Richard Maloney was there:
First the good news, not a day of tour went by without
incident or victory. Much of the bad news seemed to take place before the
touring party left for Suffolk and our best wishes go to Peter Simmonds, the
Skipper and his family, Dave Hargroves’s wife and, of course, Julian
As it was the Pimpernels fixture saw us with ten confirmed players booked to arrive, sadly, a hundred metres from the ground Lyons pulled over in his cheeky little Alfa to check out directions and was ambushed by a blue Mini Metro which knocked him out of the game. Suffering from whiplash Julian was picked up by his wife from A&E and taken home, we still don’t know the full circumstances but presume Jules, as ever, was blameless and a paragon of road safety.
The remaining tourists (minus Webster who was still somewhere west of the planet Zog) won the toss and batted. As ever on tour Pytches and Hogben found some young boys they liked and tucked in as they usually do. Declaring on 201-1 (exact numbers escape me as the scorebook is in the hand of a South African who, as they all do, has figures to remember) the Weekenders got off to a rumbustious start and offered the Pimpernels some generous deliveries as a thank you for tea, which sadly lacked the almonds of previous years. Encouraged the Pimpernels forged on but began to lose wickets to the tight change bowling and the exceptionally slow spin of Husaini. Details elude me, however, several people chipped in with useful wickets and the game was won by a substantial amount. Hogben was declared on 89* and Pytches on 46* with Harvey, Husaini, Webster and Desmeules sharing the wickets.
Happy to win the Weekenders were taken on an elaborate and circuitous tour of Bury by the Tour Manager who cluelessly managed to find the Dog and Partridge now run (thankfully temporarily) by the cool, yet ultimately, useless Henry, the acting manager from West London. Having eventually secured rooms and saved several ‘enders from sharing double beds with each other the touring party took off to a local curry house. Hajela and the Coach were dispatched to buy spirits for fines. The bar chosen would not allow a litre and a half bottle of gin to be sold but were more than happy to sell us Vodka, strange place that Suffolk. On the subject of strange, Fergus kept pouring his vodka into a bottle of Cobra beer and then drinking it. Sated and happy, the Weekenders walked home musing on who the biggest chokers in the history of war actually were.
Sunday saw us pick up Chiari and lose Hajela early doors. The ‘enders put themselves in and witnessed a nervous skipper time-wasting from the toss, walking slowly, stopping and frustrating the attempts of the Norfolk side (and their robo-cop GI) to let loose at our early fodder. Indeed, it was fodder saved up early doors and Garboldisham raced to 50 off the first six overs. The spin king Chiari and new find Tom Speight weighed in to remove the vast majority of batsman with Webster cleaning up the tail. The skipper pulled his groin in the excitement of knowing his girlfriend was going to be around that evening leaving himself unable to walk. In the end Garboldisham set the Weekenders a mere 170 to win. Spinning the order around Chiari went out to open with Husaini, the latter spending some quality crease time and playing some nice shots. Back in the hutch for a stylish duck Chiari had time to reflect on the reluctant Mike Harvey facing the ninth ball of the match. Harvey contrived to play himself in and began to open up; with some searing cuts and flicks off his little legs he reached his maiden half-century for the Weekenders, not content at that he went on to make an excellent 80 (which is his PB of all time). Pytches helped out with trademark leg-side smacks and bangs and was saddened to find out he had got out on 47. This annoyed him so much he is now going on a world tour for the whole of next year. Happily the bearded Webster cracked off the rest of the total and another tour victory was won.
The touring side reduced themselves to six and Skip’s girlfriend Eli which was lucky as the next day was the new six-a-side tournament. Happily the Weekenders set new records: The most runs conceded in the tournament, (94 against Exning) and the lowest score, 26 against Woolpit. Happily the side took out the local primary school without so much as a thought by restricting them to 48 and knocking the runs off in style. No wooden spoon for us and a chance to eat barbecue and drink beer. Statistically we had the best ‘keeper in the tournament: no byes and no dropped catches – well done Skip and watch out all those other ‘keepers, he may take it up. For those who care, the stroppy boys from Exning beat the more talented South Africans in the final.
All in all it seemed to go rather well, many thanks to Desmeules for stepping in late doors and scoring every ball of our innings as well as taking a cheeky three-fer on Saturday, Keezo for driving up from Brighton and Vijay for coming up Saturday only to have to leave Fergus in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
PS Has anyone ever stopped at a farm for a coffee?
WCC 201 - 1 ( 30 overs)
Maloney 31, Hogben 89*, Pytches 46*
Pimpernels 130 all out (37.1 overs)
Webster 8-0-39-1, d'Inverno 4-1-17-0, Husaini 8-1-29-2, M Harvey 8-2-16-2, Desmeules 6.1-0-19-3, Maloey 3-1-6-2
catches Hajela 2, M Harvey 1, Desmeules 1 Sub (Farrow) 1.
GCC 170 all out
Webster 8-1-39-4, d'Inverno 3-0-36-0, Maloney 7-1-23-0, Speight 6-0-33-3, Chiari 8-3-19-3, Desmeules 3-0-7-0, Husaini 1-0-8-0
catches Chiari 1, Speight 1
No batting stats maybe all the other dismissals were bowled, lbw or hit wicket.
WCC 171-4 (36 overs) Chiari 0, Husaini 5, M.Harvey 80, Pytches 47, Webster 19*, Maloney 0*
Mike Harvey’s angle on the Woolpit 6-a-side:
Played 3, lost 2, won 1 - 3rd in group of four, eliminated in group stage.
Lost the first due to inexperience (both batting and bowling): 75-29 (29 due
to batting collapse - see Champagne moments below).
Lost the second to the team that eventually won (apparently including a
couple of Suffolk reps): 94-40 (yes - they took 94 off us in five overs -
bowling figures are fortunately not recorded).
Won the third on the back of much better bowling and increased tactical
acumen based on experience of earlier floggings: 48-49 for 3 (3 balls to
Champagne moments - Mark D'Inverno keeping with a groin strain and not
conceeding a single bye, Dave Pytches and Rich Maloney hammering some very
attractive boundaries through and over a four-man field, Weekenders losing
three wickets in three balls to go from 29/1 to 29/all out (skipper
returning from lunch mere seconds after the last wicket fell and thus being
relegated to DNB).
Opinion divided as we watched the finals as to whether the WCC is suited to
the six-man concept. Resolution that a 'specialist' team be selected next
year. Names bandied around include Chiari, PJ Harvey, Aussie Chris J and