The 25th staging of the Adderbury v Milton needle match for the Millennium Cup took place at North Newington on 4 September. Milton with a strong looking batting line up aimed to set a tough target, but quickly found that the pitch was acting up with some shooters and others that spat up at the Banbury Road end. Star man Andrew Stanley finished a frustrating season by being bowled for one with the 12 fielders of Adderbury keeping it tight in the field. Tod Yeomans struck 3 straight back foot shots to the boundary but was caught for a quick fire 13, and Greg Fletcher was caught again by Terry for 12 after a patient innings where he looked untroubled.
Joe Miller, a young recruit for MCC, batted well in middle order for 17 partnering the bellicose Guy Wilby (22) The middle order didn’t survive the wily bowling of Terry from Adderbury Stores, (3 for 12) playing for the first time since leaving good quality cricket in India – what a find! This left MCC 81 for 8 from 26 overs. Then tail enders Nick Reeves and Colin Houseman put on 28 for the last wicket with some agricultural swishes. So final score 122 from 34.1 overs. Adderbury took 7 catches, some miraculous, and set the standard for fielding.
In reply, MCC took to the field to face the fiery Matt Walsh (3-21) and the ageless Colin Houseman (2-12) exploiting the dodgy wicket to leave Adderbury 4 down in 10 overs. The only resistance came from Dave Arrowsmith for 13. Ben Miller took an amazing 3-9 from 5 overs. During this period Jack Lambden dug in and was working his way to 50 runs with very few chances playing sensibly on the variable bounce track.
The finale left the game hanging in the balance with Adderbury on 59-9 after 20 overs, but with Lambden keeping up with the run rate until he finally holed out with a straight airborne shot to deep mid-on caught by Walsh off the bowling of Wilby (2-17). Jack finished on 54 with Tom Holliday not out on 15. Adderbury were dismissed for 98 from 31.4 overs. A very competitive game and close to the end.
The event was finished off with a barbeque prepared by Paul Hopkins and finished completely with the exception of the vegetarian sausages. Many thanks to Mrs Hopkins for the cakes at the tea intervals and to everyone for taking part. One final game at Great Tew on 11 September to mark Simon Rae’s retirement with Milton vs Pomeroys select XI.
Nick Reeves, Captain Milton CC