Durham 2nd XI v Surrey 2nd XI match report

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668 writes:

I started at Newcastle station. “A day return to Seaton Carew, please”

“Why do you want to go there?” the ticket guy quizzed me, with genuine amazement and some concern.

“Umm, to watch some cricket.”

“So you’re not taking a kayak ride then?”

“No,” I said. “There is a clue there – I want a return.”

Seaton Carew: a station that is a barren wasteland, nothing on it, no map of where you are or where you might want to go. There was a sign to the beach. I had no idea if I needed the beach. Luckily Gordon Muchall’s Greatest Fan was just a text away and gave me a lift to the cricket ground.

The club ground is small and surrounded by the kind of ambience that only Teesmouth can provide. There was a faint smell in the air. I asked if it was from the Huntsman Tioxide plant, it being a working day, with plenty of white plumes drifting from the cracking towers. Gordon Muchall’s Greatest Fan said it could be the sewage works which was “just over there”. Luckily the smell seemed confined to the car parking area.

All the Surrey players had a variety of kit, so we really could have been down the park. There is a lovely vista of Hartlepool nuclear power station and the associated pylons give vertical landscape interest, usually only added by tall trees in most parks.

As Bert pointed out in April, you might need a house on Teesside to see some of KC’s ones to watch for 2010. So I shouldn’t have been surprised to find myself watching two from that very list – Smith, now Durham’s ex-captain and the Viking, not taken a wicket since being listed and down for a third ankle operation.

It was soon lunch. We went for fish and chips. The gulls by the seafront were conspicuously indifferent to chips – they may have been holding out for fish. I ate all my fish, it was top notch. I purchased a stash of coltsfoot rock.

After lunch, it was soon raining. There was no problem getting into the pavilion bar, as most of the ‘crowd’ swiftly departed. One of the players’ mates had a white sports car. Some of the players spent some time driving about in it. It made an impressive sports car type noise.

Time went by and all the players ended upstairs, playing darts. I did not even try to view this spectacle; I have an inbuilt sense of health and safety. They sounded like a herd of elephants, despite the fact that at least three of them have knackered ankles. Perhaps imitating trouping elephants is the cause of our injury problems? The physio was not on hand to stop this reckless behaviour.

I had another Jagermiester.

I decided against more time on Seaton Carew station and opted for Hartlepool instead – a good move as I was soon on a bus to Darlington. There were no trains due to a power failure at Stockton. Being near to a power station is no guarantee of power, people.

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


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  1. Top Teeside reporting 668.

    I note that the King seems v gloomy about his tips for the ones to watch – he only goes up to 2008 in his self proclaimed highlights

  2. It’s not been a vintage year for the ones we’ve been watching. Can’t explain 2009’s absence though.

    Well, we can: it’s pure laziness on our part.

  3. Top match report. The only way I can see to improve it would be some lovely pictures. Seagulls, Nuclear power plants, pylons, sewage works etc.

    Take a camera next time.

  4. I still have to submit my match report.

    Well I have to write it first but that’s just a detail

  5. Excellent stuff, 668, especially the canoeing joke. I’ve never been to Seaton Carew, but I feel now that I know it intimately. Your report made me look it up on Wikipedia, which contains a lovely clause confusion:

    “The 20th century added little in the way of amenities and the place was once considered to possess a faded charm. Recent regeneration work however has done much to change this.”

  6. I thought this was the best bit in wiki :-

    Seaton Carew is noted for originating the Chicken Curry Half and half dish consisting of a regular spicy chicken curry served on a bed of half rice / half chips.

  7. Dandy I did take my camera – but sadly the views of the pylons and nuclear plant were ruined by having cricketers in the fore ground.

    Having tried in the past to get picture of seagulls accepted by KC with no luck I decided not to take any pictures of them.

    That wikipedia entry is out of date – it should have Mr Darwins exploits down as a point of interest. Mention Seaton Cerew and it is the only thing people talk about in connection with it in the NE.

  8. The ground is described as small?I used to play there and I believe it conforms to test size at 70yrds from centre of the square to leg and off side

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