Oundle Rovers CC will be back at Oundle for the second round of the Cricketer Cup on Sunday 30 June vs Radley Rangers, 11.30am start, as well as two days previously in the annual match against the School 1st XI.

The Rovers defeated Old Cheltonians in a low scoring rain affected Cricketer Cup 1st Round match at Cheltenham on Sunday 16 June.

Put in to bat Rovers started well with Simon Fernandes (L 18) 31 and Greg Smith (StA 07) 60* appearing to set the foundations for a sizeable score. George Johansen (F) 12 also started well but some poor mid innings batting saw the Rovers collapse from 92-2 to 99-5. Smith stood firm and was most ably supported by an excellent Cricketer Cup debut from Charlie Fernandes (L 17) whose 20 included some excellent improvisation and the Rovers’ only six of the innings. Smith marshalled the tail and in the end the Rovers closed on 157-9.

Happily the Rovers had saved their best cricket for the second part of the game. Cheltenham’s innings was reduced, by further rain, to 35 overs, starting at 5.45pm! From the start the Rovers bowling was miserly and the fielding made the pressure relentless. Patch Foster (StA 05) 2-27 and the veteran Jules McAlpine (Lx 88) 2-17 set the standard and Cheltenham were behind the rate from the start. Regular wickets saw the Duckworth Lewis par score rising rapidly, further increasing the pressure. Oundle’s three spinners, Harry Ramsden 2-33, Will Street 1-33 and the exceptional Ben Graves 3-11 capitalised on the fine start and although George Sandbach, 52, gave Cheltenham some glimmer of hope, the home side ended all out 123, 29 short  of the target, at about 7.55pm. The journeys home to London, Colchester, Tunbridge Wells, Yorkshire and Durham (!) were late and long, but also very satisfying.

Team: Smith (C), Ramsden, Fernandes S, Johansen, Graves, Foster, Fernandes C, Lowe (wkt), Hicks, Street, McAlpine.

The Rovers go again in the second round at Oundle.  Support very welcome. Rovers remain the third most successful side in the history of the Cricketer Cup, which is now in its 52nd year, ahead of all of the opponents on Oundle’s fixture circuit.

On Friday 28 June the Rovers will field at least 6 past and present Cricketer Cup players in a strong side against the School.

Tim Elliott
St A 77