Club Day: 16th August dawned gently, with dew and a cloudy sky, but soon the sun broke through and we were blessed with a dry day in the middle of an unsettled period of weather. Nobody knew how the day would turn out – would there be 5 people or 50? At least there was someone there when I got to the ground at half past nine – Craig Taylor and his family. Craig, whose idea this had been, and who had set the day up almost single handedly.
I did a last tour round the area, putting up posters (if anyone sees one up still, please remove it!), and by the time I returned just after 10 o’clock, the ground seemed full of youngsters. Twenty minutes later we started the first game of cricket – a 5-a-side game of 10 overs under the eagle eye of the Club’s President and proper Umpire, Dr Terry Lister. Shortened boundaries, and plenty of fours – cricketers included little girls, young boys, young and middle aged and old men. The result was a bit of a mis-match, but nobody really cared.
The second game followed almost immediately, with rejigged teams and 8 on each side. This time the result was much closer, with only one run in it at the end.
Our esteemed Chairman, meanwhile, had donned his Masterchef hat, and lunch was barbecued burgers and sausages served up by clan Ross.
And so on to the first of two 20/20 games. Chris Eccles and Craig Taylor captained, and teams were duly selected (oh dear! reminders of school days. Isn’t it awful to be the last selected..?) On paper the teams were finely balanced, but the score line of 147 vs 37 looked oddly like an England/India match – as did one of the team scorecards!
And so to tea: one of the advantages of not knowing how many to cater for in advance is the surfeit of cakes, sandwiches, strawberries, flapjacks etc. for the recipients! An amazing job by the ladies – thanks so much! A highly successful raffle saw Chris win a Salix personalised bat offer, and bottles of bubbly abounded. A meal for two at the Swan was also won – many thanks to all the donors of prizes.
The final match – chasing 84, the old firm of Lawrence and Crowhurst got the chase off well, but then the team fell behind the asking rate: by the final over a late rush had made it a close thing – but could your humble servant get bat on ball? Nah…
The day was sponsored by the ECB and Waitrose, and at the end of it we had six new names to add to our players’ list, and in the pub afterwards three more volunteered to play this coming Saturday.