Club cricket

The Cricket Paper - - FIRST TEST - By James Roberts

All the lat­est news from around the ECB Pre­mier Leagues

FORM went out of the win­dow for Steve McComb when he hit 40 runs off the fi­nal over to snatch a seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble vic­tory.

Dorch­ester-on-Thames needed 35 to win as McComb faced Swin­brook bowler Mi­hai Cu­cos at the death of the Ox­ford­shire Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Di­vi­sion Four match.

But the 54-year-old – helped by Cu­cos bowl­ing two no-balls – hit seven bound­aries, in­clud­ing sixes off each of the fi­nal three balls.

McComb’s 104 not out was made even more im­plau­si­ble by re­cent strug­gles at the crease, ac­cord­ing to Dorch­ester cap­tain Adrian Red­head.

“Steve hasn’t scored any runs all sea­son, he used to open the bat­ting but over the last cou­ple of years he’s dropped down as his ankle has got worse,” ex­plained Red­head.

“His form has been poor – that’s the first time he’s got over 50 in the league this sea­son.

“It’s quite re­mark­able be­cause he has ba­si­cally got one leg – his ankle is so arthritic that he hops be­tween the wick­ets!”

McComb re­counted his ex­tra­or­di­nary fi­nal over, re­veal­ing that vic­tory was far from his mind as Cu­cos ran in for his first de­liv­ery.

“We’d all been quite re­signed to los­ing, we’d never been in with a chance through­out the game,” said McComb.

“The bound­ary on one side was very small and I just thought I’d have a slog and see what hap­pens.

“The first ball was a no-ball and that got us think­ing, but we still needed 18 off the fi­nal three which was a tall or­der.

“But when he bowled the fourth ball it was a no-ball again, so that’s when I started to think there was a real chance.

“We had a few young lads play­ing for us and they got a bit ex­cited and when that fi­nal six went over the bound­ary they ran out onto the pitch.”

McComb’s knock wasn’t the only story on a sunny Ox­ford­shire af­ter­noon. Swin­brook’s star was Jack Grace, de­scen­dant of the great Vic­to­rian bats­man W.G. Grace

“They do have one player who is very good – the great, great, great grand­son of W.G. Grace,” added Red­head.

“He doesn’t play for them of­ten, but on Satur­day he scored a hun­dred and took four wick­ets.”

Yet even Grace’s per­for­mance was up­staged by McComb and Red­head re­vealed that the club have been in­un­dated with media re­quests from all an­gles since Satur­day.

“It’s been crazy the amount of peo­ple phon­ing and email­ing to speak to Steve,” ad­mit­ted the Dorch cap­tain.

“He was on ra­dio the other day and Test Match Spe­cial are go­ing to men­tion him dur­ing the Test match this week!”

And the day was fur­ther sweet­ened for the club by a win for their se­cond XI.

“We’d just been told that the se­cond team had won by ten wick­ets in a topof-the-ta­ble match,” re­vealed McComb.

“It was a great day for the club – a ‘dou­ble Dorch’.”

Cel­e­bra­tion: Glory scenes

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