Why haven’t you done a Blog
Because I have been clocking up the miles
I picked my new motor upon Saturday May 19th and my speedo passed 1,000 miles as I was returning from a very wet Bunbury Cricket Club in Cheshire at lunchtime today (Sunday June 3rd).
What have I been up to??
Well – on Monday 21st at the end of our Anniversary Match v the Yorkies I took Sophie to Newton Le Willows for an Under 15 Girls training session. The following day I went to Ormskirk to pick up Thomas from his Under 12 Final Trial.
Then on the Wednesday I took Sophie to Austerlands CC to play for the Under 15’s Development team v Yorkshire. We got the news that Tom had been picked for the Under 12’s whilst there. There was bit of a panic when Rehan’s parents had not received an email by mid-afternoon. His dad was about to sort someone’s hip out and needed to know before the op started. We got the news to him in the nick (or hip) of time that he was through as well. Sophie could only play half the game as I then jetted her off to a College in Manchester for an evening kick off for the Greater Manchester Under 14 Girls County Cup Final. Woodhey were playing Sale Grammar School. Both matches ended in defeat.
Thursday was a complex day involving both our grandchildren. They were due at Little Hulton CC for an Under 15 Bolton Association game but were doing different things at school. Tom had a Woodhey v Tottington school game at Walshaw. Sophie had a Rounders match at Woodhey after school. We got Sophie there on time but Tom was a touch late. Walshaw emerged as winners with Sophie contributing 9 runs and then Tom with three wickets and Josh Rhodes with two leading to a Walshaw victory. Josh had also had good news about the County Under 12’s.
Friday was a rest day.
The weekend of the 26th and 27th saw me visit the Lancashire coast on both days – in the company of Sophie who had to forgo a lucrative weekend of scoring for the Mount to finish her football season with Westbury Diamonds. The Saturday saw her team involved in a Tournament at Bispham near Blackpool. It was really a Tournament of Tournaments. I could not believe what I saw on arrival. There were literally thousands of people, both small and large, with at least 200 plus gazebos and tents dotted around huge playing fields. There were two separate tournaments – one for the boys and one for the girls. The Girls one was spread across five age groups with a total of 90 teams. With a minimum of 10 girls in a squad allowed that meant at least 900 girls. Add to that families, supporters and other officials there must have been another 1,000 plus around the site. The Boys tournament was the same size – giving a minimum of 4,000 on-site people. It was also the hottest day of the year so far. I got my little chair out and as all Sophie’s matches were to be played on the same pitch then I really did not have to move too far. The organisation was immaculate. The first game started at 10.00 am and lasted 12 minutes. As the two teams exited the pitch two more teams plus another ref came on and the next game started. It went on like that until just after 3.30 when the Semi-Finals and Final were due to start. Westbury Diamonds won 2, drew 2 and lost 2 – so we could go home. What an amazing day and full credit to the organisers.
The following day we were off bright and early for the Lancashire coast and Fleetwood this time. You can see how I was clocking up the miles. This was the final League game of the season played on a park alongside Fleetwood Town FC’s splendid new ground. The last time we played Fleetwood Girls Sophie spent quite a bit of time picking the ball out of her nets. On this occasion she kept a clean sheet as Westbury won 6-0.
I said she missed a lucrative weekend scoring for the Mount. They did not have as lucrative a weekend either as a unique occasion took place twice – firstly the Mount lost and secondly for the first time in three years Number One Son did not take a wicket in a Greenmount match. He emerged wicketless on the Saturday as the Mount lost to rivals Farnworth. He was 100% certain that he had the Farnworth Pro plumb leg before but the umpire disagreed. The same Pro was walking off the field of play thinking he was out when Stewie asked him to return. Mark had taken a catch which was not a clean one – a bump ball. A noble decision from Stewie – pity of it is that the Pro – Adil Nisar, went on to score 137 and win the game for the visitors.
They were back to form on the Sunday progressing to the next round of the Hamer Cup at the expense of Tonge. The Mount’s Pro got a ton and Philip got back to taking wickets.
The miles continued to pile up in Week 2 for the new car.
On the Monday I needed to visit Headquarters to meet up with Titch and determine the Under 15 team for the first ECB Cup game this Sunday. I then headed off to Rainford CC where the Final Under 10 Trial was in progress. I went bearing gifts for Batman – Player Handbooks, LCB Fixture Cards and Handbooks and a multitude of ties and badges for him to get rid of the next day. I stayed a while and watched the trial progress. We really are beginning to see a whole new world open up in terms of Excellence Cricket in Lancashire.
On Tuesday the 29th we had a trip to Astley & Tydesley for a practice game between the U12’s and U13B team on another hot and sunny day. As Philip had to return to the thirsty members of Totty Con I found myself donning my Grandad hat and going into the first Under 12 team meeting with Batman – John Williams. Now his “Robin” last year was Shaun “I can reverse sweep” Anders but I am convinced that in no way could we label Dave Leighton as his new “Robin” for this season.
Wednesday I was back at Headquarters to see Dipesh again. This time we were trying to get to grips with the Excellence Intranet which is causing me to lose even more hairs. We think we are now on a winner and with some luck and a following wind, and Mr Web Meister, Martyn, we may be up and running this week.
I just love driving to Old Trafford so did it again on Thursday for an LCB Executive Meeting in the evening.
Friday evening I collected Tom and then Josh for the journey to Hyde Cricket Club for the first Under 12 County Training Session with Dave and Bobby. They both put on a splendid show from 6.00pm until 8.30pm. Both Tom and Josh were buzzing after the session and ate all my Pringles on the way home. I wonder if I could get away with labelling the Under 12 Coach and Assistant – “Starsky and Hutch”.
Yesterday saw the Mount travel to Egerton. The warm, sunny weather of last week was replaced by our usual Lancashire weather – cold and wet. The rain come in fits and spurts and led to the Bolton Leagues version of Duckworth and Lewis coming into play. The Mount batted first and both the Pro and Plon got runs. Plon was out in the last over for another century. 230 plus looked good but Egerton are third in the League this year and have a fierce Sri Lankan Pro. Two ex-LSCA players opened in Paul Stafford and Stuart Hornby. Five overs and runs had been deducted as per the Ray Taylor version of Duckworth & Lewis. The weather was wet and the Greenmount bowlers unhappy especially after Mr Stafford dispatched my son into the distance in the first over losing the new ball in the process. The replacement was old and very slippery, very quickly. Paul tried to dispatch Philip in the next over but the Pro hung on to a good catch. Enter the Egerton Pro. It was clear from ball one he could bat. After he had struck mighty blows off Stewie he removed himself from the attack and on came Danny Hornby. Now when Danny comes on anything can happen – sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Cue Stewie and the catch of the season so far.
Egerton Pro attemps to clear the houses off Danny at the bottom of the ground.
It is heading in Stewie’s direction and he moves into position.
Just as the ball is about to reach him he moves suddenly to one side.
He then realises he should have stayed where he was.
In desperation he thrusts out his left hand behind him.
Ball hit by Egerton Pro lands in hand and sticks.
Egerton Pro’s mouth almost drops down to his feet as he trudges off shaking his head.
Stewie gets mobbed.
There were many to’s and fro’s from then on with further rain interruptions. At first Egerton did their level best to get the game back on and persuade the umpires to go out. The Mount were less enthusiastic. By the latter stages the Mount were scurrying around to ensure they did not fall foul of some new rules regarding penalty runs whilst the incoming line of Egerton batsmen fidgeted and fussed to bring about delay. Good old British sportsmanship !! As you can guess the Mount emerged as winners and in the end quite comfortably. How different it could have been but for Stewie’s vital catch.
By the way one of the Umpires told the Mount players about the rule that allows a bowling side to have another new ball if the first one gets lost in the first two overs – but only after they had bowled the two overs.
To finish my travels of the last two weeks I drove down to Bunbury CC for the first ECB 50 Over Cup Under 15 game of the season against Cheshire – and then drove back again almost immediately.
Just a final word on sportsmanship – or lack of it. In the past two games for the Mount I have seen two centuries. After one of them the entire opposition team applauded the batter involved. After the other I could see just four move hands towards applause. The rest ignored the occasion.
Time for a Tesco Moment.
A final word on the Book. Feels great being an “author”. I would feel even greater if more of you would buy the blessed thing. I have chalked up about 50 sales to date but could do with a few more. I will have copies with me on my travels and the LCB website still allows you to buy the Book there.
So Please, Please, Please – It is well worth £12.50.
My good friend Lord Ted got his copy last week.
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On Friday 12th December the first formal meeting of the Greater Manchester Cricket Leagues was held at Bradshaw Cricket Club, Bolton. ... Full story