Our week in Taunton did not end in the way we hoped
And the wet weather followed us to thwart the Mount
Friday dawned dry and quite warm after the rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday. The final game was against Oxfordshire and a win would ensure 2nd place in the table. The start was delayed due to a heavy dew and we found ourselves batting on a damp and quite lively wicket. We made a reasonable start until TJH was caught behind for 17. Oxfordshire introduced their spinners and our problems began. The dreaded run out disease also struck, and we staged a major collapse. A last wicket stand added valuable runs and helped us to a final total of 126.
This was never really going to be enough, and our bowling was certainly not up to its potential. This was not helped by the fact that during the lunch break the heavy rolled smoothed out any if the pitch indentations that may have helped us. Confusion over the timing of the drinks breaks irritated our officials but in the end we deservedly lost by 6 wickets.
Nevertheless the Festival and the season before it had produced some memorable moments to sit alongside the less memorable. On balance I think there were more positives to gain from the season than negatives. Certainly our Lanky players know what they must aim for over the years to come – and the sooner the better – and that is to give the Brown Caps a good beating.
It was my first time at a Kings College Festival. My last Festival in Taunton was at Taunton School with an Under 14 team that included Nathan Wood as captain and Gary Neville. That was a long time ago. Kings has more pitches and is certainly more scenic. Malcolm Broad has been organising these week long Festivals for over 20 years now and they work like clockwork. It was nice to have a chat to him, and I am hopeful this may continue next year.
I had the chance to see the action from the parents view rather than the official. In fact I left my tie at home. They were a great bunch and each had their own way of coping with the week. I look forward to meeting them again at the Presentation Evening on September 6th. On that occasion I will have to have my tie and suit on as I review the season.
THE UNDER 11 TEAM AT THE END OF THE WEEK
The main part of the Presentation Evening will be the congratulations to the Under 14 team for winning their Taunton Festival and then becoming National Champions. I saw Team Manager Lenny at the Mount on Saturday and he was still floating. He told me that victory in both the Semi-Final and the Final was emphatic. He did also say that the sight of Redders climbing into the top bunk for his night time rest was also a sight for sore eyes. The scores can be found on the Excellence section of the site.
The journey home was not without its problems traffic wise and took 5 hours. Our post for just 5 days away was mountainous and all those who have asked for tickets for the Presentation Evening can expect to receive them mid-week.
The Mount faced Bradshaw yesterday and it was good to see Craig Duxbury back after his injury problems. He could have chosen another match to post a century though. Rain interfered with the game and Greenmount were set a reduced target. Further rainfall eventually saw us set the unlikely target of 50 off 5 overs. We fell just eight runs short. Both teams received two points. Our nearest contender is Social Circle. They had problems at Horwich recording a low score. The last we heard Horwich needed 85 from 18 overs to win. No further news at the moment.
Today sees us visiting Astley Bridge for another difficult encounter. The weather does look better.
I must tell you of a conversation I had yesterday at Greenmount between two ex-pupils of mine. They were from the vintage years at Totty Sec in the 1960’s and are both cricket veterans. One who shall be nameless, but had a brother at Totty with the nickname of Poppy, told me that he had become a victim of the dreaded Brandlesholme Road speed camera. This has trapped a good number of Greenmount and Totty folk and is one that works from a van. Poppy’s brother had opted for the speed awareness course to avoid points on his licence.
Guess what ?? On his way to the first session of his course he was snapped again by the same speed camera !!!
LSCA wise the Hacking Cup Final will be between Ribble Valley and Bolton. The Ainsworth Trophy Semi-Finals are on Wednesday when St. Helens meet Tameside at Haydock and Lancaster meet Rochdale at Carnforth. The Bob Hurst Semis have yet to be completed, with Burnley facing Bury at Lowerhouse on Tuesday and Bolton playing Ribble Valley the day before the Final.
A busy week ahead.