21 June 2022

Following the incredibly hot and clear blue skies of the previous day, Saturday’s weather was quite the contrast with games played under gloomy overhead conditions and affected by squalls of rain blowing through. Despite this, we managed to get games and results from all of the matches against Haberdashers’ School.

Most rain affected was the 1st XI fixture on War Memorial. With the covers going on and off throughout the first hour, an early lunch taken and then more disruptions following the lunch interval, overs were constantly being lost from both of the teams’ innings. Following the fourth delay for rain, the contest was reset and we would start a new T20 fixture. Haberdashers’ won their second coin toss of the day(!) and elected to bat on this occasion. Starting well, with a healthy run rate and without the loss of any wickets, they looked very well set after the first power play. The introduction of George Owen moved the game forward at a rate of knots. Following an expensive first over going for 20, he returned to destroy the middle order with a spell of 4 for 7 from his remaining 3 overs resulting in Haberdashers’ making 129 for 7. Abingdon started well, with openers Caspar Mannix and Jamie Firth making 38 and 32 respectively. The response almost exactly replicated the Haberdashers’ innings, with a clatter of middle order wickets falling quickly and the chase becoming increasingly challenging. With 11 required from the final over and with 2 wickets in hand, the match would be hard pushed to pick a winner. The game went to the final ball, with one run to tie and two required for victory. A wicket off that final delivery meant that the home side fell an agonising 1 run short in a very exciting game of cricket.

The 2nd XI travelled to Haberdashers’ on the back of a fine victory against Bedford the weekend before. Their form continued with both bat and ball, with Jamie Wickens taking 3 for 37 with his leg spin, bowling their opponents out for 126. The chase was excellent, with Alastair Gray making 39 and Max Struthers an exciting 31 not out to finish the game at some pace, with Abingdon going past their target for the loss of 4 wickets.

Then U15 teams all had victories by 7 wickets, 61 runs and 10 runs respectively. Notable performances came from Connor Lamsdale (3 for 18), Oliver Veal (52 not out) and Ethan Barksfield (33 not out) in the A team. In the B team Alex Halson (50 retired), Tom Nutbrown (34), Freddie Arnold (36 not out) and Xavier McGuire (3 for 31) all made telling contributions, whilst Harry Brinson (42), Doug Amlot (49), Luke Ball (34) and James Hart (5 for 20) took the C team to a well-deserved win.

The U14 sides were at a chilly Cox’s field, and again had some very impressive performances and results. The 14 As won by 10 wickets; Alex Elly taking 4 wickets in bowling Haberdashers’ out for 98, and Oliver Hewes making another undefeated 50. The U14 Bs won their two-innings match by an innings and 5 runs; Abingdon scoring 129 for 3 (Jacob Kind 43, Josh Bromley 35 not out) and restricting their opponents to 57 for 6 and 66 for 4 respectively. And on the adjacent pitch, the U14 Cs took a 116 run victory; notable performances from Callum Alderman (48 not out), Will Bohdan (37), Rob Lloyd (5 for 10) and Sam Wormald (3 for 9).

Our Lower School sides came up against two very strong Haberdashers’ year groups. At home, the U12 A and B sides lost to their opponents, with Wilf Rice making 50 for the A team, whilst the U13 cricketers were on the road. The U13 Bs were bowled out for 92, which proved a difficult total to defend and they were unable to apply any pressure in the field. The U13 As bowled first and soon restricted the hosts to 35 for 6, before some rearguard lower order batting took Haberdashers’ to 108 all out (Henry Golding taking 5 for 16). In response, Abingdon chased with great composure to reach the target for the loss of just 2 wickets (Finn Hoy 50 not out, Henry Golding 33 not out).

In another incredibly busy week ahead, the U15s play Eton at Cox’s on Tuesday before the U14s travel to the same opponents on Thursday. On War Memorial, we look forward to the visit of the MCC on Thursday, as well as Stowe’s U15 side in the regional rounds of the T20 Cup on Friday, before a full block of fixtures against MCS next weekend. Thank you to everyone for their continued support so far this season!

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