After last year's complete washout, and one postponement this year, the finely honed athletes that are the High Cogges and South Leigh cricketers finally took to the pitch for the annual match on June 10th.
South Leigh batted first and on an extremely lively pitch the Law brothers, Douglas and Wilbur, made a very solid start putting on 43 between them. The family theme continued with father and son, Chris and Josh Bromley, adding 46 collectively. From then on it was downhill for the South Leigh batsmen with no others reaching double figures as High Cogges bowled and fielded well. John Dowd prowled the outfield like a panther cutting off several boundaries while Mark Williams’ face was a picture of surprise as he held a towering catch. He later charged in to cut off a single and treated the crowd to a gymnastic tumbling routine. Although Roger Walker’s absence was a big loss for High Cogges the return of wily campaigner, Mark Walker, was a huge boost and he was the pick of the High Cogges bowlers picking up three wickets with his unorthodox spin as well as snaffling a catch in the slips. Ben Morrish, Grant Roger and Dan Beechener also chipped in with two wickets apiece as South Leigh scored a useful looking 123.
123 looked more than useful after a few overs from South Leigh’s youthful bowling attack. Opener Dan Walker was unlucky to fall to a sharp catch from Adam Mumford off the bowling of son, Sam. Dan did return for another bat before dashing off for lesser entertainment at Gifford Circus. Tom Williams and Matt "Whispering Death" Glithero picked up four wickets between them for just nine runs while Ann Borg’s grandson, Ted, bowled five overs for just six runs. High Cogges rallied with 14 from Dan Beechener and 18 from Nick Pearce, including one huge six which put the spectators in peril. Ben Morrish, so often South Leigh’s nemesis, was always going to be the danger man. Canny Greg Murphy, sporting a hat containing paracetamol to combat a poor hydration strategy the night before, marked his card with a stumping as he backed up over eagerly. Umpire Hawtin granted Ben a reprieve, but perhaps affected by this incident, the High Cogges skipper was run out shortly after. As the last over approached, a High Cogges win, although highly unlikely, was still mathematically possible. South Leigh stuck to their youth policy however, as skipper Mumford tossed the ball to young Josh Bromley who, showing maturity beyond his years, bowled the last over for just two runs leaving High Cogges on 89 and the cup in South Leigh’s hands for the first time in four years.
A fantastic afternoon enjoyed by all and only made possible thanks to Jeremy Walker for prepping the pitch and wicket, umpires Keith Hawtin and Richard Law, Sid and Sue Washington who provided a fantastic BBQ, Martin Collett for the gazebo and many other groundworks, the many cake-bakers and the village hall crew for manning the bar and helping out in general. Many, many thanks and here’s to next year!