Ultras Triumph on League Dayboo!

After two weeks of grim rain and postponements, the long awaited competitive league debut for the Ultras finally took place at the Ultras Bowl last night.

Questions abounded in the run-up to the match – would we be competitive in the league, what would the Catherine Wheel food be like, how would the established oppos react to turning up and seeing a bunch of men in tight pink t-shirts…..

Well every question or doubt there could have been was answered with aplomb as a superb all-round team effort (to a man) resulted in the Ultras exploding gloriously on to the South Oxfordshire T20 scene.

Skipper Russell made a good start as he won the toss and with the Maestro slightly delayed due to some last minute Pimpmystumps.co.uk orders from Lords, the decision was taken to bat.

Russell and Lenny Sexon strode out to the middle determined to put on a show and be positive. A steady 10 run per over start followed and when Lenny departed in the 5th over nearly 50 was already on the board for the loss of just one wicket. Ed took a back seat as the skipper’s SS Jumbo and his range of golf and tennis shots saw the boundary peppered and the first GCC fifty of the season soon followed. Departing on 55 allowed Jonny W to come to the wicket and after surviving a tight LBW appeal first ball (which the oppos struggled to forget about) found his range with some lusty blows and an incredible strike rate of 200.0 before falling LBW agonisingly close to another fifty.

Ed was then joined by the whippersnapper Matty Norman who rotated the strike cleverly and allowed Everitt to flourish and time his charge perfectly to finish on 50 not out without even realising it. Ultras finishing on 194-3, just 4 runs short of our club record T20 total.

However, that was only the first half of the game won and nothing could be taken for granted. Kenza eased any nerves with a first ball wicket of the oppos captain as the bail dribbled off in slow motion. While the Ultras were starting to think of the first beer it became very quickly apparent that Chalgrove had a couple of top draw batsmen who started to score heavily  and after 8 overs with the score at 72-2 they were in sight of the required run rate.

The beauty of the side yesterday was the abundance of options for the skipper – this came to the fore as a masterful change to bring on Steve James led to the key partnership being broken and Steve quickly taking the wickets of both of Chalgrove’s quality batsmen. A key turning point as nerves were starting to creep in.

Now it was time for the ultimate T20 bowler and Ultras 2011 player of the year, Tom Ferry, to do what he does best and take Ultras wickets which he duly did by mopping up 3 of the middle / lower order. Sadly he did not mop up enough as due to an earlier foolish bet that Fezza had made on Chalgrove not beating 100, the Skipper was forced to suffer the unpleasant experience of Tom bending down and kissing his backside.

Back to the action and Donny Norman put the icing on the cake dismissing their last man with Chalgrove all out for 107 and a convincing 87 run victory. Excellent in every department from the well paced and clinical batting, committed and tight fielding performance (especially byeless Punter) and the bowlers who kept it in the right places and withstood the early momentum that Chalgrove managed.

The evening was topped off by a full team outing to Catherine Wheels for real ale, lager tops and sausages, pork pie and chips. An excellent way to finish off a completely successful first Ultras game of the season.

Bring on Crowmarsh!!!

Pimpmystumps.co.uk pimp of the match award – Steve James

Goring 194-3

Russell         55

Sexon           14

Everitt         50 n.o

Westcar 46

M.Norman        10

Chalgrove 107 all out

Barton          1-34

Slade           0-13

James           3-25

Ferry           3-21

D.Norman        1-8

Sexon           0-6


Jonathan Russell


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