Glorious sunshine, loads of players to choose from and top junior performances…
July got off to a less that promising start when Malmesbury were unable to field a side and withdrew from our fixture.
An all too common problem for village sides, but when it starts to affect larger clubs like Malmesbury it’s a telling reminder of the state of the game at grass roots level.
Our one road trip took us to Seagry, which is a beautiful place to play cricket. It’s not Pinkney Park obviously, but is as picturesque a place to chase a ball around a field as one could wish for. It was a gloriously sunny day and destined to be a long hot afternoon for whoever lost the toss. Unsurprisingly that was me. It mattered not. A fine performance with the new ball from Yannick Purser and Milo Morgan, and then two generations of Sutcliffe combining to remove the dangerous (ringer) No. 3 bat, meant we chased a very ‘gettable’ 165. Chased successfully too, guided home supremely by Ben Dickenson and Glen Scott who hit the winning runs in a graceful 19 n.o. Glen’s bat is called Brian by the way and he surely must be the only bat in any form of the game with his own Twitter account! We followed our win at Seagry with back to back wins against two nomadic Bristol sides Travellers CC and Venturers CC. Both teams say that the visit to Sherston is easily their favourite fixture of the year, which,when they’ve taken a sound beating at the hands of Kenny and Co. is fine praise indeed. Now, as the skipper of a Sunday XI in a small village, selection issues are not unusual. Frantic phone calls on Saturday evening and even Sunday mornings are, unfortunately, not that rare. But, to be faced with the prospect of dropping people from those available to play?Well it’s a new one on me. While the sun shines and the team is winning, everyone wants to play it seems. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but it just serves to illustrate that we appear to be bucking the trend in Sunday cricket at the moment. Long may it continue! What pleases me most about our current good form is the contribution of all the youngsters in the side. The boys aren’t just making up the numbers; they are all putting in match winning performances and playing with a maturity and team spirit which belies their tender years. Neil Forster, you have my sincere thanks! To end on a personal note, I’d like to give massive thanks to Howler for taking care of business while I spent Sundays in May and June training for my Bordeaux cycle ride. Cheers Buddy.