Another Damp Day in Taunton
With controversy in the air
Day 4 of the U11 Festival at Kings College dawned just as the forecasters predicted. Leaden skies and heavy rain prompted an early morning text from Batman to tell us that there would be no play until lunchtime at least.
“So what are we going to do” – was the catchphrase of the morning for parents and grandparents. We toddled off into Taunton. After spending three days trying to negotiate the town I have now mastered the art of finding a car park with empty spaces. The rain was still heavy and persistent but then began to ease off. We decided to head for the school via Ronald McDonalds for Sophie to pack the calories in. After a little while the news filtered out that the matches on Pitches 1, 2 and 3 were looking to start at 2.00 pm.
These were to be between Bucks & Devon, Cheshire & Yorkshire and Essex & Middlesex.
The view was that Pitches 4, 5 and 6 were still unfit with Pitch 4 the “unfittest” of the lot. This was to be used for the Oxfordshire v Surrey game. We were on Pitch 5 playing Kent, and Pitch 6 was the venue for Cornwall v Gloucestershire. The word was that if the Surrey game was not to take place then all three matches would be called off.
Now in these sort of circumstances you will always get weather pundits, pitch connoisseurs, rules specialists and umpires who all have their opinions. Two of these experts i.e. son and granddad had a look at these Pitches and agreed that Pitch 4 was a mess. If this meant all games being called off in Festival One because teams would have an unfair advantage we were ready to push for a “Friendly” game with Kent with no points awarded. The match would be played for the Kathleen Charlson Trophy however.
John had travelled down yesterday to present the trophy to the winning team.
Those thoughts were pushed away as the news was heard that all three matches would commence at 3.00 pm and be of 30 overs. There would, however, be the need to halt each of these matches at 6.30 pm for the boys and staff to go up to the Dining Room for the evening meal !!!!
We won the toss and asked Kent to bat. They made a steady but unspectacular start. We missed a hard chance early on but then with Lewis Pearson taking 2 wickets and Ben Smith claiming one, we were faced with the arrival of dark clouds and very heavy drizzle. Conditions for everyone including Grandad, who had to take his glasses off, became very difficult.
Now we head to the controversy. At the drinks break after 15 overs our Umpires told the players and officials that they would give it another ten minutes and look at conditions. Now one of the Umpires, yesterday, had kept us and Surrey in the field for at least 15 overs of persistent heavy rain whilst four other matches had come off the field.
At the end of the ten minutes when conditions all round were farcical, the Umpires took the teams off the field and said “Match Over” and headed back to the school. In my opinion this was the correct decision. But all other 5 matches continued, including the Surrey match on Pitch 4.
Now it does not take PJH long to get agitated, and he did, not helped by the fact that as we were packing up loading the car ready to go, all 5 other matches still carried on. Fortunately just as we were leaving Surrey and Oxford shook hands to indicate their game was also over.
It is fair to say that our officials were somewhat bemused and bewildered about what was going on around. At most major golf tournaments they have a klaxon that sounds to say “Cease Playing Now”. For all I know the remaining games may be played to a conclusion – but not ours (or Surrey’s).
Now then Tim have I been controversial enough just like you told me.
Just before leaving the College I received a call from Dipesh at headquarters to tell me that he has now switched on the Comments section of the Blog. Please feel free to let me know what you think of the Blog along with any questions you may have. If you are extremely wealthy and want to help sponsor the Development of Excellence in Lancashire you could let me know as well.
So where are we going to eat tonight. I suppose that will be up to Sophie.
I am posting this Blog earlier than usual. I may add to it later or not. We had to call at Tesco Express on the way back to the hotel as we were running out of the necessary Tesco moments. It has been a very stressful week but extremely enjoyable. I will probably wait until the weekend before blogging again.
Just one more Premier “Eat as much as you can” breakfast, the final match of the Festival against Oxfordshire on Pitch 2 and we will be heading back up north.
After the trials and stresses of the week we just have to negotiate a double header weekend for the Mount !!! Oh my goodness. Two wins and they will almost be there but one or even two defeats will open up the League completely.