Category: Match report (page 1 of 17)

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk – but on no account mention the cricket

Lord’s net practice – journey report

Was It Because I'm Black

Dumbo the Suzuki Jimny writes:

Just a few days after Ged and Daisy went to the Lord’s Ashes Test and got all confused about etiquette, Ged asked me to take him out and about for the working day, to culminate at Lord’s, The Home of Cricket, for a net with Charley “The Gent” Malloy and Escamillo Escapillo. I was incredibly excited about visiting Lord’s for the first time, but knew there was real work to do first.

Ged stuffed my copious rear with a great big cricket coffin and his kit bag, plus a much smaller bag full of his work papers, covering that lot with a large tarpaulin, as is his custom when I am likely to sit around loaded up.

“Giddy up Dumbo,” said Ged, as we set off. Unlike the bowler Mark Wood, who has an imaginary horse, I actually AM an imaginary horse, which is even more fun. We went to Hammersmith first up, to a big building with a visitors’ car park. Ged went in with his small bag of work papers. I waited. And waited. And waited. Ged was in there for hours. Eventually he came out of that building, looking quite perky.

“My new ukulele strings have arrived, Dumbo,” said Ged. “We’ve got time to collect them from the music shop on the All Saints Road on our way to Lord’s. Ride like the wind, Dumbo.”

This last request was a bit strange, given we were in Hammersmith in the rush hour. Unless you consider 10 to 15mph to be “like the wind.” I did my best.

Ged wasn’t in the music shop very long and came out proudly waving two sets of baritone ukulele strings. When we drove around the corner, there was a policeman waiting. He waved to a group of other policemen a little further down the road, who flagged us down. “Just a routine, random stop and search, sir,” said one of the policemen. He then asked Ged for any ID with his name on it. Ged proffered his Middlesex CCC life membership card.

I was overcome with fearful and paranoid thoughts. Ged always travels under a false identity; none of his credit cards or membership cards are in the name Ged Ladd. I thought the police would easily rumble Ged and that I would be impounded or worse. Why did they stop us and let countless others drive by? Was it Ged’s beard? Was it because I am black?

“Where are you coming from and going to, sir?” asked the copper.

Ged told him.

“What’s under the tarpaulin, sir?”

“My cricket coffin, kit bag and a bag of work papers,” said Ged.

‘Don’t say “coffin,”’ I thought. ‘That’s bound to arouse suspicion.’

“Would you please step out of the car and lift up the tarpaulin, sir?” said the policeman.

Ged showed him.

“Would you like me to open the bags?” asked Ged.

“That won’t be necessary, sir,” said the policemen. “Just waiting for the database check, sir.” There was a long pause.

“Do you like cricket, sir?” asked the policeman.

‘Good question,’ I thought. ‘You’ve stopped a life member of Middlesex CCC, on his way to Lord’s for a net, with a great big cricket coffin, but truthfully he doesn’t care much for cricket; he prefers rounders and netball.’

“Yes I do, officer,” said Ged, pathetically.

Thankfully, those silly policemen failed to rumble Ged’s false identity and let us go as soon as their useless database check came through.

To add to my sense of persecution though, when we got to Lord’s the gate official wouldn’t let us into the ground, as there was a so-called big match on the next day and no-one available to do a security check on me. I wanted Ged to tell her that we had been security checked ten minutes ago, when the fuzz gave us both a thorough going over, but he wimped out. Ged simply expressed his displeasure and parked me on the other side of the Wellington Road, so I still haven’t seen Lord’s.  But we’re going again soon and I’ll tell you all about it once I’ve been in.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


England v Australia at Lord’s, day three – match report

Ged writes:

I prepared a splendid picnic, though I say so myself, for me and Daisy to enjoy on the Saturday of the Lord’s Ashes Test. Breakfast muffins stuffed with juicy coriander prawns was the centrepiece of the midday feast. The main event, though, was focaccia-wiches, containing Big Al deLarge’s latest discovery of amazing Parma ham. Following a successful use of the latter fare the previous week, when Dave The DJ came round to my place for a guitar/ukulele jam, Daisy was envious as crazy and expected nothing less.

These days, Daisy and I choose to hide from the sun in the “unfashionable but good for priority bookers” front reaches of the Lower Edrich. This time we were surrounded by delightful Middlesex CCC people, many of whom we knew at least by name from the internet radio and website chats in years gone by. It was like an impromptu gathering of the e-clan.

Mid-afternoon, I ventured alone round to the posh side for a pee. As I have reported many times before, you get a better class of floor piss round there. But as I approached the Tavern Stand loo, I saw that Mr Johnny Friendly, who had sent me and Daisy the MCC Rules of Real Tennis only a few weeks previously, was standing in the doorway, engrossed in reading his electronic tablet. It seemed to me, momentarily, that I was always running into Mr Friendly in or near those toilets and that he might mistake my repeated presence as sinister, or perhaps a quest for additional gifts. As he was deeply engrossed and I was sure he hadn’t seen me, I decided to save embarrassment by walking a little further round to the Allen Stand loo instead.

When I got back to our stand and reported my sighting to Daisy, she was most put out. “But supposing Mr Friendly did see you? He would surely see your lack of acknowledgement as a snub – and after he has shown us such kindness in the matter of Real Tennis. Surely the correct etiquette now would be for you to write and apologise profusely to Mr Friendly for your rudeness.”

I said that I thought the correct etiquette in the circumstances would be to forget the whole thing. But, you see, I come from the wrong kind of family and only went a few modest steps up the lower rungs of the social ladder by winning a scholarship to almost the right kind of school. Do not scorn or reproach me, dear reader – pity me.

Daisy was both unsure and upset. “Oh drains to oiky pater and that common, lawn tennis court he built for us. Why couldn’t we have had the real thing, then none of this Mr Friendly dilemma would have happened?”

There was no point consulting the good folk of Middlesex CCC around us. Good, honest, stout yeo-folk to be sure, but not the sort of people equipped to advise us on etiquette paradoxes. Where are the MCC posh boys when you need them?

“I know how we can resolve this dispute,” I said. “Let’s consult Jane Austen…”

… by which I meant the Complete Works of Jane Austen, which we always have to hand on our e-book readers. Unfortunately, Daisy misunderstood me and got straight on the mobile to Jane Austin, sister of the mighty Ian Austin, the greatest all-round cricketer that Baxenden CC, nay, perhaps even the whole of the Ribblesdale League, has ever produced. Daisy asked Jane Austin her etiquette question, listened politely to the answer, said: “Thank you very much indeed,” then put the phone down.

“What did she say?” I asked.

“Art tawkin’ ter me or chewin’ a brick?” said Daisy.

“I think that means she agrees with me,” I concluded.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Middlesex v Worcestershire at Uxbridge – match report

celebratory-ice-cream

Dumbo, Ged’s Suzuki Jimny writes:

Not all that long after taking Ged and Daisy to Ireland, where I got to watch my first snippet of a cricket match at Clontarf CC, Ged asked me to take him to Uxbridge to see day two of Middlesex v Worcestershire. I was very excited about this prospect, as it was proper first class cricket and I hoped I’d get to see a lot more cricket than I ended up seeing at Clontarf.

We set off ridiculously late for the game. Ged insisted on doing work in the morning and then doing some exercise at the gym at lunchtime before setting off, so by the time we got to Uxbridge it was gone 3pm and more than half the day’s cricket was done. We listened to the commentary on the internet radio on the way out to the ground. Ged said that it sounded quite tedious, but that anyway his main purpose that afternoon was to finish reading a book, The Utopia of Rules. I asked Ged what the book was about. He said it was a socialist perspective on the anthropology of bureaucracy, so I was none the wiser and wished I hadn’t asked.

When we arrived at Uxbridge, I expected to drive up to the boundary and watch the match, just as I had at Clontarf, but an official pointed me to another field, some distance from the first-class pitch with no view at all. Ged said he was powerless to intervene on my behalf. Ged should know; he’s reading the book on bureaucracy.

Ged also said that he wanted to have a photo of himself taken eating an ice cream, as a celebratory joke to send to the advertising people who, bizarrely, contacted Ged while we were in Ireland wanting to license some clips from the old Ladd family home movies. Ged’s Dad is slapping on the tanning oil in this advert. That’s Ged and his Mum looking daft on a Fredalo in this vine. Some of us actually have to earn our living.

It was a glorious afternoon when we arrived, but it soon clouded over and there was a really cold wind. Ged said afterwards that he enjoyed his ice-cream, especially as his friend, Frank Poole, had insisted on buying Ged the treat as well as taking the celebratory photograph. Ged and Frank had a nice chat while walking around eating their ice creams in the sunshine. Ged started the afternoon in shirtsleeves, but soon had to layer up with a jumper and thick jacket, yet still felt cold sitting reading his book, which was, apparently, a chilling enough read even without the cold wind. So we stopped off at Harry Morgan’s, near Lord’s, on the way home, as Ged said he needed some hot chicken soup to warm and cheer himself up. Bless.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Essex v Australians at Chelmsford – match report

Ivan The Smart Phone - Not a Selfie

My name is Ivan. I am Ged’s smart phone. One of the few things I cannot do is take a selfie; my friend Ida took this picture. I wear a protective cover in the style of an old-fashioned calculator. I am told that this is a joke.

I went with Ged to see a cricket match in Chelmsford, the principal settlement of the City of Chelmsford and the county town of Essex, in the East of England. We travelled to the ground by train and on foot. I could explain all the detail of the journey to you; I planned it after all, but Ged says that I must not be too wordy in my match reports. He also says that I shouldn’t mention the actual cricket. I can follow rules.

When we arrived at a little park across the river from the ground, Ged asked a steward for help, as for once I could not answer Ged’s question. The steward pointed to a security check in the park, near which we saw some chavs knocking back bottles of Champagne at 10.45am.

Ged went forward for his check.

“Do you have any glass bottles or glasses?” asked the steward.

“No,” said Ged. “I read the ticket carefully. So I brought only plastic bottles and glasses.”

“Stroik a loit, knock me darn wiv a fever and shoik me ‘and, squire,” said the steward, putting out his hand for Ged to shake. “Yer the first proper gent today.”

I identified the accent as Dick van Dyke.

I kept Ged and Charley the Gent Malloy in communication during the journey, so Ged knew exactly where to go to find Charley. Unusually, Ged did not wipe his feet as he entered the pavilion, but he did wipe them as he left the building, heading for the viewing benches in front, where Charley had saved him a good seat.

“No chance of us trying your famous bottle of red wine today then, Charley,” said Ged, showing Charley his little plastic bottles of wine. “Glass prohibition and all that.”

“Oh I pay no attention to that guff,” said Charley, producing a proper glass bottle of wine. “But I thought white would be better than red today; it was so hot yesterday.”

I had taken Ged and Daisy to Wimbledon that day and indeed it had been so hot my circuits overheated. I had to sleep for most of the day. I am pleased to report that no such overheating occurred on this occasion. I should say, though, that the Wimbledon surroundings were somewhat more salubrious than Chelmsford. Still, Mrs Malloy had prepared a similarly splendid picnic, with chicken rolls, cheese ones and also some with corned beef – the latter I think Charley rather hoped would be rejected by Ged, but Ged enjoyed his fair share of everything, including the nibbles, biscuits and cake.

Towards the end of the day’s play, we all relocated to the other side of the ground to get a different view. During a short rain delay, a steward protected the field of play. He was jerking around with Southern Dragon Kung Fu moves, as if fighting his own demons.

“Are you all right?” asked Charley.

“These bloody flies at this time of the evening,” said the steward. “They’re awful.”

Ged and Charley had not encountered any flies, but decided to leave that area and return to the pavilion.

Soon after that, Mrs Malloy joined us for a few minutes at the end of the day, during which time Daisy phoned in from the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. All too soon, Ged and I were on our way back to the station, after agreeing that, one way or another, we had all enjoyed a splendid day in the country.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Lord’s Cricket Ground tour – not a match report

Bert writes:

This website has a number of obsessions. Cricket is one, obviously, but there’s cats and fat cricketers and ankylosing spondylitis and all sorts of other stuff. And there is the apostrophe, with particular reference to the correct use thereof.

The thing is, I don’t think this is especially unusual. The link between cricket and punctilious punctuation, that is. There is something about cricket, its atmosphere and culture, that makes it a suitable place for those of us who care about such things. Next time you’re at the cricket, ask the person sitting next to you if correct apostrophe use matters – it’s very likely that you’ll get an affirmative response.

I found myself at Lord’s the other day, taking the kids on a tour of the ground. It occurred to me that I could confirm, or possibly refute, my hypothesis on apostrophes while I was there. I mean, one would expect that the Home of Cricket would also be the Home of Correct Apostrophe Use. So I paid particular attention to this as I took the tour.

Let’s start with something simple – the straightforward adding of a possessive s to a singular noun.

simple

Yep, no problems there. In fact, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that the same correct usage is repeated at the top of the stairs. Well done the MCC. Now, what about plurals?

plurals

Ah, exemplary. How many boys? More than one, I’ll be bound. You’ll have to take my word for it, but that same perfection is repeated on each of the display boards in the case. As you might imagine, the children and I spent several happy minutes at this display, bathing in the warmth of the calm, confident typography of the English cricket establishment. Marvellous stuff.

Of course, the name of the place itself – Lord’s – has an apostrophe, indeed one that might trap the unwary user. So how does the MCC get on with this trickiness?

trickiness

Perfectly, of course. We shouldn’t have expected anything less.


Anyone For Real Tennis? – England v New Zealand match report

I Can't Get My Head Round These Rules

Ged writes:

Two days after my last-minute-dot-ticket-office, cocktail-avoiding day at the Lord’s Test with Charley the Gent Malloy, I returned for my long arranged Sunday visit with Daisy. The weather forecast had been dreadful, but we woke up and indeed arrived at the ground on a beautiful sunny Sunday.

Daisy and I had an event-free circuit walk during lunch, but when we attempted similar at tea, we ran into Mr Johnny Friendly, walking the other way.

“Hello you two,” said Mr Friendly, stopping to chat with us. “Are you enjoying the cricket?”

“Oh yes indeed, Mr Friendly, very much so,” said Daisy politely, before enquiring: “Have you been watching the cricket or playing your beloved real tennis?”

“Mostly the latter,” replied Mr Friendly. “I can’t get enough of it these days.”

“I saw a television broadcast about real tennis only yesterday,” said Daisy. “The rules sound fiendishly complicated.”

“Not at all, young Daisy,” said Mr Friendly with his kindly voice. “The rules can be set out on a couple of pages; indeed there is an MCC leaflet that explains it all. Would you like a copy?”

“Nothing in the world should give me quite so much pleasure,” blurted Daisy, slightly exaggerating her Jane Austen-style manners.

Unfortunately, you see, Daisy comes from almost the right kind of family, which, after making a modest fortune through trade, then packed Daisy and her sisters off to almost the right kind of school. You should not scorn or reproach such people, dear reader. Daisy is a very good sort of girl; you should wish her extremely well and be happy to see her respectably settled. No doubt, there are men who might not object to her.

“Then you shall have a copy of that MCC leaflet,” said Mr Friendly with his benevolent voice.

“Ey up, tha’s reet gradeley,” said Daisy, getting so excited and confused that she muddled Jane Austen, the great early 19th Century novelist of manners, with Jane Austin, sister of the mighty Ian Austin, the greatest all-round cricketer that Haslingden, nay, even the whole of Rossendale, has ever produced.

“Hello you three,” said Mr Friendly, turning away from us. He was greeting some friends or acquaintances, no doubt far more important folk than us. Soon Mr Friendly was in deep conversation with those people.

We wandered on, thinking that Daisy’s real tennis rule leaflet hopes had been thwarted. But two days later, by means of that magnificent institution, The Royal Mail, a personally autographed copy of the MCC Real Tennis Rules, together with warm wishes from the Friendly family, arrived at our humble little hovel on the western fringes of London. Now that’s class for you.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Scarborough Cricket Festival match report

Ed writes:

I went to the Scarborough Cricket Festival. Here’s nearly proof.

welcome-to-scarborough

Yorkshire playing Durham in a top-of-table Div 1 encounter. Your proverbial 32-pointer.

We bought our tickets at the turnstiles.

scarborough-ticket

At the same time, my Dad was at Trent Bridge. His ticket was more fancy.

test-ticket

We asked where we were allowed to sit.

“You can sit anywhere.” Pause. “But not the pavilion.”

Great ground, packed but with enough non-pavilion options to make it a nice-but-tricky decision.

As happens often in my life, I ended up at deep midwicket.

The sun shone.

We agreed there was nowhere else in the world we’d rather be than here. We wondered if Gary Ballance felt the same way.

me-and-pavilion

We decided to do a circuit of the ground. You can do that in real places.

We started then got stopped: “You have to pay a pound to walk through here.” It was the members enclosure.

“Or you can walk anti-clockwise.”

We spurned the financial incentive and embraced the anti-clockwisdom.

Sat on the grass now, by the actual, real-life boundary rope, near a few hundred Yorkshire supporters, it was time for a beer.

We headed to the bar. They only sold the Scarborough Cricket Club Merlot by the glass – I wasn’t allowed a bottle as a keepsake.

We drank bitter.

Dad was worried he’d not get his money back for his third day Test ticket. Here is the small print.

test-terms

Small print in Scarborough is bigger.

scarborough-terms

After a few more beers, we passed out.

pass-out-ticket

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Cocktails For Two – England v New Zealand match report

Ged writes:

“Have you brought the actual bottle of red wine you forgot to bring last time?” I asked, as I arrived to find Charley the Gent Malloy in the front row of the Mound Stand.

“Absolutely – here it is,” said Charley, showing off a very appealing-looking bottle of Chianti. “I’m not sure how much of it I’ll want to drink myself, though,” he added. “I have an early start in the motor tomorrow and don’t want to drink too much today.”

“I’ve had plenty to drink in Ireland over the last couple of weeks and am back here with Daisy on Sunday,” I said. “So a relatively light day on the soup will suit me too.”

Charley then asked me to explain how we had ended up with front row seats in the Mound Stand for day two of a Lord’s Test, given that I said to him on our previous visit that I hadn’t even bothered to order tickets for this match through the priority booking system.

“Simple, Chas. The day after your visit in April, I popped backed to Lord’s and asked in the ticket office if they by any chance had a couple of Test match returns. After the standard line about only restricted view seats still being available, the helpful fellow in the ticket office then took an actual look through the returns. When I confirmed that it was just two that I wanted, he said that he, by chance, had a couple of returns in the front row of the Mound Stand. He then asked me, just to be sure, whether I wanted to buy those.”

“Magic,” said Chas.

While making headway into our picnic, going gently with my bottle of Alsatian Gewürztraminer to accompany the food, we got chatting to some friendly folk sitting next to us. Turned out that they were marketing and advertising alumni from a large global corporate. A regular group for day two of the Lord’s Test, although sadly two men short this visit due to unforeseen circumstances. Their tales of derring-do, sponsoring cricketers and attending matches in days of yore, were way beyond our Cricket Badger-style and Heavy Roller stories, so Charley and I simply listened in awe and wonder.

They were a jolly bunch and delightful company for a few hours. Soon they were offering us some of their grub and some colourful cocktails, all of which we politely declined. One of their number was now marketing cocktail mixers, which only partially explained how and why this group were knocking back extravagant-looking drinks. Chas and I made slow, steady progress through my bottle of white, while the picnic was going down very nicely and eventually, so was the sun.

Late in the day, Charley offered to open the Chianti, but we both agreed that it would be a waste, as neither of us really wanted to drink any more. We got some quizzical looks – perhaps they were looks of pity – from our newfound, cocktail-sodden friends. Still, Chas and I agreed that the bottle of Chianti should live to fight another day. Indeed, our planned trip to see Essex v The Australians in a few weeks’ time should be ideal for it.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Ashes match report – day one at Trent Bridge

Bert writes:

There is a law around these parts, that match reports must not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES mention the actual cricket. Normally, this presents few problems. Cricket is largely incidental, both to a day at the match and to this website. “About the cricket, but not ABOUT the cricket”, best sums it up.

Day one of the Nottingham Test does not fit this model very well. It’s a bit like doing a report on the aesthetics and structure of Parisian road tunnels on September 1, 1997. And that won’t be the last allusion to a car crash that this report will contain.

Right, down to work. The period of the day before 11 o’clock can’t mention the cricket, because there wasn’t any. This is, unlike the centre of Trent Bridge for the Aussies, safe ground. My day started at about 6:30. I got up, dressed, showered, possibly not in that order, opened the curtains, decided I would bowl, made a cup of tea and went out. At Stockport station a man checked my ticket, told me the platform I needed, and said he would bowl. The lady at the food stand supplied me with a coffee, a breakfast bagel and an unequivocal decision that she would bowl if she won the toss. The train arrived, I took my seat. The man next to me said he would bat. Why do I always end up sitting next to the nutter on trains?

I went to the toilet. There was a sign on the seat telling patrons what they couldn’t flush down the toilet. It was very amusing, but at 12:40 that day I couldn’t help thinking that the joke could be expanded somewhat.

flush

At 11 o’clock a lady came onto the pitch to sing a song. At about five past, the lady stopped singing. She wasn’t fat. I was reminded of this event at 12:40.

We had seats at the very back of the topmost tier of the Radcliffe Road stand. It is an excellent viewpoint, both for the match in front of you and the city behind you. It was very soon after the match started that it all came crashing down. What a mess. What had been quite buoyant was now completely deflated, although I suspect it might have been considerably overblown to start with. Apparently it was blown away by a freak whirlwind. It required some people to pick up the pieces of what was now in absolute tatters. There is some talk that it could be repaired, but looking at it I would say it should be thrown away and replaced by a completely new one.

trent-bridge

Lunch was very pleasant. Very pleasant indeed. We discussed the regimented rows of yellow-capped Australian fans in the Parr Stand, and decided that the English language needs a word for such precisely arranged misery. Quadrisplatteral was one suggestion, paralleloglum another. Wrecktangle probably had it, though.

In the afternoon we had a quiz. I can share it with you if you like:

Question 1 – What is the chemical symbol for gold?

Question 2 – What BASIC function converts a number into a string?

Question 3 – What word meaning “others” can follow “et” and “inter” to make common Latin phrases?

Question 4 – How many degrees are there in one sixth of a full turn?

Question 5 – What is the first name of the former Vice President of the USA, Mr. Gore?

Question 6 – What word rhyming with “shout” means a yob, a ruffian, a ne’er-do-well?

Question 7 – What is the name for a fence hidden in a ditch?

Question 8 – What is the name for a dozen more fences hidden in a ditch?

This was a lot of fun.

When I got home, it was halftime in the Wigan-Huddersfield SuperLeague match. Huddersfield were winning, but Wigan were able to turn it round and come out eventual winners. That’s the thing about sport – you’re never out of it (yes you are). There is always a chance (no there isn’t). A few words from the coach can transform a team (no they can’t), giving players that little extra they need (are you having a laugh) to find a way to win (there isn’t one). In the final analysis, it’s why we watch it (no it isn’t, we watch it to see Australians trampled into the dust).

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


Clontarf Second XI v Laois match report

Dumbo The Suzuki Jimny writes:

My name is Dumbo. I am a little Suzuki Jimny, making my living by being Ged Ladd’s car. In our neighbourhood I have lots of big relatives, mostly Range Rovers, commonly known as Chelsea tractors.

Dumbo

Those big posh Range Rover fellas claim that they are from the right sort of family, whereas I am not. We are all cricket lovers, of course, but the Range Rovers are members of the MCC (Motor Cricket Club) whereas I am a member of the MCCC (Motor Car Cricket Club), which the big boys tell me is a smaller, lesser brand. The bully in the photo is so big, there’s neither room for me to park nor room for his big head in the photo.

Anyway, soon after Ged and Daisy’s jaunt to Lord’s to see the Middlesex v Durham match, I took them to Ireland for a couple of weeks, during May 2015. At the end of our holiday, we checked into our last night hotel, the Clontarf Castle, but then decided to see the Casino at Marino and also take a look at Clontarf CC.

Ged’s satnav had trouble finding the Casino at Marino – the satnav wanted us to go to a cafe in Marino instead of the neo-classical house. In the end we got to the right place. Ged said that it was the least expensive visit to a casino in his entire life. He also said it was only his second ever visit to a casino and that this Marino one wasn’t a gambling casino.

Not Lords but not bad

We arrived at Clontarf CC in glorious sunshine and I parked up for my first ever cricket match with a terrific view of the wicket, just beyond the boundary. Ged and Daisy wandered around to the pavilion, but by the time they got there, a shower of rain had started, so people were running around putting covers on the wicket. By all accounts the Clontarf club members and officials were very friendly with Ged and Daisy, making them feel most welcome as visitors. The locals told Ged and Daisy that Clontarf seconds were to play Leesh, weather permitting.

Ged had no idea where Leesh is and wondered why, if the club was playing against Leesh, that the score book said Laos, which is a small but beautiful landlocked country in South-East Asia where little cricket is played. But it seems that Laois (pronounced “Leesh” and not spelt Laos) is actually a small but beautiful landlocked county in Ireland where little cricket is played, so that all made sense.

Soon the rain stopped, the sun came out again, the covers came off and the game started. It all seemed very relaxed and yet taken seriously. One of the Clontarf players had to stand in for a missing umpire; Ged wondered whether he would be asked to do those duties, or perhaps to commentate on the match, as Ged is usually asked to do in his capacity as visiting dignitary when he visits remote, far-flung corners of the former British Empire.

Cricket Lovely Cricket

At the start of the third over, from the castle end, I noticed the Clontarf batsman eyeing up cow corner, which was exactly where I was fielding, just over the boundary. I was hoping to take a catch in the crowd or something, but then I saw Ged and Daisy running towards me and I guessed that they wanted to go.

“Ride like the wind, Dumbo,” said Ged, while starting my engine. “Giddy-up, boy.”

I should explain at this point that, unlike the bowler Mark Wood, who has an imaginary horse, I actually AM an imaginary horse, which is far more fun. Sometimes I’m an imaginary flying elephant instead, which is also fun.

Anyway, it transpired that Ged and Daisy had also spotted the batsman eying up cow corner and were worried that I might get injured attempting to catch the ball. As we all had a very early ferry to catch the next morning, they thought that we should cut and run before the batsman got a chance to pull and not need to run. Anyway, a few minutes after we got back to the hotel, it started to rain again, so I don’t think that my first ever cricket match saw a result.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.


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