With renewed enthusiasm for writing match reports after attending journalism school in Greece paired with seeing captain Wilkinson’s effort, Lockwood looked to collect as much information in his iPhone as possible to ensure that an accurate account of the day was formed.
Upon arrival to the ground Lockwood and match report novice Wilkinson were greeted by the eighth wonder of the world! Something as rare as a four leaf clover or a 100 partnership at the top of the batting. Both Andrew "the hulk" Shore and Chris "come back from the edge" Bond had massive smiles on their faces! However, it was noted that Bond shall we say looked worse for wear! What happened the night before? This would be found out later! Next to arrive at the ground was the NHS employee of the year Ben Dalton. Ben arrived in trousers that are standard issue for porters and morgue employees. This was followed by him removing the entire stock of Top Man from his car for his special night out with the Bradfield boys after the game! The final person to arrive was Kev Linney who after being infamously axed made his triumphant return to the first eleven!
So as we made our way to the most important game of the year it was a distinct possibility that we wouldn't make it there. Baker transported in his bus, Wilkinson, Shore and Lockwood. However, Baker it seems only goes anywhere via Thorpe Hesley! The leg side hitter want to join the M1 to drive to Thorpe to then go to Bradfield! Idiot!
We arrived at the ground to be greeted by the biggest changing room of the season and a discussion around how we would get on. However, it can be said that we are not the friendliest lot when it comes to discussing our individual performances! Baker launched a stunning attacked against Shore and his now famous dismissals padding up! As I am sure you can imagine that didn't go down too well with the hulk! Next to arrive was Axe Avoider Linney, Mr NHS and Dole Boy Bond. They also had an interesting trip to the phone void that is Bradfield. Mr NHS took charge of Kev's catch blocking van for the drive. Ben's love of fine looking women is well noted. However, personally when in a car with him driving I would prefer him to concentrate on just that.....Driving. On the way over through the notoriously winding roads to Bradfield, Ben decided to drive using his knees whilst drinking a can of Red Bull and showing Kev and Bondy a picture of a nice lady on facebook!
The list of prematch stories continues! With the season nearing an end a delicate matter needed to be addressed. Who is going to rob all of Lucky's gear? A few early contenders through their hat into the ring! Shoz, in typical Shoz style layed claim to the pads by saying. "You lot can **** off these ******** are mine! I took him to the Zoo the other day!" To be fair he will need some come the end of the season! Baker was eying up a bat and Buzz liked the look of the gloves! Poor lad hasn't even left the country yet. Anyway, did we hear the right? Shoz took lucky to the zoo? I decided to investigate a little further.
Lockwood "You took Lucky to the zoo?"
Shoz "Yeah, with the rest of the family"
Lockwood "How did he get on?"
Shoz "All he wanted to see was the snakes! As soon as he saw them he wanted to go home!"
Lockwood "Ha! What did you say?"
Shoz "Told him he could **** off if he thinks I am driving to Chester, paying him in just to look at the snakes!"
Nice and calm as always Mr Shore!
The warm up was possibly the best of the year, intense and of high quality! Quality banter as well as we discussed the various exploits of Mr NHS. Wilkinson lost the toss and we were invited to bat by Bradfield. The team talk consisted of people taking confidence from last weeks win and saying that if we win today it is all in our hands!
So with that Baker and Kesh went out to bat! The team followed to watch the game develop. However, it wasnt long before one of the opening pair returned to the shed. Baker (0) obviously keen to continue the slip catching from the warm up tamely offered up a catch to Bocking from the bowling of McGillvray.
With previous knowledge of how a Rockingham innings can develop a number of players decided to get up and go for a quick stroll. Unlike other grounds in the league there are a number of different things to see and do at Bradfield. Eating is one that springs to mind with the ice cream van and the opportunity to buy a burger from the farmers market.
While some fat people sloped off for an ice cream, the next wicket went down. Kesh (5) was caught by Hockenhull from the bowling of McGillvray to leave the score at 18-2. Whilst continuing our wander around the ground a number of observations were made.
First up, when asked by a local supporter where we were from, Mr Axe took the question too literally when he replied "from Wombwell love" when mocked he changed his answer to err Rockingham. Wombwell mafia flexing its muscles!
Back to the cricket, next to fall was Brown (2) who fell to a ball the popped from Coulson. Michael later compared young Coulson to a seam bowling thoroughbred Glenn McGrath! Another idiotic statement from the Ginger Charted Surveyor! When Dalton (29) went to another ball that popped Rockingham looked in a poor position at 43-4. It was left to Bond and Wilkinson to rebuild and that they did.
Whilst this was happening another stroll commenced. Dalts can pick a lady out of a crowd from anywhere and this he did again. However, what he didn't count on was the lady being in a vice like grip from Trevor from Eastenders whenever we got close! Dalts was definitely after releasing Little Mo from the grasp of Trevor. Maybe a trip to Argos to pick up an iron Dalts? EDIT (Told that this was Bondy) As we made a full trip around the ground without a wicket falling spirits were high! Shoz commented on Gordon's eye lasering treatment comparing his new look to a baby seal! This was then topped by Malc coming across for a discussion around cough cough some of the business deals that he has done around the Bradfield area. "Bet yer dint think i would be like that love did yer!" errrm no!
However, the good mood didn't last as wickets started to tumble! Bond (20) who was looking good went for a wide one; Wilkinson (16) was bowled to leave Rockingham at 84-6. This brought Skip to the crease fresh back from a relaxing day away at the Scarborough cricket festival. Skip took his son Callum to meet to with a cricket friend Mr Beast! Hope you gave him the 7 finger salute! Shore (5) was next to go, now let's have a guess how he was out... Bowled? Caught? Run Out? Timed Out? Errm no! Unfortunately for our angry friend he was out once again padding up to a straight one. Whoops!
Skip (11) was next to go, followed by Doran (20) and then finally Lockwood who went for you guessed a DUCK. This left Mr Axe with a red inca 11 no and Rockingham 130 all out! Lockwood visibly devastated by another poor performance with the bat was made to feel better by young Owen Wilkinson's reminder that he has now racked up 8 ducks this year. Cheers young un!
After a cracking tea, a short team talk took place basically saying it is now or never!
Bradfield got off to a fast start but were pegged back early on through Kesh removing Barker (4) to a smart catch from Shore. Lockwood was removed early on for the darts of Wilkinson. Kesh continued to bowl good lines and was rewarded with the wicket of the thoroughbred Coulson (2) clean bowled. Wilkinson then got in on the act trapping McGillvray (1) in front doing a Shore! Wilkinson followed this up quickly with the wicket of the skipper Swart (0) clean bowled. This left Bradfield placed at 37-4 and the game in the balance. Wragg (28) was finally dismissed by Kesh LBW with the score at 61-5.
One partnership was going to enough to take the game away from the away team and Bradfield got just that. Thompson and Gray hung around stubbornly to frustrate the Rock; they accumulated runs at a slow but productive pace. When the wall that was Gray (15) fell to Kesh the score was at 95-6 and the game was slipping away. However, the removal of Thompson (33) the next over gave Rockingham hope. This was quickly dismissed by a hit out partnership of 36 between Bocking and Shepherd got Bradfield over the line with 10 overs to spare and in the process taking all 7 points to lift them above Rockingham. Visibly disappointed Rockingham will have to pick themselves to for the arrival of local rivals Elsecar next week at the Orchid Arena.
Until next time up the rock....
Pink jacket history was made on Saturday for two reasons. One being the new holder and secondly the eligible voters were increased from 11 to 13. With current holder Matthews in the second team the floor was open for nominations.
First to be nominated was Baker for the slip catching practice he used to gift his wicket away. That was seconded immediately by Mr Axe. Baker took his chance to nominate Andy Shore for his 10th LBW leaving the ball. Bondy who also likes to see a vote seconded that nomination leaving it at two nominees. The votes were tallied and Baker had it sawn up 6-5. However, the vote took a sensational turn! Our esteemed chairman was then asked to vote and did so by knifing his son by voting for him! So at 6-6 we were looking at a re-vote! Sensationally this was not required; the opposition skipper then came into our dressing room. He was then invited to the vote and in the third turnaround of the season he plumed for Shore to leave the vote 7-6! Shore with the jacket for the first time this season leaving only one man jacket less this season.......... Mr Skipworth!
Bitter at the turnaround and the way the vote developed Shore was looking for people to blame and that fell to Bond and Lockwood! The power of 2 is back according to Shore! I know where my money is going for a nomination next week!
Special Nights Out
As mentioned earlier Bond looked worse for wear! It turns out he went on a small night out with Lockwood in Monk Bretton. This upset a number of people including the skipper who lives only 5 minutes down the road! Poor from Lockwood and Bond! Also, drinking with Lockwood is always a bad idea, only one winner there lad!
Up the rock!