1. Cricket is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy (Stephen Fry)
2. FOOTBALL offers the world clichés; RUGBY produces facial deformity; HOCKEY provides an acceptable outlet for psychotic violence; CRICKET alone breeds myths... More quotes here.


Mum's the Word: Drovers CC 6 May 2007 (Season: 2007)
Report by: The Direktor, master of a long gone prose style

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Rog gets Wood as the Bison warms up
If pitches were people and could litigate then the Glaxo ground would have a perfect case if the mown strip of small hillocks on Hampstead Heath Extension were to style itself a "pitch". But useless metaphors aside, the day dawned sort of sunny-ish as the season kicked off versus a new opponents, the Drovers CC.

Or Captain had sent us an Email exhorting us to "do it for his mum" (I think that's what it said) because this was a genetic grudge match. Our crowd of three comprised the Matriarch of the Elvis clan and the Matriarch of the Drovers Captain: neighbours since the opposing Captains were small (hard to believe these chaps were ever small of course).

And so, into bat. Not so much a game of cricket as a lottery as balls shot way over the batsmen's head, hit the deck and rolled along, or moved several feet sideways off a length. After clarifying the no ball rule and calling for helmets a slowish but steady accumulation by the Salix openers started, greatly aided by getting nearly a third of our runs in extras. New Player Pop survived a trouser elastic disaster to get a nifty 25 and generally our boys all got a few. Except Chopper of course. A particular high spot was Puff hitting the last three balls for three 4s. Herschelle Gibbs, no: mighty whacking yes. A crucial thumping that was to prove, well crucial.

And so to tea, and out with our bowling attack. Considering we were missing Ginger, Padders, Steve-O and CK1 the boys (except me) made a good fist of it. In particular, Rog toned it down a fraction and offered just the right mix of chin music and Yorkers and was not helped by the new “Heroin Chic” figure of Bison dropping a tricky one at silly mid off (I was unsighted he cried as the helmet slipped over his eyes.) However next over Flossie took what an only be described as one of the greatest catches seen in a long time as their opener drove a certain four about 2 foot off the ground to mid off and Flossie took it with diving aplomb. We had to prize the ball from his stiff fingers.

However, things started to slip away a little as the Drovers opener started to accumulate. Not helped by his colleagues who paraded a series of ducks it did however look like he would do it in on his own and with 6 wickets left the Drovers needed only 25. However, cometh the hour, cometh the man, and Puff stepped up the bowling crease as 6th choice bowler. His very first ball, a rank long hop on any pitch but this, hit the deck and stayed there. Clean bowled. And suitably emboldened he found his line and then bowled the middle and tail as smoothly as a 35 minute Grateful Dead guitar solo for a deserved fifer . As Captain Elvis had their last man caught by Flossie with 5 runs left to spare those of us with feelings had to spare a thought the Drovers opener who carried his bat for 79 not out, with only 2 colleagues managing double figures and a fistful of ducks in support.

Well, a game played in the proper spirit of cricket and a great new opponent, our new Captains tactical acumen pulling off the big one and bragging rights for the season granted to his mum. Roll on 2008 and a pitch that’s perhaps slightly less rutted than the Himalayan foothills.

Salix CC versus Drovers CC at Hampstead Heath Ext on 06-05-2007(35 Over Game)
Salix CC (batting second)151for 8off35overs Match Won
Drovers CC145all outoff30.2overs
NoPlayerScoreHow Out
1.Dominic Spillane7Caught
2.Arthur Haynes25LBW
3.Mark Dyson12Bowled
4.Andy Rayner27Caught
5.Ben Shaw7Bowled
6.Richard Kluth10Run Out
7.Mark Rickman0LBW
8.Andrew Harvey14Not Out
9.Mike Ellis2Caught
10.Tony Fletcher0Not Out
11.Roger Heaton0Did Not Bat
1.Roger Heaton7117117.0042.002.43
2.Mike Ellis5.2032310.6710.676.00
3.Andy Rayner7130130.0042.004.29
4.Tony Fletcher20270--13.50
5.Mark Rickman40270--6.75
6.Andrew Harvey521252.406.002.40
Richard Kluth2catches
Ben Shaw1catch
Mark Dyson1drop

All smiles

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Capn Elvis left the following remarks on 7th May 2007

Good report Tony and well done chaps for an excellent victory, although I suspect the overall winner was the pitch. MotM definitely Puff for an inspired all round performance - his excellent contribution in the field wasn't mentioned in the report and should be highlighted. Aside from that, I think as captain it's time to implement a fines system and use this forum to distribute them. Fines will be tallied at the end of the season and used for a big pish up somewhere. Based on yesterday's performance: - Me: £1 for dodgy fielding, doubled for being captain - £2 - Bison: £5 for turning up pished to the game. - Pop: £1 anonymity in the outfield - Chopper: £1 for a duck - Direckor: £1 for 27 off two overs I think that's about it. Any others? Any chance of anyone actually paying up?