Format: 35 overs
Result: Won by by 21 runs
Match Manager: A.W.Smith
Fenton. Fenton… Fenton! Oh Jesus Christ, Fenton!
With the Three Lions dusting off their boots in the catchily-named Nizhny Novogorod, the Iffley Village Sloths* (*nickname currently still in development stages) headed to the infinitely more pronounceable Long Compton to once more do battle with their good friends in the Cotswolds. With the weather looking much more South American than Russian, things looked easier for our fleet-of-foot compatriots than for our boys in the long trousers.
With the skipper winning the toss and correctly choosing to bat first, Meier was keen to get out as soon as possible so that he could watch the overpaid fairyboys kick some leather around in the city they call The IT Centre of Russia (Source: Ribttes.com). Mission accomplished: apparently playing for the out-swinger but getting bowled by the Putin-swinger. An aggressive new haircut not being enough to prevent a sorry return to Club Zero for the Chairman.
Fergus William Antony Cable-Alexander Esquire has no interest in football; a game for oiks and the uneducated. Fergus William Antony Cable-Alexander Esquire is the heir apparent to the Baronetcy of Dublin (Source: Wikipedia), and therefore he is a gentleman; and what better place for a gentleman than to be at the crease with a couple of G’n’Ts in the belly and some fine English willow clasped firmly in your palms? I’ll give you a clue: there is none. And so it was that Little Lord Fautleroy set about carefully constructing an innings of his usual mixture of aristocratic defence and self-entitled attack that the upper-classes do so well.
With Denning joining FCA in the middle, the poshest partnership in Oxfordshire cricketing history looked set to quaff heartily from the golden chalice of runs. When Mark ‘Lord’ Denning (whose family also boasts some equally impressive peerage in its lineage) bats, he’s usually like that rather curious stain you discover on the front of your work trousers on a slow Wednesday afternoon in the work toilets: hard to get rid of. But this was not a cold Wednesday night in Stoke, football fans, this was high-intensity Sunday cricket, and Denning was out for an uncharacteristically-low 10 runs.
Between 1788 and 1868, about 162,000 convicts on 806 ships were transported by the British government to various penal colonies in Australia. The last convict ship, the Hougomont, left Britain in 1867 and arrived in Western Australia in January 1868. On an unrelated note, Sam Convict was next in.
With confidence on an all-time high as he topped the season’s batting charts, your mother’s favourite Antipodean (Source: your mum, last night) had high hopes of finally recording his first half-century for the team in a country he is most definitely allowed to reside in legally (Source: ?). Sadly, it was not to be the sandpaper fan’s day as he recorded his first duck and he duly dispatched himself to the field of stinging nettles at the appropriately-named Bell End to find a lost ball that new-man-in Tim Morton had dispatched soon after entering the fray.
Regular readers of our match reports will be familiar with long paragraphs bowing to the majesty of a Morton innings. So rare is a Morton appearance (just 20 measly appearances in 5 years), that the odds are better for a blow-job and a lottery win in the same week than to see ‘Fidel’ in IVCC colours. Yet, here he was, and with familiar facial shrubbery and weird red cap firmly in place too. With Long Compton’s Jago Unchained bowling with a pace matched only by the searing heat, the Villagers were staring down the barrel of being 3 down for not very many, and a Morton-esque innings was required. Never one to disappoint his adoring public, the Cuban communist revolutionary now residing in Combe, Oxfordshire, set about deconstructing a tight LC bowling unit in his usual languid style. Huge sixes over long-on and mid-wicket looked effortless, the Beard from the Baldons had very quickly scored the same amount of runs as FCA but in a third less balls.
Speaking of Viscount C-A; as has been his wont this season, he batted with confidence but sadly got out when looked set to score big – playing back to a ball on a length that kept low and getting bowled for 39. With his impressive 93* from last year now a distant memory, he was replaced by his partner from that fateful day, Mark Law, who ambled to the crease with all the grace of a man on a first date trying to hold a fart in.
From the poshest partnership to arguably the oldest partnership in Oxfordshire cricket, Dirty Grandpa defied the onset of dementia with an innings filled with a mixture of wisened strokeplay and good old-fashioned bunting. In two innings here, Old Father Time has scored over 120 runs and not yet been out. Sometimes you just have to bow down and acknowledge that these old dogs can still teach the new puppies a few things.
With balls disappearing into luscious bushes faster than a 70s porn film, IVCC’s answer to Statler and Waldorf (Google it, you heathens) having seemingly been sponsored by Viagra, started to erect a impressively firm total. But Morton blew his load too early and was clean bowled by the returning Jago for a thumbed-in 93. However, he does, at this point of the season, currently top the batting charts.
You ever see those ‘bros’ in bars or clubs who wear those ‘muscle fit’ t-shirts to illustrate they spend half their life in the gym working out to get big muscles to detract from their tiny penises? Well, Ben Davis was next in bat.
Wearing his customary reflective sunglasses, presumably so he could check out his own gun show without the opposition noticing, BenDover tee’d off nicely and peppered the boundary in quick succession before having his furniture disturbed for a sprightly 16. There was just enough time for a brief cameo from the skipper, continuing his efforts to record as many red inkers as possible in 2018 with a timely 11 before the innings’ close at 242–6.
Lunch was pre-cursed with apologies from LC host ‘Creosote’ (for the uninitiated, creosote is a wood preservative – a nickname that could equally be applied to some IVCC batsmen who couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo, yours truly included) that the food resembled a kid’s party, with sausage rolls, burnt pizza, and chocolate cornflake cakes served up like a buffet of Meier-esque leg-side full tosses. Can you get salmonella from uncooked chips?, wondered Taylor, probably… The heady days of homemade lasagne and leather trousers now seems but a distant memory. Still, apologies were rebuffed with gentlemanly grace and bellies filled with calorific delights before the Villagers re-assembled on a length, heavy of foot but with spirits high – the sight of Taylor’s umpiring signals resembling a middle-aged man’s attempt at popular dance craze ‘flossing’ providing much needed mirth in the unforgiving sunshine.
The LC openers charged out of the box like an over-zealous teenager’s first love-making attempt, just with a touch more style, grace, and (if this writer’s experience is anything to go by) longevity. Clearing the boundary ropes with relative ease off IVCC opening pair Daylight and ‘no more new-boy grace’ NickorisitAdam, with Browneye getting some particularly brutal treatment. How Now Brown Cow was rewarded for his efforts, however, by a moment of cricketing brilliance that probably deserves a paragraph of its own in this report. Oh go on then…
Over the years, FCA has, perhaps unfairly, been labelled as a somewhat comical fieldsman, a loveable rogue who oft appears to be fielding in high heels. He does, however, possess a safe pair of mitts when occasionally called upon from the safety of his hips and into action. I’ll set the scene for you: Nick/Adam/Whatever Brown is bowling a particular type of dross that only quick bowlers can get away with, and is being dispatched regularly to various parts of the Cotswolds. One particularly hefty swing of the blade saw the ball shoot relatively flat and hard out to the long-on boundary, a sure-fire boundary you’d have bet your first-born’s virginity on. When suddenly, out of nowhere, Baron Cable-Alexander jumped down from his throne quicker than Joffrey Lannister would if you’d mentioned that his mother had indulged in some rather nefarious and illicit activity with her own brother (that’s a Game of Thrones reference for you; enjoy it then discard it), and with uncharacteristic athleticism sprinted (yes, sprinted! I know, right?!) to his right and clasped one of the best catches in IVCC history. Some of you may remember Dan Watkins’ slip catch from a few years ago. Well, this shit on that one and didn’t even bother wiping afterwards. So stunned were his teammates that no-one actually believed the ball had stuck until he raised his hand victorious and there it was – the ball nestled firmly in the stinging palms of this paragraph’s hero. Move over Maradona, there’s a new Hand of God in town. A worldy catch and one for the Archduke of Fyfield to savour for some time to come.
Next up, the Ginger Whinger replaced Daylight (who bowled with his usual accuracy and verve) from the Bell End, and was notable for his lack of beamers, which was unusual for him this season, instead choosing to actually pitch the ball, harking back to that glorious summer that saw him named Bowler of the Year 2015. With his atypical windmill action and off-putting grunting (hey, enough about his sex life tekkers!), Billy Whizz unsettled the batsmen just enough to allow Meier (on a hattrick from the Blenheim game) to come on at the other end and continue a happy knack of taking wickets in his first over, somehow holding on to a rasping drive from opener Jones that surely would have taken out his front teeth and nose had it not stuck in the palms. More’s the pity, some might say.
But that would be where Meier’s good fortune would end, however, as he then served up several overs of particularly pungent excrement that allowed Long Compton to quickly add to their total and bear down with menace on the Villagers’ total. Resisting the urge to write that he was pulled off by the skipper, Meier was replaced with Mark Law who had bowled with aplomb at Appleton the weekend before. Calling upon his millennia of experience, the wily tactician was accurate and miserly from the off, his orthopaedic bowling shoes proving no hindrance in this case.
There was time for Lord Farquaad to take another catch, this time a simple dolly into mid-wicket off Smith – just reward for a tidy spell from the skipper – before new bowler Sam ‘Fenton’ Conway produced arguably his best spell for IVCC yet, with slow yet precise bowling allowing IVCC back into a game that ebbed and flowed with enticing frequency. Crocodile Dundon’t was able to remove dangerman Jago for a belligerent 51, having him stumped by the flailing Sir Flex-a-Lot behind the stumps. A second wicket soon followed, with Dirty Grandpa coming around from square leg to take the catch from a leading edge.
As the oppo edged ever closer to the required total, the result was hanging very much in the balance. The watching crowds (a field of sheep, 2 dog-walkers, a lost foreign student, a masturbating famer, and a gaggle of Cable-Alexandersereses) had chewed their collective fingernails down to the cuticles as 200 came and went all too quickly. But octogenarian Law remained parsimonious to the end, picking up one beautifully bowled wicket whilst the returning Daylight effected a bowled, a run out, and a stumping from the other end, to leave the opposition 21 runs short of the required, and a famous victory for the Villagers over our dear friends and gracious hosts Long Compton.
Ali Meier IVCC Chairman 25 June 2018