10th September 2006 Cup Final vs South Shore Shovellers

Well what can we say ? Not content with finishing second in the league then, following an uncontested semi final victory against Layton Institute (who wouldn't have been able to field a team on the Sunday so sportingly conceded the match), the Jollys made their way to a historic first ever cup final.

And what a good day out it was. Held at the immaculate arena of Great Ecclestone cricket club the Jollys turned up en masse along with legions of fans, lashings of booze and the odd sandwich or two. However the Great Ecclestone bar (ably manned by Dave Walker) needn't have worried about their takings as the crowd (and players - ed.) went into beer overdrive.

In fact there were only two things that "spoiled" the Jollys day out. The first being that South Shore won. But this year they didn't have their usual walkover and actually had to flex themselves to beat a rampant Jollys side. Who knows ? if it wasn't for the small, and traditional, batting collapse experienced in their second innings we might have seen a real upset. Still the Fielding was excellent and the overall standard of the cricket was about the best that had been played this year and a splendid time was had by all.

The second bad thing was the woeful lack of spare batteries for the digital camera. Having brought three sets of rechargeable we were mortified to find that the set in the camera were only about a quarter full (which was expected - ed.), the first spare set was only half charged and the other spare set were as dead as the proverbial Dodo. And this still wouldn't have been a total disaster but the emergency 4 pack of Duracells, which have been in my kit bag all season, was nowhere to be found (it was in another bag back at the ranch - ed.) Ho hum... that's what you get when all you're thinking about is the game itself. Still we did get quite a lot of pictures it's just that there was no energy left to take any of the after match presentation or a team photo... Ho hum, c'est la vie en la famille Jolly Boys (que ? -ed.)

But at least the 2006 season ends on a high note... Bring on 2007 !

Final Rules: Both teams shall have two 16 over innings with the team that bats first batting fourth. This means the team that bats second have to immediately follow on. When South Shore won the toss they immediately decided to put the Jollys in second as they knew that they'd be unable to resist making full use of the bar during their two batting innings...


Well the excitement is definitely building as there's still a good half an hour to go before the start and the Jollys are arriving en masse. Not only that but instead of the usual hald litre cans of Stella the lads are all quietly nursing small 230ml bottles of Becks.

Can it be the Jollys taking the game seriously (Well technically yes as this is as serious as they get -ed.)


Not wishing to miss a motivational trick Tom has snaffled the cup and shows us just what we're playing for.

Meanshile, out of the picture, a confused looking Jollys stand around looking bemused and scratching their heads as he's clearly not holding up a bottle of champagne - or even better a barrel of Becks (obviously per player -ed).


Egad ! The clock has struck one, the mouse has run down, and it's time to get the game underway

So to start proceedings off on the right foot we have our very own version of the "Sour Grapes" (tm). Cue Maya "N-n-naise" and Katie "Kustard" who "lively dem up" by performing an impromptu team song.


Well the action might be happening at a distance but this is actually a historic shot of the first ball of the game being bowled.

Having lost the toss the Jollys have been put into field so it's time for john Eade to have the honour of bowling the first ball to the Shovellers batting machine Nadeem.


Get up you oaf. Your humble scribe goes diving off after a loose ball and makes a decidedly unglamorous stop. Still that's a run saved so the grass stains are not in vain.

As for the unkind amongst you who suggested that the local Ducks were simultaneously engulfed by a miniature tidal wave all I can say is poo stripes to the lot of you !


Stop waffling and look at the field... HOWZAT !!!!

We thought we'd got our man but "not out" says the perfectly placed umpire (whose decision, as always, is final -ed.)

But it's a close call for the Shovellers and they're beginning to realise that the "Clown Princes" of the evening league might actually be here to win !


A couple of wickets later and we're well into the Shovellers innings now. So it's now the turn of Burnesy at the crease who starts off with his usual flurry of scoring strokes.


But oh dear, a few balls later and a spot of bad calling sees him stranded mid wicket whilst Bart joyously whips off the bails.

Maybe it was just cup final jitters or maybe they subconciously wanted to give us a chance ? but some of the Shovellers running was bordering on the suicidal. If we'd have hit the wickets from a couple of our chances we'd have been into the start of their tail by now.


The excitements really building now as some members of the bowling club come to take a peek at the action (actually Ogs was trying to bum a fag off them -ed.).


Well that's the end of the first innings as the Shovellers post a creditable 163 off their 16 overs. So after a short break it'll be the turn of the Jollys to see what they can do.


So here we go as Ian and Jol take great pride in striding out to the middle to open our innings. And with great restraint it appears they've only had one bottle of Becks each.

(Well we know it's the cup final but is this taking things too far ? On the other hand we'd best check this as our memory might be playing tricks on us and such a scandalous allegation could result in our first "inter club" lawsuit -ed.)


Well one thing's for certain - they've not been daunted by the occasion !

After a couple of balls to play themselves in our intrepid openers soon start spreading the ball about. So if our tigerish fielding hadn't already convinced them South Shore now definitely know they've got a game on their hands today !


The innings is proceeding nicely, we're just about up to the run rate and only a couple of wickets have fallen. So now it's John at the crease who, having been overcome with an uncharacteristic attack of shyness, hides his face whilst cracking the ball off for four.


Two balls later and all trace of shyness has vanished as he pushes off for another quick single.


A couple of good knocks later and Dave's at the crease. And he carries on the good work done by the rest of the lads with another good knock.


Following a fine contribution Ogs is heading back to the pavilion but this gives Powelly his chance to get to the middle. And look how much he's relishing it.

Now that's what I call cup final spirit !


So the Jollys first innings ends with up slightly behind the Shovellers total as we amass a total of 146. Still let's look on the bright side as weren;t all out and that's only about a run a ball behind the run rate.

Now if we can repeat the perfomance in our second innings we'll really give the Shovellers something to worry about.


Well Chewy remembers to take some "off field" pictures and we're glad he did 'cause the fans are loving it ! it's been a long time since we had this sort of a crowd at a Jollys match. Still the splendid summery conditions and the cheap bar helped matters.

But now can the Jollys conjure up a magnificent second innings and really give them something to cheer about ?


Well Ogs has decided to face the first ball of the innings and this photo leaves one question burning in the minds of your humble scribe...


Whilst the above utternace might not mean much to the casual browser of this rubbish the regular viewers amongst you will realise Ogs' "Randals" are a vital part of the Jollys (he means his characteristic shoes - ed.). If they're missing it could mean doom to the good ship Jolly Boys !


Gah... There's no evidence either way. But now it's Barts turn to take striek and he's determined to make his mark on the final. Having topped the leagues batting averages this season he's keen to get some runs on the board after having suffered an early L.B.W. decision in the first innings.


Botheration. The excitement might well be building but it's not good for the Jollys as we've lost wickets before we've caught up with the South Shore first innings total. But now Ian is back at the crease and is looking to get the innings motoring along.


Well blow me down with a feather and hip, hip hooray for the Jolly, Jolly "J" !

The esteemed Terminator himself is putting in an appearance. Sadly though it's not looking good for the Jollys as we've now lost our third wickets with less than 15 runs being put on the board. So technically we're now -1 for 3... A bad start indeed.

But with the Terminator here then, much like when the ball left his hand when he bowled, absolutely anything could happen (and yes we do indeed mean anything - ed.)


Hmmm... well we did warn you that anything could indeed happen. Sadly though it's mostly bad for the Jollys as despite Ogs best efforts we're slipping further and further behind what would be a reasonable run rate.


Bah... the wickets are falling steadily so it's Daves turn to take to the field. So it's time for a few forward defensive strokes to try and calm the nerves, get the eye in and get the Jollys innings back on course.


By this time the camera's low battery light had started to flash so cameraman Chewy took the wise decision to save some power for the end of the game. This being the case this shot of Nadeem picking the ball up on the boundary was the last action shot of the game.

So we can only humbly apologise for the lack of pictures of the end of the Jollys second innings and the entirety of the second South Shore innings. Still regular viewers will have come to expect the usual failure to document the entire game so it's only to be expected :)


Well the Jollys managed to put some more runs on the board but at the end of the innings they'd only amassed a grand total of 225 so South Shore only needed 62 to win. Needless to say the Jollys went all out to stop them, the fielding was again excellent and there were several wickets lost. But South Shore are simply not the sort of team that would let such a meagre total evade them and they ended up worthy winners.

So with the game over Chewy powers the camera up to capture the players shaking hands in the middle and coming off the field. But it's not looking good as the low power light is blinking pitifully. In fact the camera actually switched itself off after this picture.


A quick change back to the original batteries (which were taken out shortly after the power light started blinking) and there was just enough juice left to squeeze out one more picture before the batteries went altogether. So here's the last action shot of the day with a defeated Jollys gathering for the after match presentation.

It only therefore remains for us to wonder why, when we couldn't get the camera to take the after match team photo nobody thought to use one of the multitude of camera phones to capture the occasion ? Still Jebby took a couple with his trusty disposable camera so we might be able to acquire one at a later date.


A couple of hours later and the Jollys are back in the old Town Hall with their "fans"celebrating the end of their splendid day out.

And as I've managed to buy a set of batteries here's a picture of us in mid celebration (the other shots taken were mostly out of focus - living proof that a camera can get as drunk as it's owner - ed.)

So the moral of the story is always check your batteries the night before the big day. Make a list and tick things off as you do them, comb your hair and straighten your tie, you'll never make anything of yourself looking like that young man (good grief, you're starting to sound like my mother -ed.)

Arrr... 2006... t'was a good season... A very good season indeed ! We might not see the likes of her again... (stop gibbering, put your pants back on and get to bed you insensible old goat -ed.)

biting_midge_small.gif Midge Report: Bzzzt. Bzzt. What ? The Jollys played away again ! Bzzt. Given the last two home games were cancelled we're beginning to think they're getting scared of us. . Bzzt. Oh well guess we'll have to make do with the blood of some Hodgsons school kids until next season . Bzzt. Bzzzt.

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