It's the middle of June and we managed our second game of cricket in what could only be described as dark and overcast conditions. A lottery bid has gone in for floodlights.
Batting first under league rules, Charlie Wand and Olly Stanley opened the batting and faced some very intimidating bowling, with the bowler’s obvious desire being not to hit the stumps or even provoke a catching opportunity, from the lines and lengths being bowled.
Charlie took a good one to the head and retired shaken from the game to check how many stumps there were actually allowed on a pitch at any one time.
Nothing wrong with that, the game was being played good and hard as cricket is and will be played as those participating move through the ranks.
James Pritchett replaced him and immediately set to against both bowlers from either end and pulled the opener for a lovely 2 runs (should have been 4 at this time of year) as well as dealing with everything that was being sent down.
Olly was quietly building an innings at the other end when the bowling was changed, with the opening bowler taking the gloves from the temporary Wollaton keeper at the end of the 3 over spells.
Wollaton brought on a slow bowler and having had a look at the first ball, JP attempted a hoike at the second to be cleaned bowled. Patience is a virtue.
There then followed a series of issues in play which do not belong on any cricket pitch, anywhere, and as a result it over shadowed the batting that followed in the game.
Having started the game hard and with proper passion, some members of the opposition began ‘the chat’ which some then took to a level I have never heard on a pitch before (maybe I should get out more but I doubt the wife will let me).
I love the craic on the cricket pitch both with your own players and, when properly directed both in tone and timing, at the opposition.
Some of the comments last night were, however unacceptable, both in their tone and in their timing.
I have taken great pleasure through the years I have been involved with these juniors to see them develop as cricketers but more importantly as true sportsmen and women to take forward the good name of Fiskerton and represent themselves, and the Club, in every part of their life.
Further I am delighted to have 3 members of my team who have or presently do represent women’s cricket at County level.
To hear of some of the comments that were being taken by one batsperson last night whilst attempting to play the game reminds me why football has ‘rules’ and cricket (and rugby) have ‘laws’, as this one difference to me defines the spirit in which those games with laws should be played and differentiates entirely the participants in other sports.
It reminds me why, when batsmen take to the centre, they request their guard with ‘please’ and ‘sir’.
Frankly it spoilt what had every chance of being a good and hard match deserving of the reputation of both clubs and their members.
When dealing with it in the dressing room, I asked the players to respond with the ball and that they did.
Some of Monday’s practice game good with better lines and lengths being bowled by Dan Jones and Harriet Ferguson to good effect.
In the end, the runs we posted were not quite enough and a good display of batting from Wollaton ran them home comfortable winners, in the score book, if not in the spirit of the game.
Honorary mentions include Olly Stanley who, later in his innings, remembered to move his feet as he can and usually does well and started to hit out at the slower bowling and Harry Napier taking a catch from DJ’s bowling which frankly Harry made look very easy but which was a very hard catch to both judge and take. Good lad.
Special mention must go to Ben Jackson – who takes Man of the Match - wearing the gloves for the first time for Fiskerton at the age of 11 ( I could get in trouble here as I have probably missed his birthday and he may be 12 – if I did where was the cake?!). He mopped up when the bowlers failed to find their line exceptionally well.
Thanks guys – it’s a pleasure to coach you and watch you play.