17th June 2010 Home To Baines

Well the evening started off in splendid fashion as Tony is not only now home from hospital but, as he's able to walk, he's volunteered to score for us. Once again though we're a few players down from full strength as Ian is away and Will's dislocated shoulder will keep him out for a few weeks. however Jol has done his best cricket agent impersonation and has managed to draft in a suprise player as cover so there will be no excuses about missing players this week.

Tonight opposition, the young Baines team, are keen as mustard and we arrive at "fortress" Hodgson to find them not only all present and correct but in "our usual spot" ! Being gentlemen they happily moved along slightl;y and let us fussy oldcodgers it in our usual places ("we've been sitting in the same spot for twelve centuries now" - ed.)

The game starts well for us as Dave wins the toss and naturally elects to bat. And bat we do ! After the disastrous last few weeks we finally get our batting together and manage a terrific total of 180. The young Baines team will have to have something special to beat that.

So despite an excellent effort from Baines, who manage 134, we emerge victorious from this weeks contest. Highlight of our bowling being Jol who, ably supported by Dave's keen stumping, manages to get a hat trick ! Hip, hip hooray for the Jolly, Jolly "J" !


Not only is Tony back home but he can now walk (albeit with the aid of a crutch -ed.) Sadly poor old Will is feeling the strain of his dislocated shoulder and has borrowed Tonys chair for a rest.


Good grief, is nowhere safe from the sound of bees. Dave gets busy giving the game a world cup feel by sounding the charge on the team vuvuzela.


having won the toss we naturally decide to bat and Tom soons puts last weeks disaster out of his mind as he bats his way to retirement on 26.


Ogs too has recovered from last weeks efforts and joins in a nice partnership with Tom. What a change from last week !


Meanwhile back at base camp Tony has succumbed to the lure of the Jolly atmosphere and is now drinking Becks through the team vuvuzela (should this be known as a "yard of bees" ? -ed.).

One thing's for sure, if Laura sees this she'll kill us !


As if the batting wsn't going well enough already we unveil tonights secret weapon. Lee "Soulman" Yoemans who's standing in for our entire injured/missing top end ! (another excellent bit of agent work from Jol - ed.)


Speaking of which there is Jol out in the middle. Tom has retired on 26 so Jol keeps the innings going with some fine strokes.


But if we're talking classy cricket strokes then here is tonights master class as Lee "rocks the baby" all over the wicket as he works his way to to retire on 29.


And this is a fine display being put on for the spectators - even though they've mainly come to see young Joe Powell in action !


Off comes Jol who retires having scored his 25. But that wasn't the end of Jols innings as he being first back to base camp he returned at the end of the innings and eventually ended on 36 not out !


So in comes Stu Holloway. Unfortunately though this wasn't to be amongst his better weeks and he's caught behind for a dreaded duck.


But that means it's Powelly time and he wastes no time in getting off the mark. And a short while later and becomes the fourth Jolly to retire on 25. Good knock sir !


All this vuvuzela noise has got the local bumble bee population all excited as they turn up expecting to find bumper crops of pollen. But whilst there might not be any fancy flowers to be inspected there's still plenty of nectar available for a tireless worker.


Out in the middle Dave has taken over where Powelly left off and he keeps the score piling up with a solid 20. By this point our total is becoming unreasonably large !


In comes Dave who, despite having a cracked cheekbone, doesn't fancy a helmet and manages to add a creditable 5 to the total.


Well this is a rarity. Not only is there an action shot of your humble scribe but I actually manage to get bat to ball without hitting it straight to a fielder. Even more exciting I manage to get a personal best 9 runs (not out at that - ed.)

This is a definite omen that tonight could be our night.


At the other end young Joe Powell is facing and he manages to add a single before being well bowled. Luckily though we've got retired men to spare so this means Jol can rejoin the fray.


Speaking of which let us jump all the way to the end of the Baines innings (as usual there are no pictures of us in the field - ed.) Faced with beating a massive total of 180 Baines did put up a very creditable fight but were only able to get to 134.

Suprise highlight of our bowling was Jol, supported by some excellent stumping action fro m Dave, taking a magnificent hat trick !


After such a good performance we even managed to organise a team photograph !


Which means it must be time to retire to the Old Town Hall for another tray of Des & Lindas excellent sandwiches.


But wait... the Gods have truly smiled on us tonight as Des has pulled out the stops to suprise us with a supplemental tray of Bajis and spring rolls.


Which positively delight Ogs and Jol as it's their favourite supper !

A supper-tastic ending to a batting-tastic, hat-trick-tastic evening of cricket-tastic entertainment indeed !

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