Monday, 21 December 2009

Xmas comes with a wave of runs

Fegocowosa CC went to the Xmas break with an emphatic win over Rocks CC of Abeokuta last week at the TBS Oval. Stand-in Captain Uthe Ogbimi proved as adept as his predecessor at the toss, as the Warri boys maintained their 100% record with the coin. As in all our previous games, we elected to bat first and this time, took full advantage.

Two early wickets brought skipper Uthe to the crease to join Friday Udoh. Uthe picked up where he left off in the last match and with Friday growing in confidence, they put on a century partnership in good time to set a great platform for the later order assault. Friday fell 5 short of a century, Uthe completed an accomplished half-century, and Obo Omoigui came in to show once again what a good finisher he is, recording the third 50 of the innings.

A final score of 280-6, the highest total posted in the 1st division so far this season, was always going to be a tough ask for the Rocks boys, and Uthe, buoyed by his fine form with the bat, decided to take the new ball. Reprising his days at Blackheath, "Magic Ball" promptly picked up 3 wickets, including an absolute beauty to account for the Rocks captain, to effectively end the contest. Friday also seemed to feed off the runs he has scored, chipping in with three scalps, before Mr Dependable, Femi Olayiwole, picked up the final two to bring the Rocks innings to a close at 116.

So an emphatic win sees Fegocowosa go into the holiday period in second place in the league, and looking up rather than down.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Uthe's century not enough

A magnificent unbeaten even hundred from Uthe Ogbimi was not enough to see Fegocowosa CC to victory over GCI Old Boys at the TBS Oval last Saturday. Winning the toss for the third time in a row, skipper Roland Ilube lost no time in electing to bat first once again, and it was the old trio of skipper himself, Obo Omoigui and Uthe Ogbimi who proved to be the backbone of the Warri batting. Although Roland and Obo succumbed after good starts, Uthe pressed on and reached his century with a superbly struck boundary off the the last ball of the innings. 188-7 looked a competitive score off 40 overs, if perhaps 10-20 runs short of what might have been.

Once again the early bowling was a little loose, but a fortuitous wicket for Friday Udoh, a superb catch on the boundary by Austin Alikali and a cracking delivery from Michael Agbiboa left GCI rocking at 32-3. However Kunle Adegbola and Wale Adeoye combined for a 60 run partnership to turn the tide against us. The water break brought another twist as Frank Omozejele found Wale's edge and then Kunle ran himself out to put the game back in the balance. It looked like Osita Onwuzulike would see GCI home until spinner Emmanuel Olowookere chipped in with two lbw verdicts, and when the last man came in for the Ibadan side, 18 runs were still required for victory. The Warri bowlers huffed and puffed, but could not blow the house down and a miscued chip for two finally broke our hearts in the 36th over.

This was really a game we should have closed out, and the bitter after-taste will remain for some time to come.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Points on the board

At the second time of asking, Fegocowosa CC managed to put some points on the board following our encounter with Foundation Cricket Club at TBS yesterday.

Roland Ilube won the toss and once again elected to bat. 5 of the top 6 batsmen got to double figures against a friendly FCC attack, but only Obo Omoigui (46) and Friday Udoh (29) were able to push on. At one stage a total in excess of 220 looked on the cards, but our lower order fell away and we just squeezed past 200, being bowled out for 202 with 9 balls of our 45 overs left unused.

Dolapo Gafar came at us hard from the off when FCC replied, racing to 50 off just 44 balls as our seamers struggled to bowl a consistent line. The game turned when the back-up pairing of Frank Omozejele and Femi Oduyebo were introduced and managed to instill some discipline in the bowling. Frank trapped Gafar lbw and after that we were able to turn the screw. Frank finished with 3-31 and Femi Olayiwole swept up the tail with 4-15 as FCC were dismissed for 146, giving us an invaluable first win of the season

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Close....but not close enough

Fegocowosa CC went down fighting in their opening game of the 2009/10 CCC league season yesterday at the TBS Oval. The encounter with defending champions, Ibeju-Lekki CC, was a historic affair, being the first every organised cricket match in Nigeria in coloured clothing, and it turned out to be a match worthy of the occasion.

The Warri boys won the toss and decided to bat first in their all green strip. As expected the Ibeju bowlers were a handful with the new ball, and both openers fells to Seye Olympio within the first ten overs. The old stagers, Roland Ilube and Uthe Ogbimi, combined to steady the ship, taking us to 59-2 after 16 overs, but the water break changed things in favour of the yellow-clad Lekki squad. Uthe and Oduyebo fell to Leke Oyede in successive balls, and when Roland gloved a lifter from Bejide 3 overs later, we were in the mire at 66-5. Femi Olayiwole and Prosper Mgbanwa took us to within sight of the 100 mark, but after Prosper departed, Saheed Akolade returned to polish off the tail, leaving us 127 all out in 40.3 overs.

No one outside of our squad though this would be enough, but an early run-out exposed the much-vaunted Ibeju middle order to Michael Agbiboa - the delta express - in full cry. A high-class spell of fast bowling saw him claim 4 wickets in 6 overs, three of them clean-bowled, and the champions were rocking at 21-5. Oduyebo chipped in with one more before the score got to 50, but the lunch break gave Ibeju a chance to regroup, and after the restart Bejide (45*) and Oyede (40) put together the game-turning partnership. Olayiwole finally got rid of Oyede just before the end, and if another catch had been held straight after, we might still have pulled off a famous victory. As it was, we were left to ponder what might have been.

Friday, 6 November 2009

The age of colour is here

Tomorrow the 2009/10 CCC league season commences and Fegocowosa CC are privileged to be playing the opening match in the 1st division. This is not just any will be the first EVER match to be played in coloured clothing in Nigeria. The club kit has arrived and is shown here being modelled by a professional kit model.

We have a tough opening challenge againstIbeju-Lekki CC, the reigning league and national champions. We will go in as underdogs, but with no fear...

...let the games begin

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The struggle continues

Fegocowosa CC's difficult start to the season continued today at the TBS oval as they succumbed to a 4-wicket defeat at the hands of a powerful GCI Old Boys side in their latest warm-up match. Unlike the previous two friendlies, the Federal boys had first go with the bat and their top order struggled to get going against some probing bowling from the Ibadan boys. When skipper Roland Ilube was 5th out in the 26th over with less than 60 on the board, questions were being asked as to whether the team could break the 100 mark, but a late flourish from Femi Olayiwole (28) and James Imhanlahimi (20*) took us to a final total of 155-9 off our allotted 40 overs.

Friday Udoh was again dangerous with the new ball, and got the first breakthrough in the third over, and when Biodun Abioye took the second wicket with his second ball, GCI were looking uncertain at 37-2. Biodun picked up a couple more, but Ramit was beginning to look ominous at the other end, aided by some indifferent umpiring and fielding. Chimezie Onwuzulike joined him at 90-4 for what was to be the match-winning partnership, and even though A-Roy Ororho finally disposed of Ramit (79) and one more, Chimezie held firm to finish on 33* and guide GCIOB to victory with 10 overs to spare.

Monday, 5 October 2009

More work to do

Fegocowosa CC put up a spirited performance in their friendly encounter with defending league champions - Ibeju-Lekki I CC - last Sunday, but it wasn't enough to avoid a 45-run defeat. Once again, Roland Ilube won the toss and invited his opponents to bat. The four-prong pace attack put in an excellent display while the shine was on the ball, and reduced the much-vaunted Ibeju batting line-up to 90-4, with Friday Udoh and Biodun Abioye in particular moving the ball prodigiously. However, the Ibeju player-coach, Shaun Phillips, then found an ally in Lekan Awolowo, and as the ball grew old and the sun beat down, this pair put together what would prove to be a match-winning partnership. They took the score past 200 before Lekan departed for 30, but Shaun kept going, taking a particular shine to Uthe Ogbimi's medium pace, and brought up a chanceless century to guide his side to an imposing total of 245-6 off 40 overs.

In reply, the Warri openers set off like a house on fire, racing to 50 inside the first 8 overs, and it looked like the Ibeju score might be well within reach, but after the breakthrough the middle order failed to get going, and when Femi Oduyebo was run out by a smart throw the Federal boys were four down with 88 on the board. Uthe and Roland rebuilt against the spinners, but the asking rate was climbing all the time and eventually Uthe had a dip at Lekan and holed out in the deep. That effectively ended the contest, although Roland (63*) batted through to the end to take the Old Boys score to an even 200 for the loss of seven wickets. So, some positives to take away before the start of hostilities proper, but still a look of work to do.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Must do better

Fegocowosa CC crashed to a 78 run defeat in their pre-season friendly against Foundation Cricket Club over the long weekend. Skipper Roland Ilube invited the opposition to bat first in a 40 over encounter, and Femi Oduyebo got an early breakthrough in the 3rd over. After that however, a steady partnership between Sukanmi and Sunday frustrated the Warri boys, and it was not until the introduction of spin in the guise of Obo Omoigui in the 16th over that the partnership was broken, with the score well past 60. The spin duo of Obo and Emmanuel kept things tight through the middle overs, and Oduyebo and Abioye bowled well in the batting pwerplay, but Sukanmi (57) kept his head throughout the innings and guided FCC to a respectable total of 170-9 at the break.

In reply the Federal innings never got going. Alikali was first to go, caught at slip of FCC skipper Oris Oruye, Obo flashed at a short one from the speedster Benjamin Anyia, and Okunade was beaten by an offcutter from Sarunmi to leave us tottering at 33-3. The middle order followed in similarly meek fashion and it was left to Emmanuel (13*) and Sesan (11), to show their more esteemed team-mates how it should be done at the end. The innings closed at 92 and we were as well slaughtered as rams at Sallah. Lots of work in the nets must be done if we are to compete this season.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Level pass Level

Fegocowosa got a taste of what life is like at the division 1 level today, in their GTA 20/20 encounter with Rocks Cricket Club at the TBS Oval.

Rain reduced the match to 15 overs a-side, and the Federal boys overcame a shaky start to post a respectable score of 98-7, thanks to 41 from Femi Oduyebo and 23 from Roland Ilube. The Rocks boys came out all guns blazing though, and the Adegbola brothers, Niyi and Yemi, seized control with some aggressive running and enterprising strokeplay. Rocks ran out winners with 8 wickets and 11 balls to spare.

So if we didn't know before that this season is going to be a whole lot tougher, then we do now. Level pass level.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

The icing on the cake

A week after securing promotion to Division 1, the FGCW boys put the icing on the cake by emerging victorious in the end-of-season 6-a-sxide competition. Femi Olayiwole led the squad to victories over Lagos Indians, a strong Ibeju-Lekki team, and GCI II before clinching the final against Lagos Indians II.

It was almost a clean sweep of honours for the old boys, with Obo Omoigui named man of the the final, Amen Edebor as Keeper of the series, Friday Udoh as Fielder of the series and A-Roy bowler of the series and cricketer of the series. This performance may have made one or two of the other division 1 teams take note of our impending arrival. We do not inted to make up the numbers.

The Old Students meeting the next day in Uyi Akpata's house was a fitting venue for us to showcase our achivements, and added to a very enjoyable occasion

Sunday, 24 May 2009

No vacancy

It all came down to the last game. We had to beat our promotion rivals, Ibeju Lekki 2, by a convincing margin in order to secure the division II championship and a spot in next season's 1st division.

The TBS oval was in top condition, the FGCW players gathered from far and wide. We won the toss and decided to bat. The first half of the innings was watchful, bordering on pedestrian, punctuated by the fall of two wickets. Amen Edebor joined Roland Ilube with the score just past 60, and the pair carried on from where they had left off in the last match, pushing things along to the 90 run mark. Then it was time to put the pedal to the metal as the skipper decided he was tired of running and so would hit some boundaries. The next ten overs produced nearly a hundred runs as the pair tucked into the ILCC2 attack. Roland finally departed for 88, but if our opponents thought their problems were over, they were to be disappointed. Obo Omoigui proceeded to despatch the ball with clinical precision, compiling a brutal 65* as we took our total to 279-5 off our 50 overs.

Faced with the run mountain that we had constructed, Ibeju's batsmen never really got into their stride, and Friday Udoh (4-24) swung the new ball well to effectively decide the game in the first 10 overs of their reply. Femi Oduyebo took two at the other end and it was left to Michael Agbiboa - The Delta Express - to wrap things up with the last 3 wickets. All out for 66 and victory by 213, yes I said 213 runs.

A few weeks ago the sponsor of the Ibeju team had told me that there was no vacancy for promotion to division 1 this season. He was right, this championship was always going to be ours from the start of the season.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Finally...some cricket

After the debacle of the aborted game against IPCC, the ensuing rigmarole of the disciplinary committee and multiple changes to the fixture list, the rules of the competition, and the very meaning of life itself (or so it seems), I was beginning to think that we would never play any cricket ever again.

However, we finally got back on the field yesterday against the boys from Ibadan (IMCC). The way things are set up at the moment, it was crucial not only to win the game but also to make sure of maximum points. A brilliant start by Femi Oduyebo (3-7 in 5 overs) saw our opponents reduced to 8-4 after 6 overs, and some people started wondering how we were going to occupy ourselves for the rest of the day, but cricket is cricket and aided by some indifferent change bowling, the IMCC 5th wicket pair compiled a useful 50 partnership to ensure that a total would be posted. The introduction of spin eventually brought the breakthrough and Emmanuel Olowookere finished up with 3-25 as IMCC finally came to a halt at 118.

Losing both your openers in the first three overs is generally not the best way to set about chasing down any target, but this was the position we found ourselves in as our reply got under way. When the two Femis departed within 3 balls we were 34-4 and in danger of not getting any points, let alone the maximum 5 required. It was a situation that required some Warri-style grit and this was supplied by the old boy pairing of Roland Ilube (51*) and Amen Edebor (21), who dug in carefully before picking their shots. They took the score past 100 before Amen departed with the finishing line in sight, and it was left to another old boy, Obo Omoigui, to guide the ship home in the company of his exhausted captain.

So there is one chapter left to be written in the chase for promotion. It is in our hands.

Monday, 30 March 2009

And they ran away...

The much anticipated start of the super league was a bit of an anticlimax for us as our opponents, the Indo-Pakistan Cricket Club, abandoned the match after only 16 overs, following a dispute with the umpires which boiled over at the first water break. I always tell people that I learn something new every time I play this game and this was definitely a new experience for me...standing at the crease waiting to bat while the opposition file out of the ground like rats leaving a sinking ship.

The last few weeks have been rather surreal with all sorts of happenings...real and imaginary... off the field, but precious little action on it. The upshot of all this is that we face an uphill task now to realise our promotion goal; only the maximum 10 points from our last two games will guarantee us top spot, so we need to focus on our cricket and put everything else out of our minds. After the season we can deal with those matters.

So on to IMCC next week, before the final showdown against the Lekki boys over Easter weekend. Strap in, it's going to be a rough ride.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Waiting Waiting...

It's been almost a month since our last game, and still we don't know who we are up against in the Division II play-offs. The boys are restless and ready to go, a lot of words have been spoken, but now we want to get back to action on the field.

There has been almost as much activity off the field as on the park, and not all of it has been constructive in my view. Cricket in Nigeria has been around a long time, but we still have a long way to go in terms of how we run the game. Anyway, we hope that things progress, and if we can improve the organisation and structure, the cricket will improve too.

In the immortal words of Paddy.. "It is break over...." Those that know, know the rest

Saturday, 28 February 2009

End of Round One

The Fegocowosa Cricket Club ended the first phase of their league campaign today with a comprehensive 8-wicket victory over bottom-of-the-table Howzat Dolphins. All we can do now is wait and see who will join us in the four-team second phase which will determine who ultimately gains promotion to Division 1.

Slightly worryingly, the Delta boys were again slow out of the blocks after having been asked to bowl by their opponents. However once Tade made the first breakthrough, Femi Olayiwole (2-30) and Friday Udoh (4-19) worked their way steadily through the brittle Dolphins batting line-up. Friday in particular was in good form, carrying on from where he had left off at the recently concluded National Sports Festival. Dolphins were dismissed for a round 80 in the end and Friday then showed his all round skills, leading us home within just 8 overs with an unbeaten 27, despite the loss of two quick wickets at the other end.

So the first task is complete, pretty much according to plan apart from the hiccough against Ibeju Lekki 2, but now we get down to the business end of proceedings, and we will need to tighten up all aspects of our game in order to achieve our goal.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Spinners put the train back on track

After the debacle in the last match, it was important for the boys to bounce back in today's game against the youthful Unilag team. Skipper won the toss and urged the boys to make full use of the 40 overs available, but it was a case of "do as I say not as I do" as he found himself back in the pavilion in just the 3rd over. With three wickets down in the first ten overs, it seemed like the guys were still suffering with a hangover from the last match, but Femi Oduyebo reeled off his third score of 60+ in succession, ably supported by the lower-middle order, and a 24-run flurry from Erabor - making his debut for the season- took us to a commanding total of 267-8.

It seemed like the bowlers expected the Unilag boys to roll over and die, as they bowled without consistency and purpose in the first 15 overs, enabling the students to put together a 90-run opening stand. Femi Olayiwole finally made the breakthrough with a sharp caught & bowled, and then it was over to the spinners. Emmanuel worked his way steadily through the Unilag batting card, finishing with a tremendous return of 6-30, while Roland squeezed them from the other end. It was left to CY Djebah to bring things to a close, his first and only delivery causing panic amongst the last pair, resulting in a sharp run-out to give us a 128-run victory

Saturday, 31 January 2009

The wheels come off

Until today, everything had been going according to plan for the Fegocowosa team. Today at Unilag, the wheels came off in spectacular fashion. A combination of bad organisation, indisciplined bowling and reckless batting saw us collapse to a 30 run defeat against our main rivals, Ibeju-Lekki 2.

It is never a good idea to start a game with 8 players, and an even worse idea to finish it with just 10, but a mixture of poor communication, environmental sanitation and external forces meant that this was how approached what was by far our most important game of the season.

Ibeju's total of 156-9 was thanks in no small part to the generosity of our bowlers, who donated 43 wides to the Ibeju cause, and only Femi Oduyebo could hold his head up high after a pitiful batting performance which saw us dismissed for 126.

Our future is still in our hands, as we will get an opportunity to redeem ourselves in the return fixture, but we will have to learn from this defeat if we are to seize that lifeline.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


Article from Cricinfo - scroll down to 9 January 2009