Stewie said “Get a Blog done” …….”Or Else”
Now the “Or Else” does not bear thinking about !!!
It is in fact over a month since I last put pen to paper, or rather keyboard to computer. What with one thing after another I have been rather busy. The few weeks at the end of May mark the period just before our County Age Group programme bursts into life. This is the anxious time when we need to ensure all the T’s or dotted and the I’s crossed or whatever. I am of course talking of the Boys Age Groups from Under 10 up to Under 17 in my case. I have said that the 2013 Fixture Programme is the best and biggest I have ever been involved with. Just to confirm this a quick count up reveals no fewer than 125 matches in these age groups including Festivals.
Just today I spoke with the agency that arranges the hotel accommodation for the Under17’s and 16’s for stays in Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Chesterfield and Kenilworth. I also began the process of sorting out coach travel for those matches.
The Under 10’s begin their match programme tomorrow (June 11) at Rainford against Yorkshire. There will be a lot of very excited little boys tonight along with a lot of very, very excited mums and dads. I am aiming to be there for a while along with my camera plus Players Handbooks, LCB Handbooks and copies of my world famous book about the History of LSCA. One person who figured in that history before diverting to Headingley, Mr Chris Hassell, will be present in his role as Yorkshire Schools President and Keeper of Finances.
The Under 11’s begin their campaign on Thursday (June 13) against Cumbria at Silverdale CC. They are having a training session and chat at Leigh CC also tomorrow (June 11). I will be dashing across from Rainford to Leigh with my boxes of goodies which should have grown with the arrival of new ties.
The Under 12 programme actually began on May 29th with a Development Team match against Cumbria at Fylde CC. This was narrowly lost to the main county team from the Lakes. Our full Under 13 team travelled to Middleton in Teesdale last week to play Durham and they gave them a good walloping. The top performer of the day, and indeed of any day, was young irrepressible Jack Berry. He took 4 wickets in 5 balls with his left arm spin. This spell included the hat trick, and what is more all his victims were bowled. In anybody’s book that is some performance. Well done Jack. The Under 12 Development team are at Burnley on Wednesday playing Yorkshire.
When I have posted this Blog I will get round to sorting out the different age group team pages and ensure scores etc are regularly posted. I am also hoping to get more pictures in as well.
The Under 13’s begin their programme on June 19th with a game against Cheshire at Chorley. This will be their first ESCA Northern Counties match. This season the ECB in its wisdom chose to discontinue (dump) their Under 13 National Competition. Five other counties have joined us i.e. Cheshire, Cumbria, Notts, Staffs and Yorkshire to create this English Schools Cricket Association sponsored competition. The end product will be a Final on Sunday September 1st. The Under 13’s Development team programme was due to start on June 28th but they sneaked a game in against Cheshire yesterday (June9).
The Under 14 season springs into life this week with the Development team playing the Yorkies away at Ossett on Wednesday, and then the following day the main county team travel up to Darlington to meet Durham in their first ECB 45 Overs Cup match.
The Under 15 selection process involved the traditional North Lancashire v South Lancashire match which was played at Blackpool on May 21st. We then had two friendlies against Durham (Away) and the Liverpool Comp U17’s at Wigan. We beat Durham with ease and lost narrowly to an experienced Comp team. Last week we had our first U15 Development team fixture against Lincolnshire at Cleethorpes. Although we were playing the main Lincolnshire county team we had reasonable expectations. Unfortunately our batting did not match up to our bowling – that is apart from one. Emma Lamb had been drafted into the team after discussions between Steve Titchard and Jenny Laycock and she did not let them down top scoring with 24.
The Under 15 ECB 50 Overs Cup competition got underway for us on Sunday just gone (June 9) with a match against Cheshire in the delightful setting of Oulton Park Cricket Club. This is an idyllic ground out in the Cheshire countryside and a long way from the hustle and bustle ….. except when there is a motor race meeting at the adjoining Oulton Park Racing Circuit. Apart from the complexities of negotiating queues of traffic around the venue we then had to cope with the decibels being raised to almost painful levels at frequent intervals during the day. Cheshire batted first and totalled 148 on a wicket that was getting more and more difficult. When we were 69 for 6 we had already formulated our excuses when much against the advice of Brysie, in particular, I set off with my good friend John Isterling to “walk some runs”. Harrison Phelan and James Seward did us proud and we did circuit after circuit with the runs beginning to flow and the wickets total staying unmoved. Harrison was out with just two runs needed but he had done his bit, and the winning runs soon followed.
During one of our circuits I had said in passing to some parents “You never know”. Cricket can be a funny old game and days like that one at Oulton Park proved the point. Another famous cricket phrase says “Catches win matches”. That was certainly the case when Harrison was dropped not once, but twice. When batting in those instances the real skill lies in making the most of it. That’s cricket.
Back to Stewie – or Mark Stewart – erstwhile captain of Greenmount Cricket Club. The “Or Else” if I did not produce this Blog was going to be something quite unimaginable. He was going to write his own Blog. The mind “Bloggles”.
Since my earlier efforts at Blogging the Mount’s season has fluctuated somewhat. This past weekend was a bit like you lose one you looked like winning , and then you win one anyway. In any event Mark rolled the years back with a vintage 11 wickets over the weekend. Not bad for someone nearer his half century than not. On Saturday he rattled Egerton’s cage taking 7 wickets and helping to keep them down to a gettable 160. At 102 for 2 the omens were good but then we succumbed to an all-out 154. Number One Son was not playing due to problems with his “hammy” or old age. He did however participate in the Lancashire Knockout game against Leigh yesterday (June 9). I missed this as I was down in sunny but noisy Cheshire. Stewie had another four wickets after we had scored 232, and Leigh mustered under 200. The actual details were scant as the Most Famous Zoo Keeper in the world is still not red hot on texts.
Just a little interjection as this point. Guess who the Mount’s opponents will be in
1) The next round of the Hamer Cup and
2) the next round of the Lancashire Knockout >>>> FARNWORTH !!! Enough said.
The LCB Girls programme gets underway ahead of the boys and all the teams have been doing well. There is a separate section of the website which focusses on these teams. Sophie has been involved with the Under 15 Development team this season and she is a very good example of the benefits of this process. She has regularly opened the batting and has got plenty of overs in with her left arm spin. Grandson Tom has been playing his club cricket with Greenmount this season and things are going well for him. His Bury District team are unbeaten and he is opening the batting for the club’s 2nd team. The Woodhey U13 school team are through to the 4th Round of the John Heaton Memorial Trophy Competition. Just two more and they could be in the Final. Once again for any new readers this trophy was donated to LSCA by the family of t’other John Heaton.
We now move into a period of time when match follows match often with up to four or more teams involved on any one day. Just take a look at the 3rd July >>>
U12 Boys Development - Wed 3 July v Yorkshire at Pudsey Congs CC
U13 Boys Development - Wed 3 July v Warwickshire at Leyland CC
U14 Boys - Wed 3 July v Derbyshire at Littleborough CC
U15 Girls - Wed 3 July v Shropshire at Leigh CC
U16 Boys - Wed 3 /Thurs 4 July v Wales at Southport & Birkdale CC
U17 Boys - Wed 3 July v Derbyshire at Glossop CC
See what I mean.
I will be at one of those games. This next week is a busy one but I am delighted to say that the U15 ECB Cup match against Notts at Urmston on Sunday gets me out of wondering whether to watch the Mount play Farnworth or not in the Hamer Cup.
The following week I have got an invite to have lunch in the brand new Pavilion at the Emirates Old Trafford and then have a guided tour prior to the Yorkshire Bank match v Scotland. I did manage courtesy of the Mighty Titch to have a look round the new Media Centre and Players Pavilion last week. It is quite some place to say the least. The view from the Press Box was quite stunning. I wished I had my camera with me but I snapped a portrait using my smartie phone which contains a few players from Lancashire’s past. Memories are made of this. When I sort the technology out to transfer pics from smartie ones to PC ones to website I will let you have a look down memory lane.
It has been a difficult road for the county club over the past few years but they are going to be mighty proud of the new Emirates Old Trafford when it is officially revealed to the cricket world.
I must apologise for the length of my twitterings with this Blog. The lesson is to do them more frequently. I will endeavour to do this. So finally I have been checking through the Fixtures to see what matches are scheduled for Sunday June 23rd when the Mount play “THEM” again in the Lancashire Knockout.
Under 10 v North East Wales or Under 14 v Yorkshire
The latter one is at the New Rover Ground, Leeds and is the saviour. Sorry Stewie but you do tend to do better when I am not watching.
Just about time for one of those moments.