Old Millfieldian CC Vs Old Monmothian CC – 22nd June 2014

For the sake of preserving critical landmarks in the history of the OMCC, the selected XI for the club’s first ever competitive match was as follows (in batting order):

Nick Brothers (Captain), Matthew Jamieson, Harry Ellison, Gareth Cosker, Ali Easton, Martin Jones, Chris Hellings (WK), Charlie Ellison, Matt Webb, George Morris, David Standfield.

The side was lucky enough to garner some travelling support and Richard Ellison displayed the commitment of a true Honorary Old Millfieldian Officer (HOMO) by cajoling, warming-up and gently chastising the side throughout the day.  This was much appreciated by the troops and morale was particularly high despite Brothers losing the toss and the Millfieldians having to field.  The epic match began in stunning sunshine against the backdrop of the rolling, verdant Welsh valleys at 11.30am.  No one knew at this stage that the day would change their lives forever…

The opposing side’s opening batsmen were given a torrid opening spell from Ellison Major and Webb. Neither was to last.  Both fell as the bowlers took a wicket apiece within the first seven overs and we had the home side under considerable pressure as an over-excited Millfield skipper employed four slips, a gully, backward point and short leg.  We took wickets, fielding well and holding our catches.  Cosker held a cracker in the deep and Ellison Minor took an absolute scorcher, much to his own surprise, in grabbers. However, despite Monmouth scrambling to 130 for 7 after our drinks break, they managed to re-build.  A nuggety 66 from one of their batsmen and hours in the hot field took their toll and Monmouth batted through their overs to finish on 235 for 9.  It was a good total, but one we felt was probably a touch under par. (I will include some analyses when I gain sight of the scorebook).

Brothers (40) and Jamieson (42) carried on their solid opening partnership from the Hogs match.  Brothers was particularly fluent but fell first.  The game was progressing calmly when Jamieson was given out in a tight run out only to be followed by Cosker (27) soon afterwards in the same, controversial, manner.  The calm run-chase soon became fraught as the batting stalled and the run rate rose when a couple of tight off-spinners wheeled away in the middle overs.  Jones and Easton joined Harry Ellison back in the pavilion and it was left to Hellings and Charlie Ellison to up the rate in order to stay in touch.  With the required rate at over eight with seven overs left, the sight of Hellings running, ever more slowly, between the wickets, will live long in the memory!  He fell for a gallant 32 and Charlie Ellison went fairly soon afterwards and the game was slipping from our grasp.  Webb and Morris, our numbers 9 and 10, struck some lusty blows: ‘Bomber’ Morris walked down the wicket and spanked one opening bowler back through mid-off in the penultimate over and so we were well set.  Then Webb was out after he had struck a boundary on the last ball of the 49th.  It was then that David ‘Members’ Standfield strode to the crease.  Like a youthful Gatting, our number 11 watchfully prodded back the first ball of the last over.  Five from five required for victory.  The next ball he then miraculously executed a textbook paddle, timing the ball sweetly to the backward square boundary.  The OMs, by now crowded at the boundary edge, roared with joy and relief.  One from one.  Standfield nicked the next ball to the ‘keeper, who promptly dropped it, thus allowing Morris to complete a run and with it, a famous victory.

Over a chilled beer, with our amiable and sportsmanlike hosts, we dissected the performance.  The final word lay with Richard Ellison, “It was typical Millfield, we always find a way”.  He was, of course, quite right, and our next step on this particular path leads us to Sevenoaks and the Old Sennockians on the 6th July.  Molire Molendo.