It's late May and our season has started at last. The sun occasionally shone, it did not rain and we played a cricket match. All is well with the world. Probably. The captain was AWOL, administering to family, but the predicted-to-be-absent Gilberts were present, more than making up for the ringer we had lined up - who was tired.
Tom, the new captain, fresh from the delights of Newcasle-upon-Tyne, won the toss and opted to bat.
All did not start well. Booth sauntered out (he doesn't have a faster speed) and gave catching practice to point - challenge accepted, bye bye Dickie. Sam Gilbert ran out (oh the exuberence of youth) and gave catching practice to slip. Bye bye disgruntled Sam. This meant two Helliwells at the crease. Usually cause for fireworks and explosions. Very few happened. The pace was sedate. The bowling was slow or fastish but accurate. The fielders decided to try and knock J Helliwell out by throwing the ball at his head. No KO. It did not feel like time to take chances. However the score chugged along and all seemed set fair. Boothy was now out umpiring. He had forgotten most of the signals and how many balls make up an over but the signal for four was a splendid flourish. The Tom got bored and tried to hit a six - caught. Justin got bamboozled by the slow "spinner" - bowled. Blakes came and went but Grummitt the bowler (who has given up bowling) was now in situ and playing with steadiness and grace, partnering Hulme in a partnership of several runs (who needs a specific number?). Eventually Grummitt departed bowled by a good ball which moved in a variety of directions until it hit the stumps. Gilbert was not in a batting mood leaving Cruickshank the rock to accompany Hulme in the final 3 overs. The Rock was soon gone however - bowled, like Gibert D, by a member of the fairer sex (I'm probably not allowed to say that). This left Tedbury to block his way to zero while Hulme tried to score runs - sadly a misunderstanding with the scoreboard meant he was denied the chance to go for his 50 with a glorious six (well it would have been).
Tea was a splendid affair with tea and cakes baked by the fair hands of families Gilbert, Hulme and Blake. Thank you!
CAMRA came out to bat with some of the Durhams. Gilbert the younger and Blake the younger applied themselves to bowling with vim and vigour. The asking rate for CAMRA was not being achieved, injudiscious shots were played and catches taken. Cruikshank tried a flying diving seal attempt but did not succeed, Harris later caught by M Hulme. O Blake went unrewarded in the wickets column but made up for this with much splendid running in the field thus saving the legs of more senior players. The two employees of The Kings School then had a scholarly partnership of mean and miserly bowling. At one stage both were on a hat-trick. Neither achieved one and both were fined for hat-trick avoidance. Gilbert D would probably have bowled more overs but failed to hold on to a return catch, blasted at him by Bradbury (I think). Ordered off the pitch to apply cooling liquids he soon returned nursing a bruised 5th MTP. Captain Tom had kept himself for a burst at the end - what a splendid burst - the batmen made him so cross he had to bowl them - three of them - there may have been a few wides - the wicket keeper probably does have bruised hands . Towards the end Tedbury tried to mimic the miserliness of the opposition's Barrett. He did not succeed but was rewarded with a wicket largely thanks to J Helliwell's stumping of Geldhart. The final wicket was the third of Capt Tom's three and Baboons recorded a victory.
A successful day of cheerful Sunday cricket. May there be many more.