SJFCC vs Limpley Stoke CC
2004-06-20. Loss By Anthony Grant
After the morning’s headache of getting everyone together at the hotel, despatching the wimmin to the shops and allowing Chen to lead a convoy of players on a magical mystery tour of North Somerset, we all finally reached what could loosely be called “the ground” (for those not aware, the promise of playing at Bath’s county ground turned out to be the biggest pork pie since Bungle’s last birthday). Having negotiated our way past the football-hating wurzel that masqueraded as a groundsman and done a few handbrake turns on the outfield, we located what could be even more loosely called “the pitch”.
Streaky and Mao had clearly got an inside tip from Chen that the oppos were hot, so in order not to dent their captaincy record for the year they forced me into this onerous task for the first and last time!!
My captaincy career started on a high with an immediate loss of the toss (the coin reared up off a divot in the pitch and nearly took my eye out!) following which we were put in to bat. The Marks Goodson (31) and Dawkins (11?) opened well with some solid shots and Mark D broke his double figures hoodoo for the second time in a month but like so many fine batsmen before him failed to go on and post a big score. The pitch was proving a right headache as it had some holes in it deep enough for Mao to stand in without being seen. Several whistled past the ears, and had we attached razors to the ball Mark G could have had a shave with it. Anyway, Mao (a few) and Bungle (a few more) managed to put on some runs but were undone by the pitch, Corne continued his duck streak (1 from 1 this year) before skipper Grant made his only useful contribution of the weekend by giving their spinners maximum twattage for a couple of overs (quote from Mark G “that’s just a cross batted slog……”) before spooning one back to the (all leggy’s should be strangled at birth) for 19. Sailor-boy came on and was looking good until he got caught sweeping again. We never really got going but useful late runs from Chen, Christie and Sandsy helped us to post what we thought would be a defendable 133 off 35 overs.
After a top tea (which we deviously told the ladies there would be none of) we set about the task of getting some early wickets with Nick and Dave opening up. After some early tonkage I positioned myself at deep cow from where I had no idea how badly the bowlers were bowling and took Mao’s word for it when he told me to take Nick off for bowling “arse”. Chen then came on and bowled tightly for his spell getting two wickets while Dave grabbed himself three at the other end (including a superb diving catch by keeper Mao). Sadly their opener had crafted a rapid 41. Sandsy then came on and bowled a few decent overs after which Christie decided to bring himself on, bowling to a field set by Andy (by this point my responsibilities as skipper had diminished to deciding which hand to scratch my arse with). Bungle then bowled a few decent overs getting a well earned wicket (I think!) after which Corne came on and bowled superbly for four deliveries at which point the match ended as the oppos had reached our score with nearly ten overs to go and without me having to suffer the humiliation of bringing myself on to get spanked to every corner of Somerset.
A superb barbecue and beers was then laid on by our hosts (with which the wimmin had cunningly coincided their arrival), following which we all went for a night in town. After serenading us in their home pub with some West Indian cricket songs, the oppos then organised for us to jump the queue and gain free access to the ominously name Poonany night club. Needless to say sailor-boy was the only one to even get a sniff (though to be fair Christie was the only other single guy and well, let’s face it……….).
Personal apologies in advance to anyone who receives any mail from Bath in the next few days with chilli sauce on it. The post boxes and rubbish bins in Bath look remarkably alike and that Doner Kebab was far too much for one person.
Thanks must go to the opposition team for top food and entertainment, especially the ubiquitous Tom (the big fella with the cricket hat stitched to his head whose talents included bowling superbly unplayable leggies, cooking the best cheeseburgers in the west and making Dave look like an anorexic dwarf). I sincerely hope we are able to arrange return fixture(s) for next year, with us reciprocating on the hospitality. Nick should have enough frequent-***ker miles by then to get 25 of us into nympho-night at Batchwoods free of charge. We could also wreak revenge for the unfortunate pitch cock-up by proposing to play at Lord’s, then changing it to Sandridge at the last minute (and getting Munty to roll the wicket with a plough for good measure!). Thanks also to Mao for filling in at the last minute and for driving Paul and Bungle.
Man of the Match: The lesser of 11 evils was Chen (Dave you’re having a laugh if you think you’ll get man of the match after being hit for six and then accusing their class batsman of “playing golf”!!) Strop of the Match: A tie between Nick’s strop at getting out to another sweep and Nick’s strop at not being given another bowl.
Food of the match: The cheeseburger with onions.
Quote of the match: Mark Goodson’s “I can’t believe I gave up my weekend to come and play for your sh*t cricket team on this awful wicket!”.
Captain of the match: A close run thing, but Christie shades it with his inspired bowling change.
And it only remains for me to hereby formally resign my captaincy of St John Fisher cricket club with my record safely settled on played 1, lost 1.