of the South lawn.  In one Talbot (J) served up a veritable feast of allsorts with no-balls liberally mingled with wides, long- hops and full bungers. The only thing missing was a well-pitched up delivery on the stumps, although in all fairness, with the first ball of the match he did have their opener dropped at cover by Canham (part jib, part difficult chance was the general consensus). 


At the other (Walker) end Talbot (G) was doing his best Willey (David) impression with some excellent left arm swing bowling and was rewarded by rattling the middle stump. Twice.  However Salix had by this stage raced along to 41-2 off their first 6 overs.  The run rate was pegged back slightly with the arrival of Canham into the attack but after 15 overs Salix had still progressed to 85-2 and it was looking like the afternoon was to be as long as the one the previous Sunday. However, Canham finally got due reward for an aggressive spell which started a procession of wickets that saw the opposition lose their last 8 wickets for 18 runs off 12 overs.  

This passage of play saw one batsman dab the ball out to square leg where Cox was patiently loitering. Having set off for a quick single, time seemed to stand still as we all took a moment to ponder ‘what would Stanley Angol do here?’ Regardless, Cox threw into Kerr and the run out was perfectly executed. Modesty prevents me from naming the 3rd change bowler who, in his 4 overs, bowled 3 wicket maidens. The equally prolific (if somewhat more expensive) Gokani proving the perfect bowling partner weighing in with 3 -12 off his 6. 

Precious little was offered or accepted in terms of catches between the first ball drop and the last ball catch by keeper Kerr and indeed a quick look at the scorecard in years to come will reveal that 7 of the 10 wickets were as a result of bowlers bowling their opposite number. So 103 to beat and at tea we were all wondering ‘What would Allan Engel do?’  And thus it came to pass that Rob Kerr opened with our veteran Chairman. A steady start was made but with less than 3 an over required, no fireworks were required. With Shaw back in the shed Spearman looked a shoe in at no. 3 carting the leg spinner for four before he too departed. New boy / old boy Phil of the Humphreys variety also perished leaving us at a very English like 39-3, teasing the opposition and sparse crowd alike into thinking that the game was still in the balance. The reality was though that a Salix win was about as likely as a Labour party triumph at the next election. 

Kerr was still there and having been joined by Cox, the ship was steadied and after Kerr’s demise – for 32 including 6 fours – Pathak picked up the mantle and the run rate, trumping our keeper with 7 fours in his unbeaten 31. Awesome. With the game all over by over by 5:30 we retired to the Kings along with the opposition where great merriment and cheesy chips were enjoyed by all who could lay their hands on them.  

Other highlights / selfless acts / points of note:  

  • Nigel – not selected after a late notification of availability – not only turned up and scored but also helped with the ropes etc
  • Malcolm likewise was there preparing the pitch and umpired but didn’t play. Much.
  • Mike did his usual great tea although it was sadly lacking in the veritables earlier served up by Talbot (J)
  • There was only one bye.

 Salix 103 all out (27 overs)           P.Spearman 3-2, R.Gokani 3-12

Blenheim 105-4 (29.2 overs)       R.Kerr 32, S.Pathak 31*



BPCC V ODCC 1.30pm 6th September 2015

Courtesy of Phil Spearman

 So yesterday …

 We won /lost/tied/drew/got rained off*

 In a game played in good spirits / high controversy / didn’t actually take place*

 We all enjoyed the game / fell out (again)*

 Drinks and merriment were had down the pub after / we all skulked off as soon as possible*

 Coxy got 50 & there were a lot of byes.

 So onto next week …


BPCC V Cricketers Club 2pm 23rd August 2015

Editors Note. This was a new fixture for Blenheim Park picked up through our Twitter account as we were as first leaving the date vacant due to the holiday season but players were keen to have a game. We were incredibly lucky to find the Cricketers Club and hope to continue this fixture for many years to come, whilst alcohol remains legal or available. The highlight for me – amongst many in the day – was the four swept by Sebastian Courage whilst falling forward like a drunk man in the batting crease!

Remainder courtesy of Allan Engel

In some respects yesterday’s visitors, the Cricketer’s Club, are a mirror image of our team. A genial grey-haired teller of tall tales (except in Blenheim’s case the stories are probably true), the family who turned up with two tiny children (except in Blenheim’s case one of the tiny children was actually playing), an astonishingly aged scorer (except in Blenheim’s case the scorer knows how to add); they even had their own version of Stan (except in their case the guy could actually bat).

Despite the prognostications of the gloom-mongers, it was obvious that the lunchtime rain was only a passing phase, and a thirty over game began at three o’clock. Put in to bat on a tricky, drying surface, BPCC’s openers Shaw and Cox sr were watchful rather than dashing against accurate bowling, but after Shaw fell Talbot J played some expansive shots before falling tamely. Gokani soon followed, but Cox jr opened his shoulders to great success and even cajoled his old man into running the occasional single. The final few overs saw the newly-moustachioed Aussie open up and hit some huge shots over the ropes, finally succumbing for 63. Some late biffing from Walker and Angol saw the mighty Blen through to a respectable 146-5 from their allotted overs.

What happened in their innings? Well, runs were scored at a decent rate, but wickets fell at regular intervals. The Chairman took a catch at slip, the Spearmeister doubled his wicket tally for the season, Stan bowled somebody and had someone else caught at long-off, Jake the Mini Rhino bowled like a smaller, quicker version of his dad (and fielded excellently), Nigel held two fine catches, so did Will but one was chalked-off as James had ‘Steven Finn-ed’ a bail in his delivery stride, Raj mixed some unplayable deliveries with some all too playable ones, a piece of alert thinking from Rob ran out a batsman in everyone’s view except the umpire’s, our opponents subtly held back their quality South African batsman until the game was almost lost, and finally, with twenty-nine overs gone, seven runs were needed off the final over, bowled by James.

Single, single, dot, four, and the scores were level. A speedy yorker was just kept out, and another off the final ball was edged into the leg-side with the batsmen scampering home to win by three wickets.










BPCC V South Wales Hunts 2pm 16th August 2015

Courtesy of Allan Engel

Things we never thought we’d see again:

A betamax cassette, the UK winning the Eurovision Song Contest and Phil Spearman taking a wicket. Well, let me just dig out my video of Katrina and the Waves because Rhino, the Vicar of Dibbly Dobbly, not only took a wicket, he took two. Against a decent team. On a relaid Blenheim wicket. And one of them was bowled




South Wales Hunts (not, apparently, cockney rhyming slang) were yesterday’s visitors, and were inserted in a timed game (although the precise timings were disconcertingly fluid). Nigel pulled up with an injury in his third over, but Gorgeous Georgie T and Raj bowled exceptionally well against a strong batting lineup, keeping the runs down and always looking dangerous. After them, Will and Phil kept up the pressure and SWH eventually declared at a belated tea interval for somewhere between 190 (the total in the scorebook) and 210 (the total on the scoreboard).


In the long and storied history of cricket teas (a volume on the subject is due to be published by Joe West), a footnote will have to be found for yesterday’s effort. Never content to bow to the mediocre, the Talbots rustled up paella, chocolate biscuits and assorted berries. And beer. (There were no Smarties, so Get Well Soon Mike). The opposition were unanimous in their approval, but they are an exceedingly polite bunch.


To get close to their total, a depleted BPCC batting lineup were going to need something miraculous from Coxy and AN Other. Coxy came to the party with yet another half-century, but no-one else stayed with him for very long. Soon enough, thoughts turned to saving the game, and determined efforts from George, Will and Rob Kerr to bat out time were successful. If you have a betting slip for Shergar to win the Grand National ridden by Elvis Presley, I’d try and find it sharpish. It’s less unlikely than the lofted boundary over mid-off that Rob Kerr unfurled in the final over.


We may have finished a hundred short, but we drew, so take that you Hunts.



BPCC V Great Tew 2pm 9th August 2015

Courtesty of Dave Hughes

The visitors won the toss and surprisedly decided to bat on a bowler friendly wicket – they then hit the friendly bowlers to all parts and scored 292 – 6 off 35 overs – there was a tight spell of bowling from the little lad behind the sight screen. Their Overseas player scored a hundred and then retired – he was not an Aussie obviously. We dropped some catches and some more but former Mock Mayor Stan was faultless behind the stumps.
Blenheim got off to a rapid start through Lee Keyes with a firmly hit 69 and Omer with 38 before Lee was caught in the deep off the bowling of a 12 year old leg spinner (A good one though) as he attempted another big hit. There were good contributions by the new Mock Mayor James Talbot with an unbeaten 31 and Gorgeous George Talbot with 18 whilst the skipper Marc Canham smashed another half century in prolific season but once the skipper was out the inning subsided to 254 all out.
A fine day out and compliments to the Spearman’s for a fine tea and appreciated Helen’s tactical cricket observations about running the bat in and Hubbie must get a wicket this season etc.



BPCC v Barton Abbey 2pm 19 July 2015

Courtesy of Malcolm West

We won the Toss and predictably batted first. Against average bowling Marc and Coxy piled on the runs relentlessly until Martin was given out bowled in a way, was he; wasn’t he (WG Grace moment replacing the bails) incident?  The middle order arrived and mostly got in the order of 20 and out as we set a big total, significant support being provided by newbie Charlie Bethell with 77. Marc fell on 114 and we totalled out with a massive 310-6 from 40 overs, the par score on the new wicket needs some serious revision upwards!


After a delicious tea Barton Abbey started their reply…slowly and were never in touching distance of chasing Blenheim’s record home score in David’s memory. Sadly their opening bat,  who complained of a low pitch, got a rising delivery in the crown jewels and soon was caught behind the wicket off George Talbot by Stan the man catch them if you can – he could – and caught 3 behind the stumps but did not celebrate much!

A good opening spell by George Talbot bagged another and Phil looking like he was back to his best but remaining wicketless as they defended. Will Cox bowled a tight spell but couldn’t tempt them to play and so it fell to the ‘2ndstring’ spin attack to get a break through.  First blood to Allan with his first wicket in a year , last week batting at 5 this week first change at the desirable walker end , whatever next?  Then West bagged one and a change of end the floodgates opened ending with 4-30. The last wicket popped up as an easy catch to Allan was shelled and the returning Talbot bagged the last wicket in the last over as BPCC bagged a 160 run (yes don’t adjust your sets) victory at 8pm.  Those of us still allowed out after 8pm retired to the kings to drink at Marc’s pleasure. 2 tons in three weeks only separated by a run out looks like the batting cup may be sown up already – if we can find it!


BPCC v Bayshill 2pm 31st May 2015

Courtesy of Allan Engel

A weather-related reduced game saw BPCC fall disappointingly short of a mediocre Bayshill total. A competent bowling (if not fielding) performance saw Bayshill bowled out for 111 in the last of their 25 overs, with Stan and Coxy each snagging three wickets. The skipper and and newbie Rufus shared the other four.


Two early wickets slowed the reply, but Marc and Martin rebuilt sensibly, and with six an over required from the final seven overs it looked like back-to-back wins for the mighty Blen. But a mini collapse and some tight bowling saw the equation grow to 10 off the last over. The first ball went for four, but after that the scoreboard ticked over no more. Bayshill 111 (24.1 overs, Cox 3-23 Angol 3-30) BPCC 106-5 (25 overs, Cox 55*) Bayshill won by 5 runs


BPCC v Bodleian 2pm 24th May 2015


Courtesy of Malcolm West

Well finally at the third attempt this season we avoided defeat with a narrow win over Bodleian Library. Batting first we scored 172 for 7 based around a partnership between Sameer (63) and me (70).  In reply an unusually strong Bodleian side were cruising nicely on around 120-0 before a disastrous run out and then regular break throughs saw them needing 17 to win off the last over.  Even Nigel striding to the crease couldn’t deliver and we won by around 12 runs.

Notable was the three father son combinations in the BPCC side and the results of our youth policy with Will Cox and Matty Doran bowling very well in combination, batting of Will Oxborough and the donut deserving fielding of Joe West.


BPCC v Juveniles 10am 14 June 2013

French cricket with our juvenile friends!

The Juveniles arrived ‘keen as Dijon mustard’  to be met by the sage – and onion – words of Stan ‘le homme il pleut et allez le pub’. To which we did, we listened to much sensible chat  – not ours obviously and some real le garbage! The highlight was always, the girls; and we met a gold winning rower – it was a wet day!

Anyway we agreed to play cricket on Sunday morning at 10am – a limited over game and Blenheim batted first. Dave Hughes agreed to do a marathon umpiring stint which lasted 1 ball as Monsieur West perdue le defence. Martin Cox and Dave Hughes steadied le bateau et le carnage at the end from Eddie Catling with a quickfire 31 took the score to 108 off 18.

Jasper and Willo opened the batting for the Juveniles and the former started as if he had catch a plane – come to think of it, he did! Anyway he struck the Blenheim bowlers to all parts of the ground but was caught on the boundary 5 short of 50 – magnifique! Marc Canham took 4 wickets au milieu le innings but Luke and Rhodri saw the Juveniles home with 5 wickets to spare and time to catch their flights!

Merci à tous