30th June 2009 Away To Environmental Health

Well rain was forecast, the clouds were forming but it had been stiflingly hot all day so a truly muggy evening saw us take to the delights of Blackpool Stanley park to face Enviromental Health. Once again we lose the toss so Environmental Health naturally decided to bat. But thanks to some good bowling, and a somewhat random bounce on the wicket, we managed to restrict them to 81 for 9 off their twenty overs. But they didn't seem fazed by what looked like a low total.

However we were quietly confident that we could beat their total but there were a few suprises in store. Firstly Dave had had a bright idea... Rather than send out our usual line we were going to draw cards for our places in the batting line up. Which produced some suprises ! Following this we also discovered why Environmental Health were quietly confident in their total. The wicket made getting runs hard work indeed.

So after a very slow start it looked like 81 was going to be enough to capture victory. But the Jollys don't give up easily and, after a slow start, we eventually managed to pick up the pace. But following some good cricket from both teams it still went down to the very last over with "Cockney" Stu managing to hit two magnificent fours to scrape us home !


Well the team assemble as do the clouds. Luckily they don't seem too swelled with rain at the moment though (the clouds that is, the team are still swelled with lager from last weeks game - ed.).


And here's something you don't see very often. Due to Dave's new "draw a card to see where you're batting" strategy today's unlucky openers are Messrs Ramjet & Duncan.


Keen to get in on the action young Shannon gets kitted up.


A gleeful "Cockney" Stu and Dave are making a wager as to how many balls our intrepid openers will last. Clearly they have no confidence in us (not really suprising - ed.)


And they were right - well about your intrepid reporter at least as it's about four overs later and Si is still at the wicket whilst I've resumed duties taking random pictiures. But at least this week it's some nice new tress which have been planted in the park.


Well another over or so later and now Si's out for 5 leaving messrs Newman and Ogden at the crease trying to up the pace a bit.


Runs however are proving hard to come by as the combination of attacking spin and a very variable wicket mean it's a tough job to get going. Environmental Healths total is starting to look better by the minute.


Thankfully though Ogs has managed to play his part and several overs later he's retiring having scored 25. So well done Ogs. The only bad part of his innings was that when he walked in with raised bat it took him a while to realise I was actually shouting him from the other side of the pitch !


So up to the wicket steps Tom who is so keen to get going that he's leaping into the air after the ball. But there was no carrying his bat this week as we needed runs quickly so a quick 13 later and it's time for Dave Stoddard to take over.


Unfortunately though Dave managed only a single (just like your humble scribe - ed.) so now it's Ez and "Cockney" Stu batting with 3 overs to go and needing 13 runs to win. Tension is mounting.


And just when it looked like Environmental Health would defend their total Stu pulled out all the stops to hit two mighty fours - the last of which snatched victory for the Jollys.


Leaving only the teams to congratulate each other on a well contested, closely fought game.


So we leave the park with another shot of the recent improvments as we pass a lovely flower bed. It's about time a bit of effort was put into beautifying poor old Blackpool so well done to the parks department for getting off their backsides !


Ah the highlight of the after match drink. Simon once again does us proud with another magnificent tray of assorted sandwiches !


30 seconds later and the ravenous Jollys have reduced the two trays to a small pile of lettuce leaves...


... which gives Ogs the bright idea of leaving a trail across the room in the vain hope of enticing some females to come and join our company (well they're always slimming so how could they resist a trail of lettuce ? reasons the befuddled Jollys).

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