Two weeks without a tie on and it still rains
Malvern College, Kings College and various places in between
This Blog I dedicate to the Mums and Dads of our sporting world plus of course the odd grandparent here and there.
A week last Friday night we had the opening of the London Lympics and what a splendid show we put on for the entire world to see. Bless her HM Queen had a starring role. What a coup for the producer, Danny Boyle, yet another famous Radcliffe lad. Guess who the other one was. In the first week and a bit of the greatest show on earth we have seen some amazing achievements none more so than Team GB. Have you noticed however that when someone has completed their event and realised their dream that they look round into the crowd. Who are they looking for? Maybe a partner but more than likely Mum and Dad. Nearby will be other members of the family including possibly grandparents.
They will remember the countless hours their parents and others spent transporting them to early morning training, late evening training and competitions. They will remember the mounds of washing cleared and food provided. They may well have wondered where the money came from to cover all of this support.
The same thing applies to our sport of cricket. On the Sunday morning just gone our Under 15 boys team played Yorkshire in their final group game at Pudsey Congs CC starting at 11.00am. The letter I sent out by email to the team contained a simple statement – Report to the ground by 9.30am. This presents a logistical exercise not to the player but to his family. As expected every one arrived on time from their various corners of Lancashire. Thank god for parents. By the way after dismissing Yorkshire for 131 the game ended with us on 25 for 1 when the forecast rain descended. This did not affect the final league places and we can look forward to National Finals next week at Oakham School.
Over the last couple of years I have had a dual position to manage – one as an official and the other as a supporter. At the matches I attend now I am even more aware of the other supporters and the value they bring to our system. In reality without them we would not be able to do what we do. My thanks to each and every supporter we have throughout our cricket in Lancashire and much wider. The success of Team GB is down to this same deep seated family orientated support system that we have. Indeed we could almost call ourselves Team Lancashire.
There was a great example of this high level of support at Malvern College last week as I began a potential two tie-less weeks. Remember the rules TIE ON = OFFICIAL and TIE OFF means INCOGNITO. My first week began on the Monday. The Under 15 Girls had express orders from Coach, Chris, to be at Malvern College by 4.00 in the afternoon. They all were there on time including Sophie and Jess who had travelled with us. We, that is the Most Famous Zoo Keeper in the World, and Thomas, encamped to a Lenny Henry establishment in Worcester for an overnighter. Tom had one of the biggest lumps of rump ever on the Beefeater alongside. The following day we found our way to Colwall Cricket Club to watch the girls play Essex. Jenny had arrived from elsewhere to support Chris. The team lost but Sophie batted number three and almost got to double figures. Sophie’s mum was there for the festival as well but we had to return back north for Tom’s Under 12 match against Cumbria on Wednesday at Fylde CC.
The Under 12’s won at Fylde CC but the U15 Girls down in Malvern lost on the last ball of the game on the Wednesday against Wales.
Early Thursday morning PJH picked me up and drove my car down to – guess where – Malvern College, where we picked up the luggage of Sophie and Jessica. We then followed them to the ground of the “Downs CC”. This was very rustic and certainly villagey. The opposition, Surrey, decided to play in their black training gear but thankfully Chris and Jenny decided otherwise. We batted first and reached 113 all out. Sophie managed to reach a milestone of a double figure score. Surrey eventually won by 7 wickets although our girls spent a good deal of the innings bowling in rather wet conditions.
Late afternoon and we said our farewells and headed back north with PJH driving his own car and me in mine – again.
I have not related this tale to seek sympathy. I did what I did to support two people who are important to me. Around that quaint ground in Malvern on Thursday afternoon were other parents, family and possibly even friends from both teams who then took it upon themselves to disappear off and transport each and every member of those Under 15 Girls teams back home.
These next few weeks the same sort of exercise will go on as the Festival season really gets underway. Whether it is at Kings College, Taunton or Scarborough College or Brighton College we have teams who will need to be deposited at agreed times. They will be there.
Prior to our week away in Taunton the Mount had an important weekend. On Saturday the 1st team were away in the village of Little Lever. Rain caused some problems but they eventually emerged as winners and courtesy of Social Circle beating the mighty ugh Farnworth went top again. Notice I have said 1st team as a certain up and coming younger Heaton is now opening the batting in the 2nd XI. He has done quite well and helped the 2nd’s to a 10 wicket win on Saturday.
Tom is very much in our plans for the week ahead and indeed we set off Sunday morning for what we hoped would be a week of sunshine and cricket. Number 1 son remained with his missus and Soph for the Hamer Cup Final on Sunday. This was washed out half way through and continues tonight. It is a good job they had decided to wait until Wednesday to join us in Taunton giving Sophie the chance to play in a 20/20 tournament on Monday and Tuesday.
So today dawned bright and sunny and we headed from our Lenny Henry base camp after a premier breakfast to Kings College. We were down to play Devon on Pitch 4 with a prompt start. When the heavens opened at about 12.30 they were 77 for 4 with just seven overs of their forty left.
The ground staff at Kings does wonders in weather such as we had today but even they had to admit defeat and all the games were called off. Tomorrow the weather forecast is spectacularly depressing. Hopefully things could begin to improve from Wednesday. Across the site at Kings College today you could see the vast hordes of the support teams – the Lancashire one was as usual impressive. For some of the Under 12 parents this is the second time at Taunton, but for others it is the first. All around the site you can see groups of such supporters who will enjoy the highs and smile through the lows of the week.
Over the past weekend at the Lympics we have all seen some wonderful scenes of triumph that have been outstanding to say the least. Who did the Bolt turn to say thank you, who did Andy Murray climb up to give a hug to and who did Jessica Ennis save the biggest tear for.
Mums and Dads, and everyone else including Granders (Grandmas and Grandads) - hold your heads up high. Behind each and every superstar there lies a family support team that will never be defeated. These are the unsung heroes who have helped to support our Team GB Olympic Heroes just as we have our Team Lancashire Super Support Teams.
All of this and 70 super 70.
Too early for a Tesco Moment or is it?