WRETCHED Welsh weather prevented a convincing win for Gloucestershire in Cardiff.
Fine bowling and determined batting showed how well our team responded to the Hampshire defeat. Two days of cricket showed we have the ability to win matches. The two days lost to the weather saved the Welsh side from a heavy defeat.
It was encouraging to see spinner Tom Smith having a better game with both bat and ball, but it was Will Gidman who took the honours. With outstanding figures of 6-50 off 25 overs.
Thinking about writing this column earlier in the week, I intended to start it with a simple sentence – Gidman for England! Two respected judges, captain Michael Klinger and Hamish Marshall, beat me to it.
Will could certainly fill the Tim Bresnan role in the Test XI and those of us who watched the limp performances in the winter one-day games know he is so much better than the succession of serial losers we saw representing our country.
We are lucky to have Will. Like brother Alex he was missed on leaving school and headed for Lord’s where he joined the MCC young cricketers. After that he joined Durham on a two-year contract where he became frustrated at no championship opportunities. Since joining us, or to put it another way, coming home, he has been a revelation.
Will’s story shows how many mistakes we made in our recruitment policy. Hopes were high for Will Rudge, Tom Stayt, Jackson Thompson and David Brown making the grade. With them on the staff there was no room for Will. Worse still Liam Dawson and Joe Vine were allowed to nip away from nearby North Wiltshire to join Hampshire where they are now established first-teamers.
Such errors of omission would not happen now. There are good relations with all neighbouring minor counties, and as a result a 14-year-old from Oxfordshire, Jordan Garrett, played in a Second XI match against Surrey, scoring 50. Watch out for him and an 18-year-old all rounder Marc Lezar, who scored 83 off 59 deliveries, including nine fours and three sixes.
Rain has already bitten into the match against Essex and unless there are declarations or forfeits a result will be hard to come by. With their experienced international players – Cook, Bopara, Panesar, Masters and wicket keeper/captain Foster – our visitors will be hard to beat, but in a game now shortened by at least a day anything can happen.
Pride of place this week goes to Cirencester Town. Manager Brian Hughes and his young side have won the Calor League Division One South & West title.
Radio Gloucestershire reporter Paul Furley was covering the game and afterwards brought the good news to The New Lawn where the Forest Green Rovers game did not start until 5.30pm. He graphically described the match-winning goal burst that saw Cirencester win.
Paul told how manager Hughes changed to a 4-2-4 formation in a brave move to win the game. Town were 1-0 down at the time. Paul told of hearing a plaintive cry from goalkeeper Garner, “Don’t go gung-ho just yet!”
Well gung-ho they went and won the game.
Resolve, courage and character are among the town team’s attributes. When they play you can see the beating heart of the team. This is an area in which Forest Green are sadly lacking and a disappointing season has been the result. Manager Hughes, please have a chat with Ady Pennock, your opposite number at The New Lawn and let him know the secret of your success.
I anticipate Ady will release many players including some Nailsworth favourites. Former Salisbury defender James Turley is out of contract and could join Swindon.
It is hoped that residents of Bingham Close, Cirencester read this column this week as I can therefore use the opportunity to apologise. Squeals of joy emanated from our lounge on Sunday afternoon, followed by an enthusiastic roar. It was Mrs Light!
At an hour when she is usually asleep, Penny was watching Chelsea beat Liverpool. As a child she visited Stamford Bridge regularly and is a lifelong fan so to a certain extent I can understand her joy and must warn neighbours. Before the season ends there are two or three possible occasions when this may happen again. Sorry!
Youth cricket has already started at county level and Cirencester player Eve Alder has been outstanding at U15 and U17 level.
She has a fine bowling action and a good cricket brain. Like all other youngsters she has academic battles to win but keep up your cricket, Eve. You could be Cirencester’s first home grown international.