2002 Tour to France
Tour Game #1 – Damazan
- Salix – 156 all out (Rogers 69)
- Damazan – 86 all out (Bush 7-4-13-3)
Tour Game #2 – Eymet
- Salix – 126 all out (Nannery 25)
- Eymet – 215 for 5 (Clark 7-0-45-3)
Tour Report by Dave Henig
Cricket: all on synthetic wickets:
We played Fri 10 May Damazan (moved to 11th because of bad weather) and Sunday 12 May Eymet. Damazan is about 90 km south of Begerac, Eymet about 30km south of Begerac. It was the tour of three thirds, those being waiting for cricket, playing some, and then the hangover. Or perhaps, rain, British weather, and then bleeding hot. Maybe even postponed, won, and lost would some it up as well. It was raining as the party gathered in Bergerac on Thursday evening, and still raining as we attempted to find a bar in quiet, ending up with ‘Le Mouss’ gay bar / club. At least it was open till three each night, as some team members (class 4c) appreciated. Later on, a pizza, and back to the club. Some were waiting to focus on the cricket the following day, but as it turned out Friday dawned with nothing but rain in the sky, and the call came in at 9.15 – postponed till the following day.
Bergerac not being the most exciting place in the world (though perfectly pleasant) some of the party chose to sleep, others to see a nearby mediaeval town, though given it continued to rain, perhaps the sleepers had it. And in the evening, we reconvened at the poshest restaurant in town, followed by drinks at an alternative venue ‘La Poissonerie’ (the fish shop) where an all too average blues duo excited the locals.
The waiting over, the following day saw a 90 minute drive to Damazan for the first game of the tour. The pitch was in a campsite overlooking a lake, but was in good nick, as befitted the captain, a former groundsman at Chelsea FC and St Benedicts school, where we play the Phene. Who, indeed, once turned us down for a pitch and sent us to play at Glaxo instead.
Captain Ben lost the toss and we were in to bat, more particularly Andy Shilling, having flown in that morning, opened with the Clarkster. Unfortunately, they were facing a rather good opening bowler, who played at some level with a minor county, and we were quickly reduced to being three wickets down. Enter Paul Rogers and Andy Bush, exit the decent bowler, and a good stand ensued, with Paul knocking up a half century and Andy supporting excellently. The highlight was when the decent bowler returned, and Andy sent his first ball over the boundary, provoking an angry reaction. It couldn’t last, but only a comedy run-out could split the pair. Good middle order support followed, particularly a lively knock from Tinker, and at tea we had a good looking score to defend.
Andy Bush was soon at work on the home sides early batsmen, but there was a wobble as the good bowler became the good batsmen. However, Steve finally got him to tickle one to Ben, to more anger from the batsmen, and from then on we took wickets at a reasonable pace, Chris got a couple, and the tail was wrapped up by Fletch and Clarkster. Indeed, but for a number of dropped catches, the game could have been wrapped up earlier.
A fine evening meal of duck and red wine with the home side was followed by the presentation of awards, Paul Rogers as Man of the Match, and our ‘winner’ awards to Chris, Paul, and Andy.
Sunday morning dawned sunny and warm as those of the team who could get out of bed strolled around the historic centre of Bergerac in the sun, and spirits were raised on arrival at Eymet, surely the first ground we’ve played on with a stand (it was formerly a rugby pitch). Ben won the toss this time and elected to bowl, with early success with three quick wickets. However, a century stand then ensued, not ended by a succession (7!) of dropped catches, as the home side built up what looked a formidable score. With a slow outfield, our lack of slow bowlers looked to be costing us, and though there were late wickets, there was also a last over in which the home side’s centurion batsman hit Steve for 26.
In the second over, one opener was dropped and the other bowled, and things never really improved. Paul’s dad made a good innings, but others couldn’t get going against generally slow, accurate bowling, Paul not being helped by a knee injury. Two events summed up the day, first Ollie, fielding for them, taking a brilliant deep catch to get Andy out, having dropped three (admittedly two very hard) fielding for us, then our last wicket fell when Steve, sensing a rare run, found himself in the same crease as Tony, who hadn’t run.
The meal afterwards was naturally superb, but it was a more muted team that arrived back in Bergerac that evening. A few braved the bars, and the following morning the party went their separate ways.
Editors Summary: fabulous grounds, fabulous hosts, not quite so fabulous Salix