Captains Blog‎ > ‎

Wet, Wet, Wet!

posted 31 Jul 2016, 12:50 by Mike Madden

It rained one two then it rained three four.

It rained five six then it rained some more.

It seems to rain a lot these days, and Saturday was no exception. We had a poor side, but we had 11. The firsts had a very poor side, and only 10! I went up to the ground and it was a formality. New Horwich Lake could host a regatta, but certainly not a cricket match. I did the decent thing and rang around, then I did another even more decent thing, and volunteered to go with the firsts to Hawk Green. Pause here whilst you watch me advance into the moral high ground. Of course, I never expected the firsts to play, but at least they would be rained off with 11 men rather than 10. And anyway, Peter Slack and Andrew Bailey offered to make up the numbers for the seconds which turned out to be unnecessary.

So we got to Hawk Green and it was wet. Their groundsman said it wasn’t fit. Their second team said it wasn’t fit. Everyone said it wasn’t fit. Parts of the outfield were wetter than an otter’s pocket, and thoughts of roping it off would mean playing on a pitch about the size of Buxworth’s divided by 3. But they rolled and they squeegied, and they forked about for ages. They put in a huge amount of effort and it looked like we might play. ‘No chance,’ their groundsman reiterated, but still they mopped, still they sucked, still they teased the moisture until the surface resembled that of a bath that won’t quite drain away. Eddie, our stand in captain, said it wasn’t fit. Their captain was keen to play. Championship rivals Dinting had already been rained off so this was their big chance. The umpires said it might be fit, but we would have to have tea first. By 3.30 a decision had to be made. We would have to be bowling a ball or eating a butty by 3.35 or it was off. The cling film was removed, and at 3.34 and a half ham sandwiches were nibbled. Still the work went on. Eddie lost the toss. Disaster. We were to bat. With Neil, Dale, Lee and Tommo in the Lakes for a stag do, and Slacky at Buxton carnival, our resources were stretched. But Milky Morten made a return, and I donned first team whites for the first time in about 6 years.

So, we were batting. Peter didn’t last long, neither did Elliott. Both could do with a confidence boosting spell in the seconds! Luke also failed but Sam Slack and Harry Bold pulled it around, with Harry batting beautifully. Maybe this will be his breakthrough season. We slipped further into the mire as the middle order chipped in and chipped out. The tail wagged briefly, and we prevented Hawk Green from getting maximum bowling points, but 83-9 off 25 overs never looked likely to be enough.

Harry Bold took a good catch off Eddie, and Eddie took a good catch off George Holden to get us a bowling point, but the only other wicket to fall came as Luke took a stumping off Eddie who probably shouldn’t have been bowling at the time. I am not going to criticise Eddie’s captaincy too much – after all, he was at least there to do the job, but we need changes and they need to be from the top down. All those willing to get involved please take a step forward…

And here's an odd thing. Two days before the aforementioned game the Compstall Cup semi final between Hawk Green and Mottram was rained off, and yet we played at Whaley. Two days later Whaley is under water but Hawk Green is playable. Skullduggery? Probably not, but it makes you think. I know the game was called off quite early, and as this was the reserve date no one was quite sure what happened next. Well, the rulebook is quite clear. If no play is possible on the reserve date then it is decided by a bowl off or the toss of a coin. This has not happened as far as I can tell, which effectively means that both teams have failed to fulfil their obligations and have therefore forfeited.

So, my question is do we actually have to turn up at the final on 11th September, or will it be brought to New Horwich Park where our boys can receive it in front of their adoring fans? 

You think thats bad? You're obviously not a follower of @WoodleyCC on Twitter!