Dominic Bransden

 

 

One of the most respected players in Club history, Dom had the distinction of leading us into League cricket and a number of Divisional trophies on our way to winning Division One in 2017. During his career from 2009 to 2018 he amassed the second highest number of innings and runs scored for the Club. Recently, archaeological evidence has surfaced of the famous game he played for the Staff when still a fresh faced little undergrad – the addition of those 5 runs still leaves him tantalisingly short of 2500 career runs; unless we adopt Stefan’s method and discount any runs scored on the leg-side, in which case he’s about 2400 runs short… Although never quite nudging into three figures, Dom proved himself a capable and versatile batsman. As an opener, he often set a positive tone for the rest of the innings whereas in the middle order, he was able to accelerate the scoring and push the team’s total from mediocre to formidable. Of considerable note is his contribution of three 100+ run partnerships with Stan – a great effort of will on the part of both players, your correspondent recalls.

In the field, his gentle musings with first slip or keeper were often greatly appreciated by the striking batsmen, many of whom took time out from their concentration to commend him on his inane banter. In between waving the occasional one past, Dom nevertheless managed to collect a Club record for catches in both League and All-Time matches to go with a surprising number of stumpings. The latter category would have been greater with (a) better square leg umpires and (b) remembering to hold on to the ball when Stan bowled. One of the greatest skills of his Captaincy was, of course, his unerring ability to identify a track particularly suited to his “heavy ball” bowling. He deployed his lethal variation of short, shortish and shorter balls sparingly over his career but still picked up a steady haul of wickets – saving his best for last by taking 3/18 when trusted with the new ball upon his return to the colours against Dundee in 2018.

A splendid Club career, interspersed with many moments of comedy and flashes of fielding brilliance. A few of his catches at slip have been remarkable. His decision to catch a quick, swinging delivery from Josh with his face, whilst keeping against a visiting Aussie team, was less well advised – although he did stumble back at the end of the game to convince us he was still alive! Having survived batting the Dance of Alloa with Tom Clemens, winning the 8-men game and Captaining with great astuteness over the years, Dom headed South for the much less onerous task of rebuilding the Houses of Parliament.