An Adventure with Biffo the Bear & The Grumpy Cowboy.
“Yippee!” cried Biffo as he lept from his bed, it was a sunny Sunday morning and that meant he was going to be meeting up with his chums to play cricket in the local park.
They always got together at the local pub, and Biffo loved to laugh and joke with his pals before the game, however, when he got to the pub there was a unfamiliar character brooding under a giant white 10 gallon hat.
Biffo cautiously sat down at the table taking nervous sips of his beer and stealing sideways glances at the stranger, finally plucking up the courage Biffo held out his hand “Hello my name’s Biffo, pleased to meet you.”
“C#@t chops!” growled the gloomy cow-poke.
A little taken aback Biffo turned back to his beer, “Chops?” he thought, “well they’re a tasty treat, he must be hungry and that must be why he’s moody!”, quick as a flash Biffo zipped off to the bar with his pocket money grasped firmly in his paw.
“Dry roasted nuts?” he offered the cowboy.
“You fucking what, are you coating me off, you mutha fucker, d’you fancy a clump? I’ll rip your pissing ears off and stuff ‘em up yer chuff, you c#@ting shitty bollocked twat!”
“Cheese & onion?”
Another Sunday, another scorchio day, bright blue sky, cracking flags, and pints of all that’s best about Lewes.
Destination Horsdean, opposition Brighton & Hove Crescent who always provide stern opposition, with a healthy mixture of old and young heads.
Toss lost, the Greys “slip, slap and slopped”, and then applied suncream, and put on hats and shirts (& trousers), and headed out to the field.
To open the bowling the familiar figures of the ‘Overlord’ and the ‘Under-secretary’, although the mighty Day didn’t look quite his normal irrepressible self, nothing to do with the ‘Warning-Lid’, which he bore as a badge of shame for not writing his match report for the Sidbury game, no this was a Dave Day without his bounce. (Ref. A.A. Milne “The House at Pooh Corner” story 7)
But bounce or no bounce Double Dee is still a handful, and despite going for very un-Dave like figures of 27 off 5 overs he still managed to produce a rip-snorter to remove Gatford the B&H #1, caught behind. Rob at the other end was more economical but failed to trouble the scorer finishing with figures of 9 overs, 0 for 29.
The other B&H opener was Michael Wood, a young man with extremely long levers (© Delbert Covill), and after a slowish start he looked keen to push on, in fact, both openers looked to plant the front foot and swing through the line, which had TMG’s opening bowlers been able to bowl a consistently good line & length should have been exploited.
Dave was replaced by E-O Sewell who put in a long shift of 10 overs going for roughly a run a ball but picking up a couple of wickets, one a sharp catch in the slips by Del. ‘Lanky’ Wood was still at the crease and starting to play increasingly expansively.
With the score at 113 for 3 ‘Rangy’ Wood was joined at the crease by his little brother Matty, who dispite his diminutive stature, and considerably shorter limbs, batted with great heart and took advantage of the Greys pulling in the field, steering the ball between fielders, and hitting ‘The Wall’ Gallagher (who had come on for Rob) back over his head for 4. Alan also bowled 10 overs going at a similar rate to Eo, but failing to pick up any scalps.
Ricky entered the fray late in the day and with Wood Snr already on a ton, and a decent partnership between the brothers amassing, his first 2 overs passed without much drama; punctuated by a couple of 4’s, a ma-hoo-sive 6 and a wide, but in his third the mercurial genius managed to bamboozle ‘Long Shanks’ into holing out to Rob on the long on boundary (for 123), a fairly regulation catch, but deemed worthy of PSM, by his esteemed team-mates. That was the 35th over and left the score at 199 for 4 the brothers Wood had put on 85 runs and excellent effort from a partnership whose combined age would still make them the younger than any of the Greysmen (with the possible exception of ‘Wall’-e).
This wicket, however, had a galvanising effect on Ricky whose next nine balls read, dot, dot, dot, wicket, dot, dot, wicket, dot, wicket. 4 for 24, thank you very much. The wickets included a spectacular diving slip catch from Dr Covill.
So the Greys faced a run chase of approximately 5 an over, and started well, profiting from a young sharpish bowler, Max Kidman, using his pace to run the ball through gully (what Jerry?) down to the third man boundary. However, once this hole was closed and Kidman tighten up his line the runs from this end started to dry up. At the other end older heads bowled slower but tight lines and after 10 over although TMG’s opening pair were still at the crease they had only scored 38 runs. Biff ‘n’ Jerry occupied the crease for a further 8 and a half over before Jezza fell with the score at 57. Biff was joined by everyone’s favourite Aussie, and Greys’ run machine Dr D, who very uncharacteristically failed to score from the first 12 balls faced, however, anyone who had witnessed his demolition of Luppitt, the previous week was not unduly worried.
Biff went in the first over after drinks, for a creditible 39, bringing Guy to the crease. Hmmm, Guy and Del together at the crease – fire-work time! But no, despite Guy hitting a lovely flat six and Del playing his trademark wagonwheel of top class scoring shots, The Greys resolutely refused to catch up with the required run rate.
Towards the end of this partnership centurian Wood came on to bowl and quickly continued to make an impact, removing first Guy, caught in his opening over, and then Del, stumped in the next. This left the game at a delicate point TMG’s 4 down requiring 64 to win off 9 overs.
6 Overs later TMG’s were 163 for 7 with, Terry, Alex, and, probably most crucially, Dave Day, back in the pavilion. Alex fell to Kidman (his former student) who had come back on, Tel & ‘Grumpy Bollox’ both went to Wood, finishing with figures of 4 for 12 off 6 overs, not a bad day’s cricket. The decision was taken to drop anchor and who better to have at the crease than ‘Thee Wall’, who together with Eo ‘Wide-bat’ Sewell steered the Greys’ ship home to a draw.
Now some mention should be made of the banter, particular high points were our fearless leader “offering out” the B&H keeper who chirped “Cheerio” when Skip was out. This, of course, could have been precipitated by Double D’s priceless comment to the same player, who after being brilliantly caught in the slips stood his ground looking unbelievingly in Del’s direction. The conversation went something like this…
DD – “He caught that!”
B&H WK – “Yes, I know.”
DD – “Then why the fuck are you still standing there?”