Falkland 2 v Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 1XI- Saturday on Sat 18 Jul 2015 at 1.00
Thatcham Town Cricket Club Lost by 68 runs

Match report Leaders Thatcham Town crashed to a 68 run defeat to local rivals Falkland 2's at Enborne Lodge on Saturday as Thames Valley Division 3a begins to bunch up at the top. Thatcham's slip allowed Royal Ascot to capitalise as they beat Aldershot to take them within 9 points of the lead. Newbury were defeated by Cove's 2nd string as they missed a glorious chance and with their victory over the leaders, Falkland 2's are now in the hunt. Thatcham stay top with 198, Ascot have 189, Newbury 180, Aldershot 172 and Falkland 2's 167.

Saturday's defeat was a poor one from Thatcham as, once again, their fragility with the bat was exposed by the old ball and spin. Having won the first 4 tosses in a row, Thatcham skipper Duncan Johnson has now lost the last 7 and every time Thatcham find themselves in the field having to chase a target with the opposition taking the old ball, making run scoring difficult. It's an issue they need to address quickly and find a solutions or their title chances will be blown away.

Falkland 2's made a slow, steady start on Saturday as just 30 runs came off the initial 10 overs and served no indication of the fireworks to come later on. On a wicket that was flat and offering no movement for the Thatcham seamers, the spin of Chris Bird was introduced as early as the 12th over. The 50 partnership had just been posted when Dave Bloor fell for 18, as he found Matt Denness at backward point off Bird. Duncan Johnson then picked up the wicket of Theo Cooke as his attempted sweep only found Tom Mahoney at short backward square and Cooke departed for 5. Jack Chapman joined opener James Bird and he accelerated the score immediately before falling caught and bowled to Bird for a brisk 17 and Falkland 2's were 92-3 at the halfway stage. Skipper Graham Beal then came together with Bird and added a partnership of 57 with youngster Bird passing his fifty and looking assured at the crease. He had reached 73 but perished trying to hit his namesake Chris over the ropes, Callum Johnson sprinting round and taking a decent catch at long-on. Beal was proving a real handful to bowl at, both Bird and Johnson struggling to find answers to his unorthodox hitting areas as he found regular boundaries. He passed 50 in good time, hitting nine 4's in the process and together with Ben Thomas added a 77 run partnership before Thomas perished for 18. Beal had a century in his sights and had reached 86, but when he came down to track to his opposite number Duncan Johnson, the Thatcham skipper fired a quicker, wider deliver down and Jack Young whipped the bails off to stump him for a fine 86. Two more wickets fell as Mark Baker was run out for 8 and Nigel Trumper bowled by Chris Bird, also for 8, and it was left to Pete Randall 1* and Iain Dadd 1* to finish the innings and at 52 overs, Falkland 2's had reached 243-8 and posted a really useful score.

All the wickets fell to spin, Chris Bird bowling unchanged for 21 overs, returning figures of 4-84 and Duncan Johnson picked up 3-63 from 10 overs.

On a wicket offering little assistance to seam, it was no surprise that Falkland 2's took the old ball, giving the Thatcham openers Simon Rider and Josh O'Flynn no pace to work with at all. The experienced Nigel Trumper and youngster Charley Dale opened the attack and in Dale's 2nd over, Rider's attempted late cut found the hands of a diving Chapman and he departed for 0. Jack Young came in at 3 and once again looked in fantastic nick, pulling Dale crisply for 4 and then striking a magnificent straight 6 off the same bowler but immediately after, Dale had his man as Young was bowled for 24. Falkland then switched to the leg spin of James Bird and the quick spin of Theo Cooke and this was to be the visitor's downfall. Josh Winfield hit Bird for one towering 6 and was looking dangerous until Cooke trapped him lbw for 12 and when Josh O'Flynn, who had reached the 40's yet again, was bowled by Cooke, the visitors were 105-4 at the halfway stage. Once again, the scoring rate wasn't the issue, it was the fall of wickets to needless dismissals which was costing the leaders dear. The previous week's saviour Tom Mahoney was at the crease and together with the mid-lower order the target was well reachable. James Bird then struck three big blows as he took out John Williams, lbw for 5, Duncan Johnson, caught at extra cover by Ben Thomas for 5 and Callum Johnson who fell to a fine catch from Nigel Trumper, also for 5 and the middle order crumbled. Worse was to follow when Mahoney fell caught and bowled to Cooke for 20 and the writing was on the wall. Matt Denness became Cooke's 4th victim as he picked out Thomas at square leg for 6 and it was left to the last pair of Scott Gibson and Chris Bird to try and save the day. Gibson batted beautifully, reeling off a succession of boundaries to give his side hope, but with the score on 175, Bird hit Cooke for what he thought was a boundary only for Ben Thomas to stick up a hand and snaffle a fine one handed catch to win the game for his side. Gibson was left undefeated on 34*, Thatcham all out for 175 in 41.2 overs. At the same stage of their innings, Falkland 2's had reached 170. Thatcham were up with the rate throughout, but could not stop losing wickets and it's this ill discipline with the bat that is costing their side as we approach the business end of the season.

Theo Cooke was pick of the Falkland 2's attack, finishing with 5-33 from 13.2 overs with James Bird returning 3-69 from his 12 overs and Charley Dale 2-24 from his 7 overs at the start of the innings.

It was a crushing defeat and a dramatic improvement is needed for next weeks trip to Northcroft where Thatcham face fellow challengers Newbury.

Falkland 2 Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
1nb 1w 1b 5lb 
for 8 wickets
235 (52.0 overs)
Dave Bloor ct  C Bird 18
James Bird ct  C Bird 73
Theo Cooke ct  D Johnson 5
Jack Chapman ct  C Bird 17
Graham Beal st  D Johnson 86
Ben Thomas ct  D Johnson 18
Mark Baker Run out  8
Nigel Trumper b  C Bird 8
Peter Randall Not Out  1
Iain Dadd Not Out  1
Charlie Dale  

Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 1XI- Saturday Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Callum Johnson7.002200.003.14
Josh O'Flynn6.012800.004.67
Scott Gibson3.011500.005.00
Chris Bird21.0384421.004.00
Duncan Johnson10.0063321.006.30
John Williams5.012400.004.80

Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 1XI- Saturday Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
19b 3lb 
for 10 wickets
Simon Rider ct  C Dale 0
Josh O'Flynn b  T Cooke 42 4
Jack Young b  C Dale 24 4 1 1
Josh Winfield lbw  T Cooke 12 1
Tom Mahoney ct  T Cooke 20 2 1
John Williams lbw  J Bird 5 1 1
Duncan Johnson ct  J Bird 5 1
Callum Johnson ct  J Bird 5 1
Matthew Denness ct  T Cooke 6 1
Scott Gibson Not Out  34 6 1
Chris Bird ct  T Cooke 0 1

Falkland 2 Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Nigel Trumper8.012600.003.25
Charley Dale7.0124212.003.43
Theo Cooke13.223356.602.48
James Bird12.0069323.005.75
Mark Baker1.01000.000.00

  • Umpire :
  • Scorer :
    Ian Martin