Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Where are we...?

The last time we were writing there was still optimistic talk of promotion for the young Gloucestershire side. Summer holidays out of the way it is time to reengage with the final month of the season and see where the boys have got to in our absence.

After the cruel defeat against Surrey at Cheltenham the Shire then took a bit of a pasting against Derbyshire. A very poor first innings led to Glos following on. The second innings saw the boys make a bit of a fight of it and arguably could have set Derbyshire far more than the 110 they eventually set. Dent, Williamson, Taylor and the skipper all got themselves in....and then out without posting a match turning score.

Next up in the championship were Essex at Colchester. Again a below par first innings put Glos behind the game. Slightly greedily Essex ended up setting us 388 to chase in two and a half sessions. At 98 for 5 they didn't look quite so greedy, but then a bit of rain and a brilliant hundred from Chris Taylor, accompanied by a dogged fifty from 'the other' Gidman helped salvage Gloucestershire a draw.

That leaves Glos third in the table, 23 points behind second place Middlesex who also have a game in hand. Realistically, any chance of promotion is now down to Middlesex having a bit of a wobble. We don't reckon Middlesex have enough Saffers in their team for that sort of a choke. Having said that, there game in hand is currently into its second day against league leaders Northants. Perhaps Northants can do us a favour and give Middlesex a thumping to at least keep the promotion race a little bit interesting.

In other news. Captain Marvel confirmed that he is isn't a scorer of cheap runs with a hundred against the Unicorns. As if to emphasise the point, Hamish O'Marshall also scored runs.

Chris Taylor's hundred against Essex also took him passed 1,000 runs for the season for the third time in his career. Sadly Taylor is still out of contract at the end of the season and rumours have already begun that the vultures down the road in Somerset have been circling. Kaiser Tom has denied this rumour but is reputed to have had a little chuckle when it was suggested that several minor counties have made enquiries about Hamish Marshall for next year.

Finally, we missed out on James Fuller being dumped from the squad at the start of the month for indiscipline. The club refused to comment on what the incident was exactly so as an internet blog we feel it only right to suggest that he was simply following in the tradition of other great Gloucestershire kiwis and was caught sleeping in his car due to gambling debts.

Right, that's about it. We are now off to curse our shitty BT tv deal for not including Sky Sports 3 for tonight's CB40 against Somerset.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Sperm donor leaves Glos after 17 years

So the second exodus has begun. Jon Lewis will be filling up those test tubes in a London clinic next season. Sperm banks in the Bristol area will need to find a new regular donor.

It is not a surprise that Lewis has left given the circumstances surrounding the inability of the club to discuss new contracts until September. As an experienced, proven pro, Lewis was inevitably going to be the first to be snapped up.

Losing such a long standing player as Lewis is obviously disappointing, and his guaranteed 50 wickets a year will definitely be difficult to replace. Yet we at the Jessop Tavern View don't feel like this is too damaging to the squad. By the looks of the young bowlers who have come through this year, the bowling in the academy is stronger than the batting. Alongside Saxelby, Payne and Will Gidman, who have become championship regulars, we also have Liam Norwell who took wickets in the early part of the season before picking up a back injury. Add to this list James Fuller who has looked like he has potential in the few one day outings he has had. There is also young Matt Taylor who made his debut during the Cheltenham fortnight. Whilst none of these kids are yet in Lewis' class, they also aren't 36 years old, nor will they be wanting the sort of money that Lewis would. It would have been nice to have had Lewis' experience for another year at least, but our trusting to youth should be praised in this case.

Our attention now switches to the batsmen. Will Taylor and O'Mish follow Lewis out of the extra large Gloucestershire exit door? The difference here is that there have been less signs of young batsmen coming through. Chris Dent and Ian Cockbain look like proper batsmen, but other than these two we haven't seen any other youngsters being thrown in to the now meaningless CB40 games. There is a feeling that both Jack Taylor and Ed Young look more like batsmen than allrounders, and the club may also be thinking that these guys could fill in the middle order. The question is, do we feel that we are getting value for money from Taylor and O'Mish? Taylor has been a pretty inconsistent championship performer over the years. Marshall has only passed 1000 runs once in five and a half seasons. Taylor has passed 1000 runs twice in 10 seasons. Are these the sort of statistics we should be desperate to keep hold off?

We wait to see what happens. The only thing we know for certain is this is a complete mess.

Promotion hopes stutter in thriller against Surrey

Day 4: Glos 286 and 320 v Surrey 423 and 186 - 8. Surrey win by 2 wickets.

Oh boys. The chance was there, and having fought so hard it seems even worse that we only walk away with 5 points. With Middlesex beating Derby a gap has now opened between the top two promotion places and the the chasing pack.

Gloucestershire really just needed one batsman to bat all the way through to lunch on the final morning. Had this happened then we would would have posted a more challenging total to Surrey, somewhere around 250 would have done the trick for their shot-a-ball dashers.

Sadly, despite having done brilliantly well to claw their way back into the game having been 117 for 5 in the first innings, Glos couldn't quite find the runs at the crucial time in the fourth innings. This is about the only time this season, in the county championship at least, that we have failed to produce at the crucial time. Considering that we have now entered August, we can forgive the lads.

All in all it was a brilliant match of very high quality, exciting cricket played by a load of young English players. However, the game was won by the wonderful first innings contribution of Mark Ramprakash, whose 141 was pretty much the difference between the sides. We won't mention who dropped him.......

Gloucestershire now roll on to Derby next week and will need to bounce back with a win if they are to keep their promotion hopes alive. This has been a hugely promising season so far for the Glos youngsters. It would be shame if the performances tailed off in the final month of the season.

Day 3 video highlights

Day 4 video highlights