Monday, 23 October 2017

Oratory edged out in thrilling showdown

ORATORY School Boat Club delivered some of the highlights of the Reading Amateur Regatta.

ORATORY School Boat Club delivered some of the highlights of the Reading Amateur Regatta.

The J14s got the event off to a terrific start, with the much-improved A quad winning their first race of the year over Windsor Boys’ School. The A quad raised their game again in the next round but went out against the eventual winners.

It was then the turn of the 1st Eight in the Intermediate 2 Eights. They comfortably dispatched Reading Rowing Club A by two-and-a-half lengths in the first round.

The second round put them up against the University of Bristol’s powerful 1st Eight. The Oratory went out hard from the start and led by quarter of a length at halfway but with just a minute to go Bristol edged ahead.

The Oratory showed great fighting spirit and the finish was so tight that it took several minutes before the verdict was announced.

This revealed Bristol as the victors with a winning margin of just four feet. It was a thrilling race and saw Bristol’s head coach doing some impromptu recruitment work on the 1st Eight.

There was still one Oratory crew to race and the J15 4+ saved the best performance until last. In the final they put three-and-a-half lengths on Windsor Boys’ School, demonstrating power and some much improved technical rowing.

HARPSDEN had to make do with 10-men when they hosted the BUTLER’S XI on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the hosts one of their 10 players was held up in traffic as the game began and to compound the problem Butler’s won the toss and elected to bat.

A period of chasing leather followed for Harpsden as the Butler’s batsmen took full advantage of the lack of numbers in the field.

The introduction of Rod Birkett and Will Stevens to the attack steamed the flow of runs as first Stevens removed Low just short of his half century and Birkett removed Virk just short of his century.

In truth Harpsden did well to limit Butler’s to 236, but at tea the visitors were the side in the ascendancy.

Harpsden started strongly with Lloyd and Adam Birkett, but when Lloyd miscued a drive wickets started to fall at regular intervals. Harpsden tumbled to 85-5 as Ian Whittaker came to join Birkett, the pair proceeded to negotiate the returning opening bolwers and started to bring some respectability to the Harpsden total.

However with the required run rate forever climbing the pressure built and eventually Whittaker was stumped for 28.

With just nine overs left 87 runs were still required and a Harpsden victory seemed unlikely.

However Stevens and Birkett had other ideas and proceeded to move the score on at pace. With four overs to go Birkett notched up his century, the remaining runs were knocked off and Harpsden had stolen a victory that just 40 minutes earlier had seemed impossible.

Butler’s XI

B Wilkinson, c Lloyd, b Ham 3

H Low, b Stevens 48

M Virk, s Lloyd, b Birkett 97 Ahtsham, b Birkett 0 S McCormack, c Whittaker b Birkett 7 D Price, b Ham 36 D Nicholson, run out 0 T Jeffreys, c Stevens, b Birkett 2 K Tilbury, not out 22 S Griffin, c Birkett, b Ham 0

C Fawdenn, run out 0

Extras 21

TOTAL 236

Harpsden

A Birkett, not out 114 A Lloyd, c Ahtsham b Virk 17 C Whittaker, b Tilbury 6 M Greenwood, b Ahtsham 10 J Bradley, b Price 2 H Cary, b Price 1 I Whittaker, s Low b Jeffreys 29

W Stevens, not out 44

Extras 14

TOTAL (6 wickets) 237



GREYS GREEN took on LITTLE MARLOW on Sunday after suffering a wash-out the previous day.

Little Marlow lost wickets at regular intervals right from the start as Greys bowled in disciplined fashion.

The batsmen played positively but this was their downfall with the bowlers ably supported by the fielding.

All of Greys bowlers were rewarded with wickets and good analyses.

Wicket keeper Knight took four catches including one at fine leg having chased after a skied shot. After a little late order resistance, Little Marlow were all out for 86 well before tea.

Greys batsmen Knight and Shafqat continued their recent form and took Greys to a comfortable 10 wicket victory. Knight finished with 55 not out.

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