Henley 2 v Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 1XI- Saturday on Sat 30 Jul 2016 at 1.00
Thatcham Town Cricket Club Lost by 6 wickets

Match report Thatcham's up and down season continued at Henley on Saturday as they went down by 6 wickets to remain perilously close to the drop zone in Thames Valley Division 2b with just five games left to play.

Winning the toss and electing to bat on a fantastic surface Thatcham were soon in trouble at 26-3 against the new ball attack of Simon Wheeler and Zac Jones. Peter Spriggs (5) edged Wheeler behind and Josh O'Flynn (10) and Ben Copeman (2) were both clean bowled by full deliveries from Jones. Steve Bartholomew and Tom Mahoney had the task of rebuilding the early damage and they did so in fine style, Bartholomew unleashing some wonderful off-side shots and Mahoney was his usual busy self, putting pressure on the fielders and running well between the wickets to dovetail with Bartholomew's elegant strokeplay. At 98-3 through 20 overs and with the partnership approaching three figures, Henley turned to the dual spin of left armers Cameron Jacobsen and Euan Brock with devasting effect. Bartholomew was within sight of a half century when he tried to force Jacobsen over long on and could only succeed in holing out to Tom Oldershaw and he was on his way for 48. Brock then got in the act with a double strike as he removed a woefully out of touch Duncan Johnson, stumped for 5 and then the dangerous John Williams for 0 as Thatcham slipped to 118-6 on a shirt front of a pitch. Mahoney was still there though and he reached an excellent 50 from 81 balls and looked to push on. As with Bartholomew before him though, the minute he tried to force Jacobsen straight, he didn't quite get enough of the ball and could only find the safe hands of Oldershaw once again and Mahoney had to go for 51. Thatcham were now in danger of not even reaching 200 and when Jacobsen bowled Callum Johnson for 0, the visitors were 145-8 from 35 overs and in real danger of completely self destructing. Chris Wright had other ideas though as he counter attacked in devastating style. Wright has only played a couple of games this season and he proved what a massive loss he is to the middle order as he stepped up to the plate and delivered when it really mattered. He smashed Brock over extra cover for three towering 6's and together with Chris Bird added 30 quick runs. Bird perished lbw to the returning Jones for 7 and with a further 22 runs needed to get the maximum batting points available, last man George Armstrong joined Wright at the crease. Armstrong showed he can handle the pressure and there was no thought from Wright of hiding the youngster from the strike. Wright continued to accumulate and reached a fantastic half century from 57 balls with four 4's and four 6's as Thatcham passed the 200 mark in the 48th over. With 4 overs left to bat and Wright looking to go big, disaster struck in the form of a mix up in the running to leave Armstrong short of his ground and run out for 8 to leave the visitors 202 all out from 47.3 overs. Wright was left unbeaten on 58* in what was a brilliant knock given the pressure of the situation when he arrived at the crease.

Given the circumstances it was an excellent effort to get up to 200, but on a belter of a pitch and with opportunities for batters to go on and get a big score, Thatcham knew that realistically this was a well below par score.

Left arm spinner Jacobsen was the pick of the Henley attack returning figures of 3-48 from his 17 overs and he was ably backed up by Zac Jones 3-44 from 11.3 overs, Euan Brock 2-53 from 10 overs and skipper Simon Wheeler 1-26 from 6 overs.

With a stellar cast of batsmen available to Henley, Thatcham knew that to stand any chance of winning the game, they had to strike early. They took the old ball and Chris Bird and John Williams opened up in the hope of exerting some early pressure. Goodson and Oldershaw were determined not to let the spinners settle but Bird and Williams are a very decent pair and it wasn't long before Bird struck, Goodson cutting straight to Williams in the gully for 8. Williams then struck a big double blow as he bowled Oldershaw for 11 and three balls later had ex-Berkshire star Euan Brock stumped by Wright without scoring. Henley were 32-3 through the initial 10 overs and the visitors were well in the hunt. Youngster Michael Williams joined the experienced David Allaway, left handed Allaway another player to have played at the very top level and Thatcham knew they had to dismiss him before he settled. Both batted cautiously, Allaway using all his experience and know how to guide Williams through and they took the score to 77 before Peter Spriggs struck, clean bowling Williams for a patient 27 from 63 balls. The home side were now halfway through the innings, needing a further 126 runs from 26 overs at a rate just under 5 an over. The Thatcham spinners, Bird, Spriggs and especially Williams had bowled brilliantly to give their side a chance in the game but wickets were the key and in particular, Allaway. Will Legg joined him at the crease with a real reputation as a big hitting 'gun' bat and although Spriggs and Williams kept a lid on things for another ten overs, wickets were not forthcoming. Henley had reached 130-4 through 38 overs with another 14 overs left to add the required 73 runs they needed for victory. The feeling amongst the senior Thatcham players were that Allaway and Legg would knock the runs off fairly comfortably so wickets were needed and the decision was reached to take the new ball in the hope of a breakthrough. It was a gamble and it spectacularly backfired as Legg went on the rampage. The unfortunate Thatcham seamers only bowled 5.1 overs between them and they disappeared to all parts for 56 runs, Legg despatching one huge six over the allotments off O'Flynn which drew gasps from the crowd on the sidelines. Skipper Johnson had no choice but to bring John Williams back into the attack but it was too late and Allaway showed no mercy hitting the over for 14 runs and putting a dent into Williams otherwise outstanding figures. It was left to Legg to hit the winning runs, bringing up his 50 in the process, another screaming boundary and Henley had overhauled the target in the 45th over and gained another 25 points in their seemingly easy ride to the Division 2b title and promotion to Division 1 for next season. The key to the victory was David Allaway though, he was unbeaten on 93* and he marshalled the run chase superbly, a class act.

John Williams bowled an outstanding spell of left arm spin, 19 overs, 6 maidens, 2-39 before the last assault from Allaway saw his figures at 2-53 at the close. Chris Bird returned 1-43 from his 12 overs and Peter Spriggs 1-40 from his 7 overs.

It was a harsh lesson but one the Thatcham youngsters need to take on board. Allaway got 50 and kept going, taking responsibility as the 'in' batter to go on and get a bid score. 40's and 50's don't win cricket matches, 80's, 90's and big hundreds do.

Thatcham came away with 12 points from the loss, no disaster, and they are still in 6th spot, just 9 points behind Saturday's visitors to Brownsfield, High Wycombe 2's. The sides below are bunching up though, as the table sees Chiswick rock bottom with 120 points, Burnham 2's with 149, Beaconsfield 161, Wargrave 163 and then Thatcham with 166. With 25 points on offer for victories, there is no room for error or complacency in the remaining five matches.

Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 1XI- Saturday Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
7nb 1w  
for 10 wickets
Peter Spriggs ct Simon Wheeler 5 1
Josh O'Flynn b Zac Jones 10 1
Steve Bartholomew ct Cameron Jacobsen 48 8 1
Benny Copeman b Zac Jones 2
Tom Mahoney ct Cameron Jacobsen 51 7 1
Duncan Johnson st Euan Brock 5 1
John Williams ct Euan Brock 0
Chris Wright Not Out  58 4 4
Callum Johnson b Cameron Jacobsen 0
Chris Bird lbw Zac Jones 7 1
George Armstrong Run out  8 1

Henley 2 Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Zac Jones11.3044314.673.83
Simon Wheeler6.0126126.004.33
Nigel Dunstan3.003100.0010.33
Cameron Jacobsen17.0448316.002.82
Euan Brock10.0153226.505.30

Henley 2 Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
1w 7b 5lb 
for 4 wickets
204 (44.1 overs)
Nick Goodson ct Chris Bird 8
Tom Oldershaw b John Williams 11
David Allaway Not Out  93
Euan Brock st John Williams 0
Michael Williams b Peter Spriggs 27
Will Legg Not Out  52
Charlie Homewood  
Cameron Jacobsen  
Zac Jones  
Nigel Dunstan  
Simon Wheeler  

Thatcham Town Cricket Club Thatcham 1XI- Saturday Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Chris Bird12.0143143.003.58
John Williams20.0653226.502.65
Peter Spriggs7.0040140.005.71
Callum Johnson2.001200.006.00
Josh O'Flynn2.002800.0014.00
George Armstrong1.101600.0013.71

  • Umpire :
    TVCL Panel
  • Scorer :
    Paul Armstrong