Today will live on in the annals of BOCC folk-lore - the day the last of the famous cricketing Hargreaves clan (predecessors include Mary, Pippa and Jack), George, turned out as a junior for Broad Oak CC.
Also, a certain Bradley Caufield
with similarly, a full career at the Oak behind him, pulled on his junior whites for the last time (no cricket dynasty behind him however - until the mighty Joel turns 7 or 8!)...
For both it started back in 2004 alongside the likes of Tom Haigh (Marsden), Tom Healey (Bridge), Tom Willans (Golcar), Will Smith (retired - not from films though!), Reece Beaumont (now a crown green bowler), Jacob Sykes (now fighting Van Damme in a new karate blockbuster), Mark Johhson (Marsden, Dom Taylor (retired), Shaggy
(back this year), Ryza Waddy (aged about 3 at the time) at U11 and finished on Wed at 8pm at Paddock (coach Caufs old "hunting" ground!)....
For Danny Hopkin
, 3 years of cricket at the Oak, having never played elsewhere - and for Danny Burrows
, a few years at Paddock but 3 good years at the Oak too.
Next to Ian Walker, inaugural season at the Oak but admirable captaincy and a thirst for victory at all times, never waning from picking his best bowlers and batters and a good learning curve in future captaincy. Not quite last jr game as representing the Joe Lumb side at the Oak on Sun.
Unfortunately Ben Smith
couldn't make it tonight as on hol with one of his 4 dads - but definitely not forgotten and a great 1st season with the boys. A good asset to the club and a lot of potential.
A last minute xfer back to Paddock due to family reasons meant Ovais couldn't play but again, a great season - and a sad loss to the club.
Finally for non-player Paul Hill
, a filler-inner this season but when he's played, given his all - a last season too....
Other lads have another couple of years in them - Ryan and John plus Shaggy
, Alex, Josh M, Jev, James Mills
- and hopefully someone at the club will do the same hard work I had to do to make it happen this year at U17 level....
Anyway, to the match: short but sweet!
Paddock opted to bat first and looked a fairly sorrowful outfit, nobody knocking up and sneaking out of their changing rooms about 1 min to 6 whilst the Oakers were knocking up, fielding practise and generally havin a laugh with food, sweets, chocs, drinks provided by yours truly.
Paddock's U17 mgr Dave "Legend in his own lifetime" Mellor arrived at a similarly late hour, citing an incident on Manny Rd - so it was 6.09 by the time we kicked off; everyone chomping at the bit to crack on with their last game.
A pretty uneventful 1st innings followed an Paddock struggled to 78 for 5 off 20 overs, a 20m downpour not dampening anyone's spirits - and credit to Dave Mellor, kept the game going with the remit that "until the field's f***ing f***ed, we're f***ing finishing"....... Good on him.
Paddock had mixed up their batting over and we responded by bowling TEN different bowlers with some surprise packages (Josh Tindall and Alex M) who should look to continue next season for sure. Meadows is class anyway so will continue - and hopefully @ the Oak!
Caufs 3 overs went for 2 (2 wides!), Walker got some tap in his 3rd (went for 14), Ryza not quite as economical as usual (o for 9 off 2), Josh T 0 for 13 off 2, Meadows 0 for 1 off 1, Keeling 0 for 8 off 2, Hopkin 0 for 5 off 1, Burrows 0 for 3 off 1 and Maywand 0 for 2 off 1. Pick of the bowlers undoubtedly Hargreaves, switching from stumper to bowler for a spell of 3 for 18 off 4. The boy was back with his useful dibbly dobblies at the home of Dibby!
A poor score for Paddock and a victory in sights...... top score was Abrar with 22, then T Sajid with 19 and M Rashid on 15.
In reply, the Oak moved ominously to 68 for 2 off 11, chasing a mere 11 more for victory - with John holing out on 24, Ryan cheaply for 9 and "switched order batsmen" J Tindall (Shaggy
) a big fat 1! Legend Hargreaves destroyed the bowling and ended up on 32 but then a minor hiccup saw a part time bowler (Ward) first go for the biggest no-ball I'd ever seen (3 metres over the batter) then a single then a dot - and then a bl**dy HAT-TRICK, dismissing Keeling (C&B), Hargreaves (Ct) and then Maywand (promoted in the last game) for a quacker.....
So a minor panic and Ian/Brad at the crease, needing 8....
Brad creamed a good two in the next over and the (what turned out to be) last over saw 2 wides and thus 3 for victory.... never one to do things by half, young Caufield (in the style of his father - Darth Caufield) whacked the next ball for a leg-side SIX, crashing into the fence - and sealing victory with that parting shot.....
So victory was ours in a game that definitely had a "friendly" feel about it - and in a swash-buckling 13.5 overs.
Congrats to all, I've enjoyed my time as manager of 1st the U15's then U17's then U17's again - and seen some good players come (and go!). With the "Magnificent 7" available every game this season, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind (or minds of other managers I have chatted to about this) that we could easily have been championship contenders... but it didn't happen and John came a little too late to make a difference to the final league standings. As well as this, we had key players out for big games (sometimes for revision, several times for New College cricket commitments and sometimes "unknown"!) and this cost us - as well as the two single run in last over defeats to Slawit and Golcar.
Never mind, we live and learn - and if any of you read this and take nothing else with you to adult cricket - just take this one thing (or is it two?!) - always believe in your own ability, always try your absolute hardest, never give up and never think a game's lost till the fat lady sings......
Good luck in your careers both in and out of cricket chaps... it's been emotional..... x