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.