18 May 2006 home to Rushale

Well this was our first match against the leagues new team so we've no idea what to expect. But the omens were bad as Rushale got off to a good start by winning the toss and deciding to bat first. Thanks to a damp outfield the runs were hard to come by and they finished with 69 from their 12 overs leaving us somewhat confident of success.

Oh dear... Despite our seemingly good position we took it upon ourselves to lose wickets at a rate of knots and it was looking ominous for the Jollys. Thankfully though Ian and Tom decided to dig in and we just edged it to emerge victorious in what became a low scoring thriller (it's amazing how well the damp outfield can slow down the ball - ed.)

But all in all it was a splendid display of cricket all round so the only real losers of the night were the midges who, due to us sitting in a slightly different area of the ground, were denied their usual midweek feast. Mind you the view wasn't as good from our new vantage point so I think they'll be making up for it at our next home game.


"Right lads it's like this, we've just lost two on the trot, it's a damp night but I'm playing this week. So I expect nothing less that a WIN."

Scotty "Bubs" lays down the law to Tony and Baz who are now wishing they'd have arrived a bit later.


But what's this on the pitch ? Once more the Jollys get to see some youths playing the game properly. At this rate not only will there be future generations of cricketers to carry on the evening league but we might have picked up some match winning tips !!!


Mr. Barton clearly has no shame. We know he's got an injured heel (thereby keeping him out of tonights line up) but what on earth is he drinking ? There's going to be a stewards enquiry on this one that's for sure. Whatever it is it doesn't add life it just rots your teeth (but does make a splendid hangover cure - ed.)

And close inspection of the photograph will show that John, Dave and Ian are so disgusted with what's going on that none of them are willing to watch the outrage.


Well the Rushale innings has been and gone (you guessed it, there weren't enough of us there to take photographs of our fielding innings - ed.) but they're clearly delighted with the 69 they made from their 12 overs. And whilst that might not seem like a lot of runs the way the ball was sticking to the outfield it wasn't that bad at all.

But you'll have no doubt noticed something that saw the Jollys quaking in their boots... Rushale are fielding a Lady in their team so we're all quietly chanting "please don't let her bowl me for a duck" to oursevles.


And they're off, there's a very slight drizzle threatening but John and Jol are once again leading us into the fray and John's clearly got high hopes for the game.

Either that or he's shaking his fist at me for standing near his beer stash - as if I'd drink someone's beer whilst they're out batting (You know you would you disgraceful beast -ed).


Oh botheration. We're only an over into our innings and it's starting to rain. Thankfully Baz, who's taken up scoring duties, has brought his umbrella so at least the book won't get wet.

But will the downpour cause the game to be abandoned ? Tension is definitely mounting as the Jollys are fancying that they can win this one.


Well that little shower hasn't helped the outfield much (which was already soggy to start with) but it has at least stopped and it has brought out a beautiful rainbow.

Thanks to the magic of the camera (and me walking round the boundary to get the right spot) it almost looks as if it's coming out of Jols head (actually it's coming out of the pot of gold he keeps in his wallet -ed.)


Oh dear. Despite our initial confidence it's business as usual. Our wickets are falling steadily, the run rate is below what's needed and thanks to some tricky bowling from Rushale we're not doing well at all.

To sum our exploits so far just look at Tony's pads. Good grief he hasn't even fastened them properly (he claims that the strap had broken and they were the only one's left that fitted -ed.) But straps or no straps can he propel us to victory ?


Meanwhile back on the boundary the lone Jolly Boys fan is pacing his garden unable to watch the unfolding disaster on the field. More wickets have fallen, we've faced more than half of our overs and we're just not putting the runs on the board. Could this see us once more snatch defeat from the jaws of victory ? (our speciality -ed.)

Someone is going to have to start scoring some runs fast !


Hurrah ! The expected disaster was averted as Tom & Ian saved the day with a marvellous 50 partnership that edged us home. Sadly though my camera batteries were almost out, the spares were also flat (you're an idiot -ed.), so I had to save the last few pictures for the end of the game. And I'm glad I did as a jubilant "Cockney" Stu punches the air in delight.

n.b. To spare those of a more nervous disposition I'm not going to draw attention to Scotty "Bubs" underpants. Oh no, I'd never do such a thing :)


And with my batteries failing fast there's just enough juice for another couple of shots. So first up here's umpire Barts leading the teams from the field whilst stage left an overjoyed (some might say overexcited) Shannon leads a one girl pitch invasion.


Just as the last electrons leave my trusty rechargables I manage to capture the after game handshakes. A fitting end to a good sporting occasion !

So not only do the Jollys pick up their first home win of the season but the combination of the weather, and us not sitting in our usual place under the trees, meant that the midges were denied their usual feast (so it looks like they'll be looking to drink twice as much blood on our next home game - ed.)

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