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Worthians Cricket 2015 Season Report

Worthians Cricket 2015 Season Report

This season was my second full season in charge of the Worthians Cricket Club and by far the most enjoyable. On paper the Worthians only managed two wins from our four fixtures. However I do not believe this is a fair reflection of the season. The standard of cricket played was probably the highest I have seen for the last few years and there were some excellent individual and team performances. As always our season was hampered by unforeseen circumstances. This year the fixtures against OACC and Emeriti were cancelled due to the opposition being unable to field sides. Had these fixtures been played I am confident we would have ended up with a winning seasons.

As is customary, the season started with the Worthians taking on the School 1st XI on Speech Day. Sadly this season the report on the fixture is a little shorter than usual, mainly due to the fact that the scorecard has been misplaced! Although there is little to report in terms of cricket, the day as a whole was extremely enjoyable and it was nice to see so many people coming down to support the School. The day ended in the Worthians losing a closely fought fixture.

The Worthians vs Occasionals fixture is always a tightly contested match. This year had an extra edge with John Denman poaching a strong selection of old boys to represent the Occasionals.  The Worthians won the toss and chose to bat on what looked like a good batting wicket. The game got off to a bit of a shaky start with the Occasionals taking two quick wickets. This brought an in form Theo Rivers to the crease. Theo played a stunning innings, easily the best innings by a Worthian for at least three seasons, hitting a classy 81 and missing out on what should have been a well-deserved century.  Thanks to some good supporting batting from Luke Donegan (23) the Worthians ended their innings on 152 for 5 from 30 overs.

The Occasionals got off to an equally shaky start losing two quick wickets.  A special mention goes to Tom Planterose who took the first wicket with an excellent piece of fielding, throwing down the stumps at the non-strikers end with a quick pick up at mid-off.  Although there was a solid spell of leg spin bowling from Theo Rivers (2-18) the Worthians never really found their bowling groove and the Occasionals put together some very impressive partnerships. Toby Pullan (26), Damian Cummins (19) and Luke Cummins (50 n.o.) all contributed to the Occasionals effort, helping them to chase down the total in 28 overs. Although it was disappointing to lose, the performance of the old boys representing the Occasionals provided a lot of positivity for the remainder of the season.

Having lost the first two fixtures of the season the Worthians vs St. Chads fixture was an important game. St Chads were put in to bat on a day when the Worthians bowling attack was firing on all cylinders. Tight bowling from Greg Russell (1-13), Christian Killoughery (1-11) and Ed De Mott (4-9) reduced St Chads to a tame 109 all out.  With victory in their sites the batsmen went out to chase a small total in a confident manner. Although there were a couple of cheap wickets the result never looked in doubt and the Worthians cruised to an easy victory with Ed Hall-Smith (25)and Hugo Bashall (28) deserving special mention as we chased down the total within 22 overs.

The final fixture of the season was against Downside Wanderers. Last year the Downside fixture was the highlight of the season with the Worthians winning the match in the final over. Hopes were high that we would have a similarly close fixture this season. Downside won the toss on a beautifully sunny day and chose to bat. They got off to a slow but steady start, accumulating 40-0 off the first 10 overs. Some tight bowling from Greg Russell (0-21) and Michael Bilbé (2-27) kept the pressure on Downside forcing loose shots and reducing them to 50-2 off 12 overs. This pressure did not last long though with Downside putting together a fluent 138 run third wicket partnership. Thankfully Christian Killoughery (1-49) got the much needed breakthrough with some excellent line and length bowling and Thomas Bilbé (2-30) stopped the tail from wagging to leave Downside 201-6 off their 35 overs.

The Worthians response got off to a weak start being reduced to 36 for 2 off 9 overs. Thankfully the Worthians fought back hard in the middle overs lead by a magnificent innings from Hugo Bashall (60). Bashall found the boundary with ease (including three 6’s in a row!) and was well supported by Luke Cummins (23) and Greg Russell (23). This left the Worthians in a strong position of 126 for 4 off 22 overs. Things suddenly took a rather unexpected turn with Downside taking some quick wickets, leaving the Worthians 167 for 9 off 29 overs. From such a strong position this was rather disappointing and left the final pairing of Thomas Bilbé and Christian Killoughery a monumental task. Thankfully both fancy themselves as middle order batsmen and proceeded to demolish the Downside bowling, hitting the boundaries off nearly every ball and showing us all how it is done. The highlight of the cameo was Thomas Bilbé (35 n.o.) dutifully hitting a straight 6 to bring the winning runs and take the Worthians to 202-9 off 33 overs.

It is fixtures like this one that make the effort of arranging the Worthians cricket team worthwhile and I would appeal to anyone who has any interest in cricket to get involved in the W.C.C. Players of all standards are welcome and we are keen to get as many new players as possible involved in the club.

Michael Bilbe (StB’06)

The following Worthians represented the Worthians Cricket Team during the 2015 Season: