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Lancashire Cricket Board - Crisis averted for now as the Sky box is sorted
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Crisis averted for now as the Sky box is sorted

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Wish I could say the same for the Shakers

Every now and then our Sky HD+ Box does a silly and stops working. I have got used to the routine of switching the power off, taking out the card and waiting for two minutes. Then the practice of replacing the card, powering up and waiting for another two minutes has usually done the trick. When this first happened the man from Sky told me that it is something to do with the fact that the HD Box is a little bit like a computer and it can become temperamental. The gap between having to do this re-boot has been quite lengthy but over the past couple of weeks up to today there had been two such episodes. I decided this afternoon to wash the car – or rather take it to the car wash. Whilst cleaning the car out on my return I discovered the good lady staring at a blank television. Oh ecky thump I thought. Now I know it is my responsibility to ensure all matters technical and technological are working at 59 Turks Road. I was proud of the fact that last week I averted a serious loss of points when I fixed the boiler after it failed to ignite and replaced the battery in the smoke alarm. The situation with our television looked critical. So I went through my well-rehearsed routine to return the HD box to full working order. Failed. The damned thing would not switch on from the red light to green.


Doom and gloom was beginning to settle. What better than to do the whole pesky routine again. Unplug, remove card and wait. Replace card, plug in and wait. Nil response again. Now my eyesight is not the finest and try as hard as I could the small buttons on the box made little sense. Some months ago we, that is I, decided to go along the Sky On Demand route, as it was after all free. We have a little On Demand Box sitting on top of the HD Box. I moved it and found there were some little controls underneath and I located one which had a symbol that looked like on-off. Hey presto the television sparked to life. Now the Good Lady had told me that she had replaced the batteries in the remote whilst I was out with the car – so with a little bit of Sherlock Holmes I deduced that the remote was the problem.


Thirty minutes later after a dash down to Asda Radcliffe and with a brand new remote control everything was ticketyboo. That was all completed with seconds to spare before Master Chef was due to be watched. Crisis averted.


I relate this story because I am sure there are many cricketing fellas, and I suppose non-cricketing fellas out there who will know the pressures of maintaining equipment in and around the house and making sure breakdowns do not occur – or if they do being able to sort them out in rapid quick time. OR ELSE.


I am not too sure how much of my tale of crisis will reach the LCB Web as someone reads this to check for mistakes before I post it. This could be a test of sense of humour.


Now on to other matters.


Crisis time at Gigg Lane.


Two home games in five days have produced null points. We were brushed aside by Sheffield United on Tuesday in the fleeing cold. Up until then we had gone five matches without defeat.


This Saturday I arrived at Gigg Lane at 12.30 as a big crowd was expected. Actually I should have said we as the two Mrs Heatons and number one son were with me. That very nice man Mr Thwaites had let my little boy have some tickets for the Bury Hospitality tent. A good time was had by all and we would have won the quiz if we had been any good at the picture round. Coventry City were the visitors and they had commanded a fair amount of the ground to accommodate their spectators. Sophie and Thomas had been delivered down by Lady Helen and were seated in the Manchester Road End rather than our normal seats in the Family Stand. No matter where we were sitting or the fact that I was viewing the match through lager tinted glasses the display was ugh, ugh and ugh again. As we were losing others around us were winning including Jeff Stelling’s Hartlepool. Things are beginning to look gloomy again.


That defeat did not dampen Thomas’s day as earlier playing for Bury Juniors he had scored the “Goal of the Season” – well that was what he said. His dad could not watch this game as we were busy sampling the Bury FC Hospitality. The texts he received implied the free kick which Tom had struck from all of 40 yards would have taken the goalie with it if he had tried to stop it. As the day proceeded the storyline became somewhat modified but the shiny fiver promised by father for scoring still had to be handed over.


After having Under 15 County Girls nets at Old Trafford on Friday it was Sophie’s turn to play football on Sunday up in Brierfield, Burnley. After promising Tom money for scoring he had to do something with Sophie. Now the team Westbury were playing are seriously good and capable of scoring goals. To collect her shiny fiver Sophie had to ensure only two goals separated the teams. The day was sunny, the wind light but the pitch hard and bouncy. Within five minutes Sophie had made two cracking saves and Westbury in their first attack to reach the other end scored – 1-0. By half time the score was 2-1 for the other team and the omens not good for the second half.


The opponent’s goalie touched the ball just once in the next 40 minutes. There were something like twenty corners. Sophie must have made 30 saves some of which were rather good and umpteen chances went wide or up and over. Textual communications increased but bless her no further goals and the money was safe.


I wonder if he promises the Bury team a shiny fiver each if they win the next game against Notts County which is on Friday night – and for those with working Sky HD+ boxes and other Sky people is on the tele – will produce the goods. It is a rare event for the Shakers to feature on television.  I am still not sure whether I will want to watch – but will probably end up crossing everything that can be crossed and hope.


Back to cricket. On Friday as we left Old Trafford we were able to wish Nalisha, Emma and others a good trip as they were due to jet off to Dubai on Saturday. They were just a little excited about what will be something they will remember for a long time. Accompanying them was Jenny along with the Mighty Titch and Big Boss Andy.

The news via Twitter from Dubai is that the girls lost the first match against a very strong Sussex team. Sussex batted first scoring 245 for 5 and we ended on 147 for 7. It was anticipated this would be a hard game for a Lancashire team which is much younger. Plenty of cricket left in Dubai though including a day-night match. Keep up to date by visiting the LCB Website and checking the Twitter column. I must say it looks a touch warmer out there although cannot grumble about the sunny weather we have had the last few days.




We are now beginning to identify grounds for the County Age Groups and Squad Coaching Sessions are progressing well. The second round of nominations for the Under 11 to Under 15 Boys will be out within the next two weeks along with the Under 10 first round of nominations. There are other matters to attend to before along with the Most Famous Zoo Keeper in the World I will jet off for yet another cruise with the Queen.


There was a blast from the past today when Alf Selby of Oldham Schools fame et al contacted me to enquire where he could get a copy of my massive tome from. I gave him the details and we had a chat about old times. Turns out he’s a bit of a cruise fanatic as well. I wonder if this could be the beginning of a rush to buy.


Remember “Who’d Have Thowt” - at a tenner a bargain.


Before dashing off to see if there is any Tesco left for one of my moments take a look at this pic. I am going audio-visual mad tonight with three pictures from the past, the present and the imagination.


This is from the past and the launch of the Levels of Excellence way back. This one might be of interest at the Mount as there is a current playing member to be seen. I wonder whether he can name any of the others apart from Chris Schofield.




I mentioned in earlier Blogs about the increase in our County Age Group programme of Development Squads. We used to have just one at Under 15 – we called it the “B” Team. Quite a number of young cricketers have played in this team over the years – Chris Schofield was one. We used to play a couple of “friendlies” against Yorkshire before taking the team to a Festival. These took place at various venues including York University and Rossall School before settling down at Ampleforth College. Chris did well in the Yorkshire friendlies in his time and gained promotion to the full County team. A certain James Anderson did not but he began to make his mark at Ampleforth.


That same James Anderson in the game against New Zealand this morning ended up taking his 529’th wicket in all forms of International Cricket – a world record. Well done Jimmy. Brilliant. He has given me so many opportunities to say if at first you don’t – then for goodness sake keep trying.


Now is the time.


Tesco Calling.

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