Sunday, 24 August 2014

Curtains for the shire as defeat to Derbyshire means an away quarter final...

Derbyshire 271 for 7 (Godleman 96, Madsen 57) beat Gloucestershire 218 (Dent 70, Wainwright 3-45) by 53 runs

The Jessop Tavern View has never been known for our efficiency. So, typically we're writing this blog post about the Royal London Cup group game which took place on Thursday. Yesterday saw the domestic t20 competition finish with one of the most exciting finals in it's 11 year history. And we're about to write a gloomy recap of a group game which didn't actually affect us qualifying for the quarter finals of the competition. We realise this post is probably catering to a niche audience. But hey, you're here anyway, so why not read on?

Glos went into this game having already qualified for our first limited overs knock out stage since 2007 (thanks to Twitter follower @educatedleftfoot for that one). However, a win would have given us a chance of overtaking Essex and Yorkshire and secure a useful home quarter final slot. Plus this game was live on Sky, which at least afforded us a chance to watch the boys in action for one of the few times

Derbyshire batted first and were anchored by Billy Godleman's 96. Godleman is apparently out of contract at the end of the season and has previously flattered to deceive at both Essex and Middlesex. He's a decent player though and one wonders whether he might conceivably fill the opening vacancy which will surely open up once Klinger leaves us at the end of the season. (We're assuming he won't re-sign for another year, hat with the cut in playing budget next season). The dangerous Wayne Madsen also struck 57, and Tony Palladino thrashed a quick 28 to see Derbyshire to 271 from their 50 overs. It was no surprise to see former Glos overseas man Marcus North out relatively cheaply, we got used to it during his time with the county where he was feted more for his 'useful' offspin than his batting. It remains one of life's mysteries how North managed to play 21 tests for Australia, with 5 hundreds. Whenever we've seen him bat, he was rubbish.

The Glos chase got off to a disastrous start, when Maxi Klinger was struck by a brute of a Footitt delivery and departed with what turned out to be a season-ending broken arm. O'Mish also failed and it was left to Dent and Gidders (A) to provide some momentum after Roderick was snaffled by a diving Wes Durston at slip and Cockbain also departed cheaply. Dent has belatedly hit some form and was impressive in hitting 9 fours and 2 sixes, in his 70 before being defeated by an absolute jaffer from David Wainwright, a gripping and turning delivery from around the wicket which defeated Dent's defensive prod.

That was basically curtains for the 'shire, although young Jack Taylor provided some late fireworks with a cameo 53 which included 4 sixes- one a towering swipe into the car park at midwicket.

Ironically, the result proved academic, as Essex and Yorkshire secured home QF ties, leaving the boys with a tricky trip to Canterbury next Friday afternoon. We were tempted to make a trip down to the Garden of England, but realised it will be much easier (and cheaper) to simply watch us lose on Sky.

Match highlights, courtesy of the Derbyshire YouTube channel, below:

Monday, 18 August 2014

Wonders never cease as Glos storm to 3 day victory at New Road

Gloucestershire 378 (Gidman 146, Roderick 98) and 178 for 3 (Dent 51) beat Worcestershire 194 (Oliver 52, Miles 4-54) and 360 (Oliver 179, Norwell 4-69) by seven wickets

We're back for one of our monthly cricketing posts. This time we're tackling that rarest of beasts, the County Championship. Not only did the boys achieve a rare win on Sunday, it was in fact our first win at New Road since 1986. It seems hard to believe that this is out first Championship match since we were hammered in the reverse fixture at Cheltenham in late July, but that's the county cricket schedule for you.

Anyway, this time we have much better news. This time around the boys secured a convincing seven wicket win over Division 2 leaders Worcestershire inside 3 days. This was a superb performance, where we shook off the lack of an injured (and soon-to-depart) Will Gidman to dominate Worcs almost from start to finish.

There were encouraging performances all round, from stand-in skipper Gidders' dominant 146 in the first innings, to Gareth Roderick's impressive 98 batting at number 3 and on to Craig Miles, who again bowled well to take 4-54 in the first innings. Liam Norwell's excellent 4-69 in Worcs second knock polished off the tail in double quick fashion after Dent finally got rid of the dangerous Richard 'Bath' Oliver for a career-best 179. We then made short work of the 177 target, with Dent finding a semblance of form with a 50 and Gidders blasting a no pressure 45 to see us home with more than a day to spare.

What to make of this effort then? This is clearly an excellent win against a Worcestershire side who have dominated Division 2 so far this year. Miles did exceptionally well to dismiss the country's leading run scorer, Daryl Mitchell for just 4 runs in the match and the batting really fired when we needed it to in our first innings. Basically, a quality job which the boys should be proud of.

We lie 6th in the table, which is a decent, if not awe-inspiring return for the season. There are now just two Championship games left this season and they don't take place until September 9th. so, what's next for the boys?

Most pressingly, we have a crucial final Royal London group game away to Derbyshire on Thursday, a win in which would secure us a home quarter final next week. The semis follow the week after, before the final which splits the remaining two championship fixtures in September. Dare the Jessop Tavern View dream and risk booking Lord's tickets for September 20th? A home quarter would go some way to making the dream a reality, so let's cross our fingers for a convincing win on Thursday.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Will Gidman: The best all rounder since Hadlee. Fact.

How good is Will Gidman? This is probably a question a fair few division 1 teams will be asking themselves at the end of the season as they contemplate team building for 2015.

Having only played in division 2 it is hard to know exactly how highly to rate Gidman II. Could he make the step up in class to division 1? Could he make it at a level even higher than that? The Jessop tavern secretly hopes that we won't know the answer to either of these, though you suspect next season will be Gidman's best chance if he does harbour international dreams. You would suspect a winter tour will be his at the end of this year, and from there who knows? His brother was once in a similar position, and was even selected as England lions captain only for injury to deny him the chance to stake his claim. It never came again.

An interesting article appeared in the Gloucestershire Echo last week. If statistics tell the truth then it looks like England have been missing out on the best all rounder since Richard Hadlee. It has to be said that Mike Procter never got to have a go in division 2.

Still, it's a fun article.

Welcome back Craig Miles

Day 1: Worcestershire 299 - 7 v Gloucestershire.

Ah, Cheltenham. The Jessop Tavern View went away for a while, gorging itself on summer football. When we came back we rocked up at Cheltenham last week and stared with disbelief as Benny Howell was handed the new ball. Injuries have ravaged the Gloucestershire bowling unit this season but surely Benny Howell should never be opening the bowling. Where is Ben Gannon when you need him?! Benny, typically, bowled all right, only for the batsmen to let everyone down by collapsing in the second innings and handing victory to Derbyshire.

Disappointing defeat to Surrey was followed by Chris Dent finally finding the middle of the bat against Essex that proved that t20 at Cheltenham is far more fun when it isn't played on sticky, sub-standard pitch.
The Jessop Tavern View turned up early on Sunday afternoon and sat nursing its pint of Tribute in front of the nets. Some gangly, young blond kid was doing some bowling in a Gloucester shirt. He looked remarkably like Craig Miles. The Jessop Tavern took its pint and went and found some shade, deciding that it had clearly had too much sun for one day.

Yet lo and behold, here we are today and we can finally comment on whether Miles had the ability to follow up his wicket-laden first season with more of the same. The answer appears to be yes. Typically a young bowler's second season is usually pretty trying. Teams have had the chance to look at the film and batsmen suddenly have plans of where to score against them. Miles cleverly decided to avoid this typical second season syndrome by being crocked for most of the season. Coming back today it is fair to say Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes was probably regretting his decision to record over those tapes of Miles' bowling with Emmerdale omnibus'.

Miles tore through the Worcestershire top order to take 4 for 53 from 17 overs. Most importantly, he was able to walk off the field at the end of play. Tom Smith also decided to chip in with 3 wickets to leave this match very evenly poised after day 1.

Miles' return from injury has almost certainly come a month too late to salvage Gloucestershire's championship season. Still, it will provide King John and the board with more ammunition to talk ruefully about what could have been this season before then failing to invest in the squad over the winter.
In a slightly more bizarre aside, Sunday's net session saw the Jessop Tavern witness 20 minutes of watching former Gloucestershire legend Ravi Bopara bat left handed. In fairness Ravi could still find the middle of the bat, and maybe he will prove us wrong by resurrecting his test career as the next David Gower. Still, it was a somewhat bizarre spectacle. With that sort of commitment to practice is it any wonder that Bopara remains a wasted talent.

Highlights from Day 1 are available via the official site here

Monday, 7 July 2014

Mid-season lethargy

The Jessop Tavern View has been busy. Busy grafting at the day job, working for the man and putting our noses to the grindstone for the past 3 weeks. Hence the lack of posts. We make no apologies for devoting ourselves to paying the bills and putting food on the table for ourselves....

Hang on a minute, we have just noticed that the previous post date is Wednesday, June 11th. The day before the World cup began. Could this possibly explain the radio silence over the last few weeks? We're going to hold our hands up and admit it- yes we've been distracted by FIFA's quadrennial football-fest. Couple this with simultaneously becoming disillusioned by Gloucestershire's lacklustre form in both forms of the game at the moment and there's our excuse covered.

So, what's been happening in our absence? Let's start with the good stuff.

Gloucestershire 112 (Dunn 4-37) and 506 for 6 (Cockbain 151*, Klinger 120) drew with Surrey 626 for 6 dec. (Burns 199, Solanki 143, Roy 121*)

Despite our prediction of defeat after Day 3 of this game, a great rearguard action saw us hang on for a miraculous draw. Ian Cockbain's career-best 151*, compiled over almost 9 painstaking hours and Tom Smith's unlikely 80 meant we lost only 1 wicket on the final day.

Essex 163 for 2 (Bopara 66*, Westley 55*) beat Gloucestershire 162 for 6 (Marshall 74, Masters 2-17) by eight wickets 
Hampshire 180 for 6 (Adams 69*) beat Gloucestershire 178 for 8 (Howell 50, Smith 3-26) by two runs

We then lost back to back t20 matches in different fashion. First, we were stuffed by a Ravi Bopara-inspired Essex. Then we were very unlucky not to chase down 181 for victory against Hampshire. We suffered a trademark batting collapse after Maxi and Gidders (A.) got us off to a flyer, but some late fireworks from Benny the Frenchman took us close, but no cigar.

Gloucestershire 391 (Marshall 109, Tavare 77, Cockbain 51, Hogan 4-57) and 165 for 5 (Gidman 47*) drew with Glamorgan 615 for 7 (Wright 123, Rudolph 139, Smith 57*, Allenby 57, Cooke 52)

Back to the Championship and another draw snatched from the jaws of defeat, this time courtesy of a gritty Will Tavare knock of 41, which ate up over 3 hours in a style his uncle Chris would doubtless have approved of. Skipper Klinger missed the match with a broken toe and stand-in skipper O'Mish struck his second ton of the year in our first innings. The game also featured yet another injury to a keeper, with Cam Herring's finger this time causing the issue, necessitating a debut for 17 year old Patrick Grieshaber from the Glos Academy.

Back to the t20, for another two matches against Middlesex (no result, rain) and Kent (thrilling final ball win). The most notable feature of these two games was the encouraging debut of loan keeper Adam Rouse, whose unbeaten 35 from 16 balls, including 3 fours in the last over, guided us to a tight victory against Kent.

Essex 541 (Bopara 147, Ryder 133, Westley 71, Browne 65, Taylor 4-125) and 10 for 0 beat Gloucestershire 224 (Topley 5-53, Masters 4-67) and 325 (Gidman 53, Rouse 49, Ryder 3-43) by 10 wickets

The less said about this next game, the better. Quick summary, bat first, under perform. Concede a stack of runs, again to Bopara and also Jesse Ryder. Again fight hard in second dig, but inevitably get bowled out and they knock off the 10 needed for a crushing win.

Gloucestershire 138 for 7 (Cockbain 52) beat Sussex 125 (Taylor 3-12) by 13 runs

Finally, another t20 win versus Sussex, this time televised and thus one of the first times we've watched Glos live this season. Another good knock by Ian Cockbain (arguably one of our players of the season so far) saw us post 138 after the match was reduced to 15 overs per side. We bowled and fielded well in poor light to bowl out Sussex for 125 and keep our hopes of a QF place alive. Sadly, the 2 point penalty we incurred for last season's dodgy pitch seems like it could possibly cost us that place unless our remaining 4 matches in the group stage go to plan.

Right, that's it for now. It's time to focus on football for another week today's LVCC match v Hampshire at the Rose Bowl for the next few days, before a crucial t20 derby v Somerset on Fridfay, then the Cheltenham festival starts next week. Feeling fatigued yet?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Back in the habit of mediocrity

Day 2; Glos 112 v Surrey 626 - 6.

The Jessop Tavern View has always been more comfortable with abject failure. Both from a personal perspective when on a cricket field and while supporting Gloucestershire for over two decades; it's fair to say we have had a fair few of these sort of days. Thus it is with some relish that we can empty out our half full glass and enjoy the comfortable feeling of, well, being Gloucestershire we guess.

When Isaac Newton wrote about momentum he didn't really have county cricket in mind. Still, had Newton ever had to watch Gloucestershire he might have ripped up his laws of physics and decided what's the point. Mass x Velocity means nothing to the Shire. Despite a phenomenal performance against Leicestershire being backed up with some very good cricket in the t20 Glos have produced an absolutely humdinger of a stinker in this match to bring us all crashing back down to earth.

It is now fairly safe to say that the Bristol pitch really wasn't a 112 all out in the first innings sort of pitch. With a team missing Will Tavare's enormous experience (7 proper first class matches) and Chris Dent's runs (224 at an average of 20) Gloucestershire's batsmen ripped up the form book and collapsed in our themselves in impressive fashion. It would have been one thing to have been blown away by a rejuvenated Chris Tremlett giving the middle of the pitch a thorough test. Or by Jade Dernbach bamboozling us with an assortment of back of the hand deliveries- with batsmen surprised that Dernbach actually even knows he is supposed to be bowling at the three sticks at the other end. But no. Gloucestershire managed to allow Jason Roy to blitz them. Admittedly, the Shire were already in the mire by the point Roy was thrown the ball, but still. Jason Roy had 6 first class wickets before yesterday. Gloucestershire allowed him to end up with figures of 3 for 9. Shameful.

At the start of the season, even with Saxelby, Miles, Fuller and Payne, Gloucestershire's bowling looked a little bit pop gun. Now shorn of all 4 of those players due to injury, the boys struggled to even muster the venom of a pop gun in response to being bowled out for 112.

By all accounts the boys actually bowled alright on a placid pitch, and certainly no one's figures are too disgraceful. In further defence of the bowlers they have also held up reasonably well this season. The Jessop Tavern certainly feared that days like today might be more frequent than they have been. So let's just put this match to one side and move on. Arguably the best thing the boys could do would be to roll over tomorrow and have a day off on Thursday.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

No Styris, no problem!

Gloucestershire 189 for 6 (Cockbain 84, Arafat 3-38) beat Sussex 185 (Hamilton-Brown 49, McCarter 5-35) by four runs

The last time Glos ran into Sussex in a t20 match, we were infected by a virus. Courtesy of Scott 'the rus' Styris, the symptoms were particularly severe on fellow Kiwi, James Fuller, who served up a tasty 38 run over as Styris bludgeoned his way to the 3rd fastest domestic t20 ton.

Luckily Styris now plays t20 for Leicestershire and despite a late scare, Glos were able to claim our second group stage win after posting a competitive 189-6 after batting first. The Glos win was bookended by performances from two players we have virtually forgotten existed, Ian Cockburn and Dan Housego. Cockbain, a player we have always rated, struck an excellent 84 from 51 and put on 101 with skipper Klinger. Housego took 3 catches at long off in Graeme McCarter's final over, which began with Sussex needing 10 to win with 3 wickets in hand.

Cockbain has often demonstrated his limited overs abilities and we wonder why he doesn't get more opportunities in the 4 day side. We haven't seen the Scouser get much cricket since last season's musings about alleged improper conduct with King John's wife. It seems he has become pigeon-holed as primarily a limited overs specialist, despite decent form when given an opportunity in the 4 day side over the past few years. Still, with knocks like these, who needs the 4 day grind.

Housego has been an even rarer sighting of late, having seemingly been superseded in the batting pecking order by Will Tavare and others. He batted below both Benny and Geraint Jones in this match, which doesn't exactly imply confidence in his ball-striking abilities. We will take the 3 catches though, which saw the boys over the line despite Will Beer's late knock of 37 from 14.

The victory finally moves the 'shire into positive territory in the South Group, although you would have to think that qualification looks unlikely after 4 games completed. Next up, surprise package Glamorgan at Bristol this Sunday.

It's been interesting to note that Middlesex appear even more terrible at t20 than we have been in recent years. They slumped to a 6th straight defeat v Kent last night, despite worst-ever Glos overseas signing, Dan Christian's remarkable 129 from just 57 balls. If only the Aussie could've motivated himself to do a bit more of that for us last season, where he averaged just 14 with a top score of 25 in 10 matches.

Anyway, onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Geraint Jones offers inspiration but Glos fail to back him up

Day 2: Leicestershire 269 and 12 -0 v Gloucestershire 260.

Gloucestershire will now face a 2 day, one innings shoot-out against Leicestershire to keep their season on track. Leicestershire will have emerged from day 2 as by far the happier of the two sides as Gloucestershire wasted a cavalier knock of 93 from just 75 balls from former England clown keeper, Geraint Jones. The Jessop Tavern used to like Jones a lot as an international cricketer. Despite slightly limited ability he always struck us as someone who was trying to influence the game either with dashing counter-attacking batting or comic dropped catches. He was never a man to let the game drift.

Yesterday he brought some of this to the Shire. Already a batsman short thanks to Will Tavare’s knee injury on day 1, Jones found himself with Will Gidman in a bit of a hole at 88 for 4. He then proceeded to dismantle the pop-gun Leicestershire attack, shorn of Charlie Shreck waylaid with a bad back, with 16 boundaries including 3 maximums. It should have been a real match turning innings, particularly considering that Leicestershire also lost seamer Alex Wyatt to injury in the afternoon. Instead Glos proceeded to waste the opportunity and rolled over to concede a first innings lead of 9 runs. In fairness Leicestershire responded to adversity with far more bottle than they have managed over the past few seasons. Rob Taylor and Nathan Buck took 9 wickets between them to run through Glos’ lower order.

This match is now intriguingly poised with one high class innings or inspired spell of bowling likely to settle matters. Either that or the rain will come along and ruin everyone’s fun.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

One man band enough for Leicestershire

Day 1: Leicestershire 269 v Glos 12 - 0. 

Gloucestershire decided that, having given Leicestershire a pumping both home and away last season, they would be fine going into their match at Grace road with only one recognised bowler. With Saxelby, Miles and David Payne all injured, the bowling attack consisted of Liam Norwell and Matt Taylor giving away all the runs that Will Gidman had dried up at the other end.

Gidman again excelled, finishing with figures of 5 for 46 including bowling Greg Smith with the very first ball of the match. He now has 30 wickets for the season, and it is still only the start of June. At this stage Gidman must now be being seriously considered for Jon Lewis’ old job of carrying the drinks at test match venues around the land.

Liam Norwell apparently bowled with decent pace to take 3 for 76. Norwell is another young seamer who has struggled with injuries since emerging a few years ago. It would be nice to see him string a few games together as he has always seemed like a genuine wicket taker.

It will now be up to Dent and Klinger to finally score some runs this season. Having both excelled last term it has been a major disappointment to see neither of these two able to lay any sort of platform for the middle order to build upon. Dent has 210 runs at 21. Klinger has 176 runs at 17.

With a slightly dubious weather forecast around for the next few days Glos will have to bat positively if they want to push for victory. With the weather eliminating any chance of a result against Derbyshire last week it is vital that Glos take full advantage of playing one of the lesser sides in the division if they are serious about staying in the promotion mix. With both Worcestershire and Hampshire making a break for freedom at the top to lose out on the opportunity to claim victories against the two bottom placed teams would mean the Shire would be doing things the hard way.

Highlights from Day 1:

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Saved by the rain, pt 2

Gloucestershire 66 for 4 (8pts) drew with Derbyshire 278 (8pts)

It's not often that you finish a good versus Derbyshire thinking you've dodged a bullet. However, at 66-4 Glos were in a bit of trouble, having allowed the division's bottom side to recover from 153-6 to post a decent 278 all out.

There was never much prospect of a result in this match, with significant time lost to rain on 3 days and the final day a complete washout. It is also hard to draw conclusions from such a match, which leaves us 7th in Division 2, albeit just 7 points behind 3rd placed Essex. It was disappointing that we allowed a weak batting side to recover from a precarious position to post almost 300. This shows just how much we need our 1st choice bowling attack fit and firing in order to make progress.

We are badly missing some reliable backup to the ever-excellent Will Gidman (who limped around a bit during the Derby innings, per the BBC commentators), although Benny Howell did fill in admirably as 4th seamer in this instance. If you added Craig Miles, a fit David Payne to this attack, plus had a fully firing James Fuller (under par in this match) then you can foresee us bowling better sides than Derbyshire out cheaply. We are not including the unfortunate Ian Saxelby in this equation, as sadly we can't envisage him remaining fit for long enough to feature regularly at the moment.

Anyway, onwards and upwards to a t20 Blast match down at Canterbury tomorrow night. The weather forecast for the SE region has finally perked up a bit, so we could be in for an entertaining contest. Sadly, GO Jones is unable to feature against his parent club, but it should be an interesting contest nonetheless.

Video highlights from the match below:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Glos 'blast' to victory against Middlesex

Gloucestershire 113 for 5 beat Middlesex 111 for 8 (Norwell 3-27, Fuller 3-29) by five wickets

The Jessop Tavern View can always be counted on to talk up any Glos victory. As such, we're delighted to report that Glos eased to a five wicket victory in our home t20 Blast opener on Friday. However, having watched Middlesex put in two terrible performances in a televised double-header at Lords last Saturday, we have to say that the win wasn't unexpected.

Last week, we bemoaned the lack of batting firepower in the Glos side. Our concerns remain, despite this comfortable win. Maxi Klinger again fell cheaply and badly needs a score to kick start his season. Losing 5 wickets in chasing just 112 for victory indicates a fairly mediocre standard of cricket being played by both sides.

Perhaps the more exciting news of the past few days is the loan signing of Geraint 'Irongloves' Jones as cover for the fragile digits of Gareth Roderick. This is an intriguing, if stopgap measure, designed to relieve some of the pressure on youngster Cam Herring while Roderick is unavailable for the next 6 weeks.

Jones has lost his place as Kent's keeper to youngster Sam Billings, after 13 seasons wearing the gloves. He's clearly past his best, but hopefully not in a Jon Batty kind of way and he surely can't do too much harm in 4 weeks. King John has indicated that he will be asked to mentor Herring,who is already a very good keeper from what we've seen, but less assured with the bat at this early stage of his career.

Jones is straight into the squad for today's LVCC match at Derby, which has thus far been delayed by rain and begins a 12 day stretch of matches on the road, including Derbyshire and Leicestershire in the championship and 220 Blasts v Kent and Sussex. Jones will be unable to feature against his parent club Kent, which might prove a good opportunity to assess whether he has passed on anything positive to young Herring. We're hoping he sticks to offering batting advice, rather than explaining how he managed to do this last season.

Match highlights:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

On declarations, rain forecasts and overdue first wins of the season

Gloucestershire 252 (Roderick 59, Riley 3-51) and 443 for 6 dec. (Marshall 118, Stevens 5-87) beat Kent 114 (W Gidman 4-14, Fuller 4-32) and 291 (Harmison 125) by 290 runs

The Jessop Tavern View is delighted to report that the boys wrapped up a deserved first LVCC victory of the season before lunch today at Bristol.

We were thinking of making some snide comments about being lucky that the 'delayed' declaration yesterday didn't lead to the match being affected by the forecast rain, as mentioned by quite a few folk on Twitter and the BBC radio commentary team yesterday. Upon giving it more thought, however, we've decided that Captain Klinger was just supremely confident that we would bowl them out in plenty of time, regardless of the potential for rain today.

There's a definitely a case to be made that, having witnessed Kent slump to 2/4 and 17-5 on Day 1, King John and the brains trust was simply well aware that Kent's batting line-up was pretty useless and unlikely to survive for more than a day, having been set such a huge target. On a fairly blameless pitch according to the players, we managed to score almost 450 in our second innings and yet Kent twice failed to top 300 in an innings, despite Ben Harmison's battling century (incidentally, his 3rd championship ton v the 'shire).

All in all, this was a bloody good performance from Glos, and as the skipper pointed out on the official site link above, a victory we had really earned after been denied by the weather against Glamorgan last month. You could also add that we were unlucky to lose to a trademark Graeme Smith 4th innings special v Surrey last week.There are a few negatives to flag up though. The first innings batting was under par, albeit somewhat obscured by the fairly pathetic effort from Kent. We suffered another tough break, as talented keeper-batsman Gareth (Matthew B)roderick re-broke the same finger which kept him out earlier in the year. We will be without him for 6 weeks and will miss both his runs and athletic keeping at a crucial time of the season.

The bowling cupboard is also pretty threadbare, with Payne and the Sax remaining unfit and Craig Miles still a couple of weeks away from a return.

It seems a shame to end on a moan, but a couple of old gripes continue to rile the Jessop Tavern View. The club is still not getting its communications strategy right. We've heard very little on Saxelby's injury status until a brief mention today and have been reduced to haranguing the @gloscricket Twitter feed for information, to little effect.

Also, the video highlights we try to post at the end of each day's play invariably come courtesy of the oppositions Youtube page or the ECB site. Glos seem unwilling to explain why they have yet to cough up to make access available to video footage from our matches. If almost all the other first class counties can do this, surely the least loyal fans can expect is for the county to update their YouTube page or the official site with match highlights which are available on a daily basis.

We are aware we aren't exactly flush with cash compared to the Surreys of this world. Getting your website updated with relevant news and actually interacting with the fans on Twitter and other social sites isn't rocket science, especially when the new Chief Exec comes from a marketing background.

Rant over. Good win. Let's build on it and actually hit some boundaries in Friday's t20 clash with fellow weaklings Middlesex.

Video highlights from the rest of the match:

Day 3


Day 4

Monday, 19 May 2014

It's double decker buses at the Jessop Tavern View

Showing the sort of profesionalism that only a Gloucestershire cricket blog could attain to the Jessop tavern View has managed to post two posts about the same days play. Frankly since Glos don't convincingly win many days play we are keeping both posts up as a celebration.

Do Vic Marks and Mike Selby have this problem?

Gidman and Fuller tear through Kent….and then Glos don't mess it up!

Gloucestershire 252 and 212 - 4 v Kent 114.

Going into this match Gloucestershire's season was dangerously close to coming off the rails. Lying joint bottom of Division 2 and with minus points in the t20 'Blast' another defeat would have have seen us clamouring for the return of Jon Batty. Fortunately we won't need to resort to that.

Having won the toss on day 1 Glos limped to a seemingly disappointing 252 all out with only the returning Gareth Roderick making any real contribution. However then the fun began.

Before the season began it appeared fairly obvious that Gloucestershire's weakest suit lay very much in their batting, fielding, bowling unit. With only Will Gidman of guaranteed quality we were heavily reliant on the sticky tape holding Ian Saxelby together lasting a full season and on Craig Miles being able to replicate last seasons impressive introduction to first class cricket. As it has transpired Miles is yet to take the field and Saxelby wishes he hadn't. Whilst Gidman has continued to impress (18 wickets at 13) opposition teams have figured out that if they blunt Gidman then Glos have very little to offer, well, little to offer other than a succession of four balls with which to help yourself.

Thus, going into this match it was hardly comforting to see Benny Howell being drafted in to do the job as a fourth seamer. We like Benny a lot as a Frenchman and as a cricketer, but when your side is struggling to take wickets do you really want to pick a batting all rounder? It didn't strike us as the most aggressive of selections. Clearly though King John is a wiser man than we, and he had clearly poured over hours of tape of Kent's batsmen and decided that we didn't really need any bowlers and that even James Fuller would take wickets. What an astute man.

For a while this morning it appeared that Glos fancied throwing away their overnight position of having reduced Kent to 33 for 6. English youngsters Sam Billings and Adam Ball serenely took Kent passed the follow-on before Kent combusted again to lose their final 3 wickets for 13 runs. Gidman taking 4 for 14 from 12 overs and Fuller capturing 4 for 32. Whilst Gidman's economy is helped by the fact that runs come freely at the other end he has now consistently taken wickets for 3 and a bit seasons, and scored runs. It would be interesting to know whether he does figure in a Peter Moore's powerpoint presentation. We suspect not, but how close he is would be interesting to know.

Fuller on the other hand continues to flatter to deceive. One day good, one day going for 38 an over. He is the sort of cricketer who we love to watch as something is always happening when he is on a cricket field. Be that taking wickets, biffing runs, getting destroyed by Scott Stryis or deliberately bowling beamers. He is the Jessop Tavern's sort of cricketer.

In reply Glos looked to be making a hash of it 58 for 3, with captain Klinger again failing to make a mark. But cometh the hour and cometh the Gidman, Alex this time. Gidman and O'Mish proceeded to do what wise old timers are suppose to do in the middle order and calmly constructed what should be a match deciding partnership of 135.

With two days to go surely Glos cannot lose from here. The question will be how big a lead we need and how long we feel our bowlers need to take 10 wickets. We'd like to see a mid afternoon declaration giving us 4 and a half sessions. The weather may also play its part so Glos would be encouraged to get on with it.

Shire in superior batting side shocker

Day 2 Stumps - Gloucestershire (252 and 213/4) lead Kent (114) by 351 runs with 6 wickets remaining

It's not often that the Jessop Tavern View gets to write about a game where we're clearly the better (batting) side. Opportunities to talk up our batting lineup using words such as 'patient', 'disciplined' and 'dominant' are few and far between for fans of the 'shire.

However, on the evidence of the two days versus Kent so far, we are watching the better side exerting their dominance over a Division 2 rival. Having initially underperformed with the bat yesterday, the boys bounced back to reduce Kent to 2-4 on the way to 33-6 overnight. A Kent fightback (from 33 up to 101 for the loss of just one early wicket) prompted fears of a minimal 1st innings lead for the boys. Luckily, Gidman dislodged the stubborn Ball for 37 and we managed to polish them off for just 114 before lunch. The remaining two wickets added just 13, leaving keeper Billings not out on a valuable 42,

Kent had managed to avoid the follow on and Glos started the afternoon session poorly, with Klinger (who's in a really bad trot at the moment) departing early to Claydon. Dent was soon castled by what sounded like a jaffa from the first ball of Stevens' spell. Will Tavare also departed cheaply, which brought the experienced, yet frequently unreliable pairing of APR Gidman and O'Mish together. Despite our concerns, the experienced campaigners batted rather sensibly, putting on an excellent 135 as the Kent bowlers began to toil in the roasting afternoon sun.

Sadly, our admiration for their efforts in avoiding their trademark loose shots when well set was somewhat spoiled by our guffaws of laughter as BBC Radio Kent, in a seemingly straight-faced piece of commentary, described Gidman's 'slender' figure as he waited at the crease. Much as we admire the former skipper's weight of shot, the days when he could get into his waist 32 whites are long past.

Gidders eventually departed for an excellent 85, leaving Roderick and the Irishman to see us through to the close with a healthy (dare we say potentially match-winning) lead of 351, with 6 wickets still in hand.

Sadly, the weather forecast isn't great for tomorrow and Wednesday, but hopefully the boys can set an unreachable target in the morning. Having performed admirably thus far, you would have to back our bowlers to get through Kent's sketchy-looking batting line-up, barring too much rain over the next couple of days.

Is a first win of the season on the horizon? Let's hope so.

Video highlights of the match so far below:

Day 1

Day 2

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Saved by the rain

Gloucestershire 134 (Dent 61, Masters 6-48) and 251 for 2 dec (Tavare 100*, A Gidman 119*) drew with Essex 305 for 8 dec (Foakes 132*, Foster 91)

Yes, we've been lazy. We have been on holiday, though. A rather belated summary of the 'shire's last LVCC game v Essex follows.

Rain. Bat poorly. Rain. Bowl ok. Tricky last day to navigate. Two quick wickets. Bat better. Two hundreds. Draw.

Day 2 Highlights:

Day 3 Highlights:

Day 4 Highlights:

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Gidman for England!

Oh Jesus! We know things are pretty bleak and confused in the England set-up but lets hope they aren't paying too much attention to Gloucestershire skipper Michael Klinger who has put forward Will Gidman for a test call up!

In a recent post the Jessop Tavern View marvelled at Gidman's consistency at taking wickets in division 2 having not looked like a cricketer of any real note whilst at Durham (admittedly he never really got a look-in at Durham) The Jessop tavern mused that Gidman was probably a very good division 2 bowler, but that he would probably be best served in division 2 lest he end up like Gemaal Hussain.

Still its good to see the skipper talking up our only good bowler. presumably Klinger fancies working on his fitness with some long days in the field should Gidman ever be seriously considered by Peter Moores. Since Moore's is a powerpoint fan, the Jessop Tavern is off to whip up a presentation to put forward the virtues of Ed Young as a spin option.

Rain dampens Glos bowlers fire

Gloucestershire (231) drew with Glamorgan (145 and 146 - 9)

Glos 9 points. Glamorgan 8 points.

Gloucestershire rather surprisingly decided to select the same toothless bowling attack that Hampshire had so easily swatted aside the week before and the faith of King John was duly rewarded with a fine effort from the bowling unit. Sadly it was all in vain, as the rain set in and took so much time out of the game that Glos couldn't quite force a richly deserved victory.

Pleasingly, all the bowlers contributed. James Fuller making early breakthroughs and Will Gidman doing what Will Gidman does. The Jessop Tavern continues to be somewhat amazed at the wonderful consistency of the 'other' Gidman brother since he arrived in the Shire. We sort of keep expecting him to be found out as being nothing more than a division two trundler. Fortunately, division two are never likely to. It would be interesting to see how Gidman would get on at a higher level. Would his game have another gear, or would he go Gemaal Hussain? David Payne also responded well to a disappointing opening game of the season and only the weather could deny him a hat trick on day 1.

In the batting department, Will Tavare proved his hundred against Hampshire was no fluke with another handy contribution. Dent and O'Mish also chipped in on a damp pitch hardly conducive to free flowing stroke play. Gloucestershire fans are well versed in watching wiley Glamorgan veteran spinners running through us, and even though Crofty, and his armoury of stop-deliveries and balls delivered from behind the umpire, has now gone Dean Cosker is still plodding away and his 5 for 46 kept Glamorgan in it.

Despite the rain, Glos will be disappointed not to have walked away with the victory. Having reduced Glamorgan to 72 for 9 in their first innings the 73 runs that were added for the final wicket ended up being crucial. Still, onwards and upwards. It was good to see the bowlers respond well to a worrying opening match performance. Next up, the reinvigorated England captain and former Gloucestershire great, Ravi Bopara.

Friday, 18 April 2014

'England's next spinner' jibes rile Carberry into action

Hampshire (422 & 215-2) beat Gloucestershire (304 & 322) by eight wickets
Points: Hampshire 24, Gloucestershire 6

The Jessop Tavern View is not accustomed to having much influence on player performance. Even at the lowly level of LVCC Division 2, our pleas for increased concentration and application frequently go ignored by the Gloucestershire squad. This phenomenon appears not to apply to members of the opposition, though. In an earlier post, we suggested that Michael Carberry's best chance of an England appearance this season may be as the recently-retired Graeme Swann's spin replacement. These harsh words appear to have stung Carbs into action, as he struck an unbeaten hundred on Day 4, to guide Hampshire to an easy 8 wicket victory at Bristol.

It's hard to be too critical of a Glos performance which saw the boys score over 300 in both innings, not something we achieved on a regular basis in season's past. However, we did lose wickets in clusters on both Days 1 & 2, which contributed to our downfall against a powerful batting lineup. The bowlers tried hard, but ultimately looked pretty popgun on a flat deck, and a blunt analysis would suggest that we will struggle to take wickets against the better batsmen in the division. There were a few positives however, not least the excellent hundred from Will 'more shots than his uncle' Tavare and 19 year old Matt Taylor. Taylor took 6 wickets and certainly looked a better left arm option than David Payne, who seems to have plateaued with the ball and looked more like a batsman who bowls on the evidence of this match.

It's a bloody good job that Taylor performed with the ball too, as the other seam bowlers were disappointing, particularly James Fuller, who leaked runs with gay abandon in both Hampshire innings. The lack of a viable spin option should come as no surprise to Glos fans, who have witnessed numerous comedians attempting to hold down an end of the last few years. Let's hope that Tom Smith isn't too scarred from the tremendous amount of tap he took in this game, especially in the second innings, where an admittedly 'in the mood' James Vince really went to town on his bowling.

Anyway, this was only the first game of a long season and as captain Klinger stated on the official site, we need to learn some lessons from the defeat, not least avoiding losing momentum by losing wickets in clusters and consistently bowling a load of four balls to help ease batsmen into their innings.

Up next, fellow lower mid-table candidates Glamorgan, who we face at Sophia Gardens on Sunday. Could be an interesting contest, especially as the ever-fragile Ian Saxelby is in the 12 and can hopefully provide a greater cutting edge with the ball alongside Gidman Jr, Taylor and one of Payne or Fuller.

Video highlights from Day 4:

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Glos in with a fighting chance after David Payne batting masterclass

Day 3: Gloucestershire 304 and 308 for 9 v Hampshire 422.

Gloucestershire will begin day 4 against Hampshire with a glimmer of hope of victory thanks to a gritty 84 not out from Hamish O'Marshall and some late order biffing by James Fuller and David Payne.

Earlier in the afternoon Glos had slumped to 216 for 8, but a partnership of 92 between Marshall and Payne has at least given Gloucestershire's boundary board bowlers a fighting chance.

Marshall in particular showed real application in his 193 ball vigil as he managed to occupy the crease whilst watching wickets tumble at the other end. The decision to field only 5 batsmen always leaves you vulnerable to collapses and when Gidders departed for a fluent 72 Glos went from 124 for 3 to 216 for 8. Not quite the 5 wickets for 12 runs of the first innings, and in these terms an over 400% increase in the return for 5 wickets. Still, it's hardly the stuff of champions. David Payne proceed to then show exactly when he was in the side with a superb knock of 44 including two reverse swept boundaries from the part time off spin of Michael Carberry. Having heard the news that Sam Robson had made a hundred for Middlesex we presume Carberry is now eyeing up the vacant spinners role as his only chance of ever playing test cricket again.

Earlier in the day Matt Taylor took his first first class 5 wicket haul and finished with excellent figures of 5 for 75. Hopefully the start of more to come from the promising young left armer.

Can Glos win it from here? Well, stranger things have happened but you suspect that this bowling attack doesn't have what it takes. We'll be happy to be proved wrong. But then we'd also be happy if James Fuller manages to go for less than a run a ball. The Jessop Tavern is easily pleased.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Glos crumble under Vince's onslaught….and before it

"This is how it feels to be Gloucestershire.
This is how it feels to be small.
This is how it feels when your team wins nothing at all"

Working in an office where radio 2 is the only approved radio station means that the Jessop Tavern is awash in a bit of britpop at the moment and, whilst the Inspiral Carpets aren't strictly a britpop band, the sentiment for Gloucestershire fans is true enough after a very disappointing second day of the season.

When the Jessop Tavern wrote yesterday about 400 we naturally now apologise for the typo. Poised on 292 for 5 overnight the Jessop Tavern of course meant that the boys would be looking to scrape their way to 300. Losing 5 wickets for 12 runs to hand the incentive to Hampshire was bad enough. To then manage to concede 400 in a days play is inexcusable.

We can't think of any other sport where by your team can go from looking so good to so utterly bad in the space of a day, and within the same match, as county cricket. It's wonderfully unpredictable, even if it means sitting on the edge of your seat wondering when your team's next bout of crapness is coming along. As all sports fans know, you have to take the rough with the smooth. As every Gloucestershire fan knows, you have to take the bad with the very bad. It's going to be a long summer.

Already in this match we have seen plenty of promise from youngsters like Will Tavare, and we know that the youngsters at the bottom of the order will have learnt a tremendous amount about contributing important runs. These same bowlers will also have learnt a lot about the correct lines and lengths to bowl at quality batsmen at this level. It is still a learn experience for these youngsters…..

Sorry. We thought we writing for the official site for a moment.

Yes, some of this team are still young but James Fuller has been in the first team for enough seasons now to not be going for over 6 an over. Captain Klinger bemoaned the lack of bowling as a unit. Where as Will Gidman and youngster Matt Taylor returned respectable figures of 4-66 and 4-75 respectively, the rest of the attack was bobbins. James Vince is a very talented young batsman who is finally looking like a real cricketer as opposed to a blaster, but he can't have scored many easier hundreds. 

To add to the disappointment, Glos actually did have Hampshire at 216 for 6 in the afternoon. The boys will now need to bat very well second time around to give this bowling attack anything to go at in the fourth innings.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tavare shows the old timers how it's done

Day 1: Glos 292 - 5 v Hampshire

Gloucestershire's batsmen batted like it was 2013 as they made there merry way towards a late first innings collapse by posting an encouraging 292 for 5 on day 1 of their 2014 campaign.

On his championship debut, Will Tavare made all the headlines by ending the day 135 not out. His knock was even more impressive as he helped steady Gloucestershires ship at several points throughout the day, something he'll no doubt become accustomed to doing throughout the season. Chris Dent departed early but Tavare and Klinger put on 163 for the second wicket to make sure Glos got a foothold in the match. With Tavare then nearing his hundred, Klinger departed and the old experienced heads of Gidders and O'Mish headed to the middle one-by-one to calm young Will's nerves and help him to his debut ton. 10 minutes later and both Gidders and O'Mish clearly felt they had imparted all of their wisdom and so off they trotted without bothering to add any runs to the scoreboard. Clearly something that O'Mish said must have struck home as soon afterwards Tavare was down the picture and smashing Liam Dawson for 6 to bring up his ton. O'Mish was seen on the balcony applauding ruefully at the thought that Tavare had disobeyed his instruction to have a swing and get yourself out cheaply when you are well set.

Will Gidman then helped Tavare add another 103 for the fifth wicket before he fell just before the close of play. It will now be left to Tavare, Cameron Herring and the bowlers to get the score up to 400.

The day had begun with the surprise inclusion of 19 year old Matt Taylor as the fourth seamer. Ian saxelby had been mooted for a potential return, but apparently he pulled something in the shower in the morning. Taylor's selection actually was down to the pitch conditions. Taylor has been mentioned as the new Mike Smith, and whilst we enjoy having the option of a left arm seamer we do wonder whether anyone knew that David Payne had also been selected?! Alternatively maybe Gloucestershire are going to issue in a new, Mitchell Johnson inspired era where-by every county goes desperately searching for a left arm quickie. Who knows!

Highlights of Tavare's maiden ton:


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

2014 Season Preview: Same same but different?

Here we go, another year and, despite England's monumentally herculean attempts to suck all love out of cricket supporters in this country, the start of the county championship almost seems like welcome respite from the rather unprecedented fall from grace the national team has suffered in the past 6 months.

Gloucestershire appear to have approached the 2014 season with very much a, 'if it ain't fixed, don't….' Oh, hold on. That's not quite right.

The off season has seen has seen Glos manage to successfully add absolutely no new faces to a squad that performed manfully last year without really threatening to look like promotion candidates in the championship or trophy winners in white ball cricket. The familiar lines about young players coming good this year has been heard once more emanating from Nevil Road (behind the sound of the builders)

Gloucestershire fans are now very familiar with this line. We invest nothing in the playing squad, enabling money to be ploughed into the ground redevelopment which will enable us to host the occasional one day international against Zimbabwe or, heaven forbid the Netherlands!

Still, let's not grumble too much. The Jessop Tavern actually supports the idea of investing time in blooding young cricketers and we would certainly much rather watch David Payne be rubbish than Jon Batty. Oh hold on, we did have to watch Jon Batty. It is an admirable approach to building a sustainable cricket club in the modern era, even if the results haven't quite been there.

The squad does have potential. Last year the bowling department really struggled to back up a batting unit that contained 4 men who passed 1,000 runs in the championship. Will Gidman once again led the way with 50 wickets, and whilst Craig Miles burned brightly at the start of the season, he faded in the second half due to a combination of being over bowled and being worked out by batsmen. It will be interesting to see whether Miles continues his progression this season, or if he falls back amongst the Liam Norwells of this world. Speaking of Norwell, both he and David Payne now really need to step up. It has been a few years now since they both emerged, excitingly into the first team. Both have plateaued since and require reviving.

Both Miles Hammond and Graeme McCarter will push them for first team cricket and at least one of these four really needs to have a breakthrough season if Gloucestershire are going to consistently take 20 wickets. Then there is Ian Saxelby. The Sax should be back after injury ruined his 2013 season. Whether he can return to top form will also play a big part in Gloucestershire's season.

In the spin department,…..ah, forget it. Lets not even bother going there. Tom Smith has been retained to hold up an end and Jack Taylor has put his dart board away and learnt how to bowl properly, well at least that's what the ECB say!

The batting, and this is hard for the Jessop Tavern to say, is the strength of the squad. 1,000 runs for captain Klinger, Gidders, O'Mish and Dent should be repeated again this year. Dent in particular needs to back-up finally breaking through as a batsman of real substance in 2013. Benny, the House and Gareth Roderick provide able backup. In Division 2 there is no excuse for this lot not to fill their boots again. This being Glos though we fully expect to watch Klinger wilt under the pressure of setting fields to too many four-ball bowlers, Gidders to score meaningless hundreds late in the season after failing to assert himself at the start of the campaign and for O'Mish to revert back to scoring lots of pretty 30s.

So what can we expect trophy wise!? Last season the t20 was a shambles and it is difficult to see it being any different. The lack of experience or variety in the bowling attack and a lack of firepower in the batting means that it is hard to picture Glos doing much better this season. Still, at least we won't have to watch Dan Christian this year. The return of 50 over cricket is probably the best chance of really challenging for silverware and, if everyone can stay fit, then a promotion challenge is a distinct possibility.

On a final note, it will be interesting to see who else gets blooded from the academy. It is all well and good to invest nothing in the squad and place your faith in an academy system, as we have already said this is a highly commendable way to run a cricket club. However, such sustainability relies on having a convey belt of talent coming from the academy. Who the next young thing will be is perhaps the most exciting thing Gloucestershire fans have to look forward to.