Where’s your blog today – I was disappointed not to see one
Especially with what happened yesterday.
I had a number of such approaches today when I was at Old Trafford looking after the Ainsworth Trophy Final between Rochdale and Tameside. Now I am writing this blog at about 8.30 on Monday evening with my last one posted on September 9th when I said I had a very busy and potentially exciting few days ahead. The highlight most certainly was on Sunday and although I really wanted to do a blog when I arrived home rather late from the Log Cabin, home of Greenmount CC, I am afraid the link between my brain and typing fingers would have been tenuous. I decided I would therefore wait until now.
In day order beginning with Saturday I have to say things did not look at all well when at 3.15 pm the Shakers were three goals to nil down to a rampant Rochdale. Indeed with a little more chalk on their cues it could have been five. We fluked a goal to make it 3-1 by half time. At that stage an early goal in the second half would have given us hope – but our goalkeeper had other ideas and gifted Rochdale a fourth. The final score was 4-2 to the Dale.
The Mount were playing away at Tonge but the miracle of mobile technology meant Tom and I did not have to bother as we had won comfortably and everybody was heading back to the Log Cabin. Now winning against Tonge was not a surprise but the worry was that it was just too quick and the players would be having a drinkie or two rather too early. After all there was just the matter of the Lancashire Knockout Final at Old Trafford to consider starting at 11.00 am the following day. The thought process within the Greenmount 1st XI in these matters is limited. My suggestion that they should be back home tucked up in bed by no later than 9.30 was met with funny looks.
In any event the squad assembled at the unearthly hour of 8.45 on Sunday at the Log Cabin for pre-departure photographs with the Loomba. No Loomba ?? A quick call from Dave Willets ascertained that the Loomba had forgotten and would see us at Old Trafford. The “us“ included yours truly and the Mrs as defined by the family’s overall travel plans. We stepped out onto the hallowed turf at about 9.30 for our first look at the “wicket”. I had told the Greenmount players what to expect but even some of them were surprised. Sal said he would have to go back another ten yards to keep wicket to our opening bowlers – and he was right.
The all Bolton League final between Greenmount and Walkden opened in reasonable weather with the backdrop of a major building site that is now Old Trafford. None of that detracted from the game. Indeed the fact that the major work on re-building the stadium had begun just a week ago helped to create a special atmosphere. It was an excellent game with a number of outstanding performances. They included Andrew Kerr’s 100 not out (I really couldn’t call him Plonker after that knock), Danny Hornby’s four wickets that ripped out the early Walkden batsmen and David Smith’s brave and belligerent knock which threatened to turn the tables on Greenmount. Eventually Walkden finished on 151 in response to Greenmount’s 211 and “the Mount” got their hands on the Lancashire Cup for the first time ever. Cue the celebrations – and the reason why I am doing this blog now.
Not a bad season really …..
Hamer Cup Winners
Bolton League Champions
& Lancashire Knockout Winners.
I said I would not keep on going on about the Mount but really how could I not. Great to see the support at Old Trafford, and again back in the Log Cabin when the team returned. There was support too from Number One Son’s old club, Shepley CC, with David Hall and Viv, along with Peter Wells, and his missus coming over for the game. David and Peter used to dread the sight of my car driving around their ground – they said his better performances were completed when I was far away in Lancashire.
I had to be up bright eyed this morning to go back to Old Trafford for the U15 District Ainsworth Trophy Final between Rochdale & Tameside. I was up early but not bright eyed, and the weather had turned very windy indeed.
When I arrived at Headquarters the Head Groundsman, Matthew, greeted me with the news that he was going to struggle to get the covers of the square and wicket. When I went out to the square I could see why. It was possible that the groundstaff would have disappeared towards Manchester whilst still clinging on to the sheets. A prompt start was unlikely. As the morning went on the skies brightened but the wind continued. Eventually after sterling work by the ground staff, and an early lunch we began a 35 over game at 2.00pm.
Now I have told you that yesterday spectators had a view from the Pavilion and Point stands of a building site on the far side of the ground between the edge of the Red Rose Suite and the Indoor Centre. Yesterday that site was inactive. Today it was ACTIVE. There was a full panorama of Bob the Builder Big Diggers accompanied by a cacophony that continued unabated all day apart from a brief break for food at lunchtime. One Big Digger was chucking large boulders into a big red crunching machine which then proceeded to spit out concrete mince. Another Bob the Builder was lovingly creating a giant mound of earth for no particular reason, and was often perched in such a way that I expected it to roll over at any minute.
While all this was going on there was a gale force wind blowing across the ground on which a group of youngsters and two umpires were engaged in playing cricket. Great credit goes to each and every one of them for producing some outstanding cricket. Tameside batted first and scored 181 from their 35 overs. Rochdale started briskly in response but after losing a couple of wickets began to get behind the clock in their run chase, ending up 50 runs short.
I congratulated both teams on the way in which they had battled against conditions telling them that in a way they were playing their part in the exciting transformation of Old Trafford – and to remember the day they played on this world famous Test ground, with Bob the Builder and his mates!!
See what I mean.
The season for LSCA and me is nearly over. We just have the matter of two Inter-School Finals to arrange, then it will be down to sorting season 2012 out. Prior to that we have an LSCA Executive Meeting on Thursday night – but most importantly on Thursday first, we are off to Liverpool to see the Queen again.