31st May 2006 away to Pickup Central Heating

Sadly due to this weeks game being held on a wednesday instead of the more usual thursday other commitments (e.g. dominoes, darts, "chippie night" etc. -ed.) meant the Jollys were forced to field a somewhat understrength team. Needless to say this saw us lose our second league game of the year.

But this week we at least have a real excuse as, in a distinct Hitchcockian vein, we were powerless against the tauntings of the local wildlife who decided to poke fun at us... (I knew we shouldn't have been rude to that witch -ed)


Well young Charlie's not looking too happy. But then again if you'd come down to the game expecting only to swig pop whilst chortling at the on field antics but then found yourself getting roped in to play for the Jollys would you be happy ?

Hmmm... thought not.


Once again we lost the toss and were put in to bat. So whilst Ogs politely asks them to be careful Dave & Tom get ready with a few wild practice swings.

Sadly though being near the outdoor tables at the time this means we're now expecting a bill from South Shore Cricket Club for damages to glasses and furniture...


But who cares ? Hang the expense (we'll have a whip round for the breakages -ed.) as the pre match warm up has obviously done some good. For once it's looking good for the understrength Jollys as Dave and Tom start stroking the ball about nicely.


Botheration, I spoke too soon. They've were going nicely, they've put a few runs on the board but a jubilant Pickup give each other the high fives as Dave loses his wicket.


But what's this ? Dave claims there is something fowl going on and starts making skywards movements... Apparently he was out due to being put off his stroke by the laughter emanating from a low flying Kestrel.

So as John prepares tp take over he warns him of the low flying menace and tells him the only way to silence the beast is by firing the ball at it.


Meanwhile back on the pitch Tom has also got himself out so now Stuey has joined in the middle. But as he returns to the pavillion Tom doesn't mention anything about kestrels so now we're all wondering if Dave was telling us the truth ?

"No honest lads, I could hear it chating obscenities at the Jollys, it's got a really sharp tongue and it's really off putting. I'm not cracking up" says Dave.

"Hmmm... now where did we leave the strait jacket ?" thinks us.


Mind you Dave does appear lucid, and it's been a long time since he last made excuses about low flying wasps, so back on the bench we've decided to give Dave the benefit of the doubt and all eyes are peeled for the foul mouthed avian. But despite our best efforts it's nowhere to be seen.

Oh well Dave's not going to let it lie so there's only one thing for it... "Nurse, the restraints if you please, the one with the big red straps"


But wait a minute... what's this ? Not only is the Kestrel real John has taken Daves advice on board and has launched the ball straight for it. The fact that the ball also goes for four is simply a bonus as the feathered fool realises we're onto her and quietens down for a minute.


Of course this also means that not only do we have to apologise to Dave but we also have to release him from the changing rooms and cancel the ambulance (and don't worry the medication we gave him should wear off in a couple of days - ed.)

Still he seems to be taking it well but Baz tells Cockney Stu to get ready with a restraining bat "just in case".


Oh no... despite Johns efforts then, far from forcing the kestrel menace to retreat, it looks like she's actually gone off to recruit some passing gulls into the attack (she's that little black speck towards the top right hand corner -ed.)

Suddenly it's looking bad for the Jollys as we can probably just about cope with the abuse of a lone kestrel but to be pilloried by the foul mouths of a flock of sea gulls may break even our steely resolve.


Yup... back on the pitch the lads have realise the potential seriousness of the gulls involvement and we've completely lost our focus.

We're no longer concerned about the game and our wickets are falling at a rate of knots as we concentrate solely on smiting the ball high into the air in a fruitless effort to end the relentless taunting of our feathered overlords.

(For those without magnifying glasses the ball is just about to leave the picture slightly to the left of the lamp post - ed.)


Oh the humiliation... Not only were we bowled out 4 short of getting a batting point but, continuing with the avian theme, your humble scribe got another duck. Still it wasn't a golden and it did give Charlie the chance to go in (and sadly also join the Jolly Boys duck club although, being only 12 and a half, at least he has an excuse - ed.)

So despite trying to avoid drawing attention to our poor performance with all that rubbish about obscene avains the fact of the matter is we were rubbish and we got stuffed (ah business as usual -ed.)

Ho hum... onwards and upwards to next weeks excuses... So what can we try next week ? Mutant midges ? A plague of frogs ? Locusts ? A sesonal outbreak of young ladies streaking ? (now that would be nice - ed.)

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