Horspath Cricket Club News story

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Ward and Green tons light up Feast Match

22 Sep 2022

BRILLIANT centuries from Harrison Ward and Stephen Green lit up the annual Horspath Feast Match, which broke new ground by being played on a Sunday.
Traditionally the fixture - widely regarded as the social highlight of the Oxfordshire cricket calendar - has been held on a Monday.
But this year, with the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II taking place that day, the game was brought forward 24 hours.
And it proved a big success with greater player availability and an increased attendance with more than 100 people sitting down for an excellent lunch.
One tradition that hasn't changed is the President's XI batting first and that continued as Ward opened up against his old club accompanied by his father, David.
Harrison showed all the skills which have seen him go on to become a first-class cricketer at Sussex with a dazzling exhibition of strokeplay.
Ward Snr, meanwhile, has moved in a different direction. Following exhaustive attempts to impart his coaching knowledge on Horspath's 1st XI - "they don't listen to me," he says - he has turned to umpiring on the club's behalf in the Cherwell League.
No doubt, one piece of advice he would have passed on in his former role was to value your wicket and he showed that in abundance, facing 18 balls before getting off the mark.
A single down the ground off acting skipper Will Eason finally did the trick, and he went on to make 12 in a first-wicket stand of 74 before running out of steam and being bowled by Lloyd Belcher.
Harrison, accompanied by Banbury's Tom Bartlett (24), completed a half-century before cutting loose in stunning fashion, bringing up his ton with a glorious four through the covers.
Four more mighty sixes followed as the left-hander dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground before retiring unbeaten on 125 off 90 balls with 17 fours and six maximums.
The President's XI reached lunch at 223-2 when members and guests were treated to a splendid spread served up by Hayden Moon - with the South Korean chicken having travelled particularly well.
Moon is not the only chef extraordinaire to have had a significant impact on the village this summer. Raymond Blanc OBE has helped fund the No 46 bus service which passes through Horspath en route from Oxford to the Frenchman's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons hotel and restaurant at Great Milton.
Meanwhile, it seems the reputation of 'Le Moonoir!' is growing as Horspath secretary Max Eason related during his entertaining speech that the club's culinary wizard had been snapped up by Banbury for their end-of-season dinner.
He says the north Oxfordshire club may well have lured Horspath players away in the past, but he assures members there's no way Moon will be leaving on a permanent basis.
Banbury stalwart Neil Megson, captaining the opposition for Horspath president Denis Walker, replied in kind before umpires Bob Chamberlain and Carl Thompson got the game under way again after a break of 2hrs 20mins with scorer Simon Goves in charge of the numbers.
Cumnor's Tom Powell (41) and Robbie Eason (33), of the host club but sporting MCC colours, continued to pile up the runs before wickets tumbled to teenage off-spinner Christopher Hofen (4-25) on his Feast debut.

Megson finally called a halt on 278-7 - a declaration which would prove to be perfectly timed.
Max Smith and Hofen got Horspath's reply off to a flying start with 94 off 11 overs before it came to an abrupt halt.
An unfortunate mix-up saw both players at the same end and it was Smith who had to go, run out for 46.
Hofen holed out in the deep for 43 off Great Brickhill's James Clark shortly afterwards, but Rob Wight maintained the momentum in a 76-run partnership with Green.
Wight made a classy 45 before he was bowled by Shipton-under-Wychwood's Ian Lewis leaving Green to keep up the run chase almost single-handedly as wickets fell at the other end following a rum-fuelled drinks break.
Harrison Ward (3-25) led the way, while Lewis (2-23) claimed another victim and the home club's youngsters Josh Cummings and Josh Richardson, on their Feast debuts, also struck for the President's XI.
With Horspath depleted by 'illness' during the day, the hosts suddenly found themselves down to 10 men with Green undefeated and closing in on a century.
But at 251-9 out of the crowd stepped Paul Hicks complete with bat, pads and helmet to keep the game alive and allow Green to complete a superb ton, which he brought up in style with a straight four down the ground.
With the hosts' requiring 14 to win off the last over in rapidly fading light, Megson turned to Robbie Eason's very occasional off-spin. The MCC man conceded just five runs as Green and Hicks reached the close at 270-9 with the game finishing as an honourable draw. Green was unbeaten on 110 with 17 fours and two sixes into the road.
As the curtain came down on the season, the celebrations continued in the clubroom - interrupted only at 8pm by the club joining the nation by impeccably observing a minute's silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.

Match Replay

A selection of photos taken by Rob Judges: