Guernsey Half Term Cricket Tour
On Friday 28th May, Bloxham students embarked on cricket tour to Guernsey, a hugely exciting prospect for our young sportsmen and women! Students taking part in the trip ranged from First to Third Form, including a number of Third Form female cricketers. Thanks to team coach on tour, Toby Cowley, for the report below:
After leaving Bloxham in high spirits and with an air of excitement, the group couldn't wait to get away and play some cricket. Unfortunately, we all had to wait a bit longer for their adventure to begin after their flight was delayed until the following morning. Thankfully this didn’t dampen spirits too much, especially after discovering that our overnight hotel was actually at the home of Hampshire Cricket Club. Some rooms even overlooked the square and the rest of the stadium.
The following morning the team finally made it across to Guernsey and the tour could really begin! First up was a game against Elizabeth College and Bloxham started fielding. The Bloxham bowling was impressive and made it difficult for Elizabeth College to score runs regularly and freely. Wickets were taken at regular intervals, restricting the hosts to a score of 81 all out after only 24.5 overs. Stand out performances with the ball in this innings included Charlie O, who took five wickets for seven runs from his 6.5 overs. Other wicket takers included Oli B, Oscar W, Ben B and Ben S. After these foundations were set it was up to Dan C and Ben S to kick off the batting innings. The pair got off to a slow but steady start with a partnership of 40 before Dan fell. A few more wickets fell in quick succession but Bloxham were delighted to take victory in the 25th over by five wickets.
The Bloxham tourists were faced with a new challenge on the second day of their trip as they were to play the national side. Bloxham lost the toss and, once again, bowled first. This game wasn’t easy and Guernsey were able to score freely, with the first wicket only being taking at 74 runs during the 13th over. The Guernsey side continued to go from strength to strength, scoring quickly. Well done to Ben S and Ralph R, who took four out of the five wickets between them. Ben took three wickets for 35 runs from his six overs, whilst Ralph excelled and took one wicket for 17 runs from his four overs. Guernsey ended their batting innings with a total of 207-5 from 35 overs. Once again the chase began with Dan and Ben. However, Ben fell in the second over, which saw Captain Oscar W come to the crease. After some clean stroke play Dan also fell, with the score now at 50-2. This didn’t phase the two batsmen at the crease, Oscar and Charlie, as both went on to score half centuries with a partnership of 99. Once this partnership was broken a batting collapse occurred, leaving Bloxham 33 runs short at the end of their innings.
After an evening of activities and ice creams on the beach, Bloxham entered their final day upbeat for their rematch against the Guernsey side. This time Bloxham were batted first and experimented with a new opening partnership of Oli B and Dan. This change was short lived after Dan fell early, before a stand of 88 between Oli and his skipper, Oscar, steadied the ship. It wasn’t long before Oli passed 50 (thanks to some excellent striking of a cricket ball) before falling for 59. This allowed Oscar and Charlie to once again build a partnership, however, this time Oscar fell eight runs short of a consecutive half century. This did not distract Charlie who, with new partner Oscar H, took the attack to the bowlers in search of a 50 of his own. He managed it on the very last ball, scoring 50 not out to allow Bloxham to post a total of 183 from the 30 overs. Once again Guernsey had a strong foundation thanks to the opening partnership of 63. That is until Ben took the vital first wicket. It seemed that pace off the ball was going to work for Bloxham as, between Ben and Sam K-F, they reduced the hosts to 139-5 with five overs to go. However, some impressive batting from Guernsey's number 3 meant the game was set for a nail biter of a finish. Bloxham's Captain reacted by mixing up the bowling, asking Harry M and Charlie O to get the job done. This saw Guernsey reach a final total of 175-5, clenching victory for Bloxham by just eight runs.