Cricket Team

Gladiators Cricket – Another win for the Glads - Posted on September 23rd, 2014

Colchester Gladiators         104 all out


Frinton Rotary                      91 all out


Gladiators win by 13 runs

The Gladiators returned to Frinton to face new opponents in an effort to cap an undefeated 2014 cricket season. The Gladiators were put into bat as skipper Burridge awaited his tardy team’s arrival. With players drifting into the ground looking dishevelled and cursing the Essex road network, the Foxleys strode purposely to the crease. John Foxley looked to set the tone immediately, going after the Frinton bowlers having bottled up his road rage for the contest. In true crustacean style, Nick foxley played a more watchful innings at the other end, favouring singles to keep the score ticking over. John found the boundary on a number of occasions and retired swiftly reaching the quarter century milestone. Debutant Ashley Rennalls wandered nervously to the crease and nudged his way to 10 in support of Nick Foxley’s efforts. Rennalls never looked comfortable, and his demise brought the skipper to the crease. At the other end, wickets tumbled, with Nick Foxley falling one short of his quarter century, before George Meighan was stumped first ball, and Karl Bourke, whilst managing to avoid the hat trick, succumbed soon after. Big hitter Adam Levy came in, promising much, but delivering little, himself returning to the pavilion for 10. Burridge sought to accelerate, but fell victim as a rogue delivery bounced twice and struck him on the toe, plum in front of all three stumps. The umpire had no hesitation in raising the finger and the skipper was out for 17. Veteran Simon Wilkinson failed to trouble the scorers before the crowd were entertained by the antics of the Gilbranch brothers, who consistently attempted to run each other out in as finer display of one-upmanship as you’re ever likely to see. Elder brother Mark departed for 3, whilst Matthew stood firm on two, watching as Brunsden went down swinging for just 1. John Foxley returned as the last man, and threatened with some lusty blows, but failed to add significantly to the score, as he was bowled for 28, the Gladiators finishing on 104, probably a dozen short of par on a decent wicket.


The familiar opening partnership of M. Gilbranch and M. Gilbranch again opened the bowling and got the Gladiators off to an excellent start. Matthew found penetration early on, but loose deliveries were punished. A spectacular catch from John Foxley, belying his age, his muscular deterioration and his creaky osteoporosis, set the tone for the Gladiators, as Matt Gilbranch ripped the top order apart, finishing with 3-28 from his opening spell. Brother Mark was too good for the opposition, bowling tight probing deliveries at pace, and finding reward when striking the stumps late in the spell, finishing with a miserly 1-5. Athletic fielding from Paul Brunsden accounted for a run out in the middle order, with Burridge holding down an end, bowling three overs for 15 as the light faded. The skipper then showed faith in his slow bowling tandem, a duo of destruction, who began to destroy Frinton’s hopes of victory. Brunsden was the beneficiary of another Foxley catch, finishing with 1-27, but was the foil to his more able partner. With a combined 1.5 good ankles, two thirds of a back, and zero healthy knees between them, Brunsden and Wilkinson were phenomenal. In light reminiscent of England’s victory in Karachi in 2000, Wilkinson was too much for the Frinton batsmen to handle, hitting the stumps with relative ease, and taking three wickets for only 11 runs. With Frinton desperate for anything, the final wicket was a Nick Foxley run out, executed in true headless chicken fashion, but effective nonetheless.


The Gladiators Cricket team were imperious through the 2014 campaign, sweeping aside all in their wake, and raising the question, should the Gladiators enter a league next year? Could world domination be on the cards? Who would dare face Brunsden off the long run? Who could cope with a Foxley, Milgate, Eva middle order? Could Bill Kendall and Simon Wilkinson find themselves opening the bowling one day? All questions to mull over as the Gladiators rest up for another round of friendlies in 2015.

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