Hot of the press from Captain Morgan
Upton vs Barford, Sunday 2nd July 2017
So here we are at the end of a truly marvellous tour in a microbrewery pub. Just an hour before the game we are knocking back another couple of pints – as if we hadn’t had enough – and Pete Romyn is suggesting I use the used pint glasses and bottles as a template for my field positions.
As we sit there in the pub, we take joy from the warm sun and think how nice it would be to bat first having lost the first two tosses.
We arrive at the quaint ground of Upton Cricket Club and are greeted by their skipper Tom. A friendly chap who is interested to know in which spirit we would like to play the game. I suggested Rum but apparently that wasn’t the question.
We presented the Upton Captain with our beautiful new ball as is tradition, and I walked out to the wicket to conduct the toss. The kind skipper asked me if I’d like to bat or bowl, and I stated clearly that if I won the toss I’d bat. He tossed the coin, I called heads and to my relief Barford had won the first toss of the tour.
The standard of tour performances had been so high that to date the duck suit had not yet been used. Captain Morgan had no alternative but to appease Club Captain Drage – who had paid for the suit to be dry cleaned – to try and ensure it was used. So open with Richard Jones a stalwart number 11 and Paul Robbins, a tour virgin yet to bat.
Well it was not Richard that wore the suit. He majestically fought his way off zero, but poor Paul I’m afraid fell for the skippers trap. A tour Duck followed by a fine display of quacking around the boundary made all Club Captain Drage’s hard work worth while.
Jake batted at three, and immediately set about a fairly strong bowing attack. He made short work of the short boundaries and quickly rattled off
the runs. At the other end Richard’s steady progress was halted pretty much immediately after avoiding the duck suit, and he played on (bottom edge) bowled for one run.
In came Simon Drage who initially looked in good nick. Having got over his running between the wickets on Friday, he set about the boundary with aplomb. However a comical dismal, bowled on 13 saw the end of the club skipper who seemingly refused to walk initially after being clean bowled, he came up with some random claim that the wicket keeper had thrown himself into the wickets instead of the ball.
PJ batted at five, and so an umpire change made sure that didn’t last long. PJ on just 2 runs danced 9/10ths of the way down the wicket, struck on the pads and an audacious appeal saw quick draw Simon Hawkins raise the ugly finger for a LBW.
So all of a sudden we have the last two recognised batsman of Paul Henderson and Jake. Let’s face it James Beaven’s 60 not out the previous day had ensured a golden duck for him!
Both Paul and then Jake fell cheaply and although Jake had scored almost all of our runs we were in trouble. Phil mighty tight arse Morris and young Captain Morgan were charged with seeing us home. Well maybe not myself dismissed for 1! So maybe Tim Jolly could steady the ship? Phil fell for a decent score of 14 and Simon Sachin Hawkins and Tim had to bat out 6 overs.
Tim could not and instead chose the duck suit and Barford were all out for 114.
The game was far from over, a few quick wickets would sort this out. Despite aggressive appeals from Simon Hawkins and some good tidy bowling from James Beaven things didn’t go our way. Eventually a wonder catch, yes a wonder catch from Simon the eagle eyed Hawkins got the break through that gave us all hope. The game was all but won for Barford when Phil took a catch behind the wickets of Uptons star batsman on just 4 runs.
Only to throw the ball from the gloves to the floor
Meaning he could stay in.
That same batsman went on to destroy a bowling attack of Simon Hawkins, paul henderson, James Beaven, Tim Jolly, PJ, Paul Robbins and Richard Jones. Thanks Phil!
Upton could have won easily but chose to prolong my agony to the 34th over. In a fine spirited match we came second. But a fun fixture it was and I hope to be given the chance of revenge next season.
A top tour, was had by all – the walking wounded played in Sunday to the best of their abilities and three duck suit parades were enjoyed by all. With hindsight we should have gone for a run chase but you live and learn.
Thanks all. See you best year.
Man of the Match Jake
TFC – Phil Morris for dropping their star on 4! And because I know this will annoy him.
Sent from my iPhone