25th August 2008 Finals Day

Following a week of damp weather the actually started not to badly with the sky looking moderately bright and cheerful (well for August anyway). There was a good turn out too with lots of people arriving early to watch the first semi final which saw Wyre pitted against table toppers Rushale.

And what a cracker it was too ! Rushale batted first and put up a reasonable total of 108 for 8. But despite losing wickets at a steady pace Wyre pulled out all the stops and it ended up a real cliffhanger. With only the last ball of the game remaining Wyre needed one to win and Rushale needed either a wicket or a dot ball to win.

Tension however was even worse than it should have been as at this point the scoreboard indicated Wyre needed 4 to win. It was a hushed crowd who watched the last ball swing in... only to be hit towards the boundary by the newly returned Wyre batsman. Wyre duly ran a single before being engulfed by a sea of jubilant team mates who had rushed on the pitch and dragged their batsmen to the ground.

Meanwhile Rushale had noticed that the ball hadn't gone and had in fact stopped inches short of the boundary. A watchful fielder therefore gathered it in and had run in to break the wickets. At this point there was consternation in the crowd as we thought we'd seen Rushale snatch it with a most dramatic run out but it wasn't to be. The scoreboard had been wrong and the one run had in fact been sufficient ! Phewee, how will we follow that ?

It all started well for the Jollys as having won the toss we naturally decided to bat. And bat we did ! Probably our seasons best batting performance saw us piling on the runs. But disaster was just around the corner. As our innings unfolded a slight summer drizzle started which simply got worse and worse as the innings progressed.

In fact it got so bad that just as we'd finished our overs the heavens really opened and there was no choice but to put the covers on and abandond the game. And after we'd scored 150 to boot. Oh well another day, another diasaster. All that effort counts for nothing as we'll have to replay our semi at a later date.

So we finished the day taking solace in the only way we know how... by visiting the pub !


The day starts with a good turn out who've come to see Rushale take on Wyre in the first semi-final.


By half way through Rushales innings there's even a full complement of Jollys available (which is something of a relief as we were expecting them to go to the pub first - ed.)


The last ball of the innings has been stroked towards the boundary, a single has been taken and the pitch invasion has begun...


And whilst the Wyre lads enjoy a good scrum (haven't they got the wrong game ? -ed.) Rushale have just raced in with the ball and broken the wickets. Oh it was chaos I tell you, chaos !


But Wyre had indeed won which means it's our turn to get padded up. Ogs sets the tone for the day with his "recovered" beach hat that he found whilst "out training" last night.


And the fans start to arrive with Ricky Bailey and younglings making an appearance !


Closely followd by Ezmundo...


And Julia, and Carmen, and Sarah and Chewey... (note how everyone has at least one beer - ed.)


To join the squad who are now milling round the dressing rooms getting prepared (i.e. also drinking beer. -ed.).


But a short while later and we're off. Tom and Ian open and they're not hanging about with Tom here driving off a lovely 4.


The pavillion is positively packed with spectators. Possibly something to do with Ian who not only brought a box of beer to the game but rashly announced it withn earshot of the spectators. Oh well makes it all the more cosy.


And here comes Tom returning back after making his 25. At this point I must also point out that Ian had already made his 25 and come in but the only picture was so out of focus I couldn't use it ! (i.e. the usual poor workmanship -ed.)


Not too long after this here comes Jol, after becoming the third member of the "25 and back to the pavillion" club.


Shortly thereafter to be joined by Stuey who sadly didn't "join the club" and didn't look best pleased at not joining in the run feast..


Which leaves Ogs (now sans hat) to keep the runs piling up.


And look at that, 120 for 3 off 16 overs ! That's some going (especially for the Jollys -ed.) That looks more like our usual seasons total which is something like 120 wickets down for 3 runs in 16 games.

Unfortunately though a slight drizzle has now started and our hair is getting ruined, simply ruined !


Not long after Dave and Will wrap up the innings just as it begins to rain in earnest (what did poor old Ernest do to deserve this ? - ed.)


Even worse it's not looking like it's going to stop for a while so there's no choice but to put the covers on.


Patience is a virtue they say and we did wait a good half hour before it was obvious the rain was in for the day. So there was nothing for it but to retire to the clubhuse for some excellent cheap Warsteiner and sandwiches courtesy of our hosts at Great Eccleston cricket club.


After which there was nothing for it but to retire back to Poulton so we could take up residence in the Old Town Hall.


Where we have a couple more beers and Tom takes his turn with the hat...


Followed by a few more beers... Will is now acting as host for the magic drinking hat whilst Dave Walker follows his excellent earlier Great Ecclestone barkeeping duties by joining us in our celebrations/commiserations.


Well we might as well just have another couple of beers. Sadly though Ogs has just had the magic hat nicked from his head (probably that Golden Eagle again -ed.) and vainly searches for it on the floor.


Oh well it's getting late, we've had too much to drink, our excellent score has counted for nothing so there's nothing for it. Let's finish with a couple more beers.

At this rate we'll not be sober for the rearranged finals day !

biting_midge_small.gif Midge Report: Bzzzt. bah I think we've seen the last of the Jollys for this season. Bzzzt. We're not travelling to Great Eccy in this rain I'll tell you that for nowt. Bzzzt. Bzzzt.

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