“Don’t get on the mothership” shouts Alex, “DO NOT GET ON THE MOTHERSHIP!”
“Ok mate”, says Biff, ducking just in time as a flock of Pine Martens swoops across the dance floor.
“YeeeeeHaaaaaaaaaww!” screams Jerry, who’s just got back from Texas.
The old geezer in the Hawaiian shirt
It was a hot and muggy day in West Sussex, therefore it was a hot and muggy day in East Sussex as well – with perhaps some minor regional variations depending on the topology of the landscape, sea currents, wind patterns off the coast and whatnot.
On the way from Bognor, I picked up one of Terry’s mates, an old Greysman who needed a lift to the game. Mysterious.
Apparently, allegedly, he went to school with Terry; in Worthing. It was like meeting one of those blokes out of the Bible.
Somewhere back in the mists of time, probably the late eighties, he got Terry his first game with the Greys.
I met him on a roundabout outside Waitrose; the old geezer in the Hawaiian shirt.
His name was Trevor.
Game face on
Having established which way the earth rotates around the sun, and more importantly which road to take, we trundled northwards and collected Zonko at Horsham station.
He’d been up London at an all night stag night rave up, but like a true Grey’s professional had braved the big hangover, no sleeps, TFL and SouthernRail; he was feeling queazy, but he had his game face on.
Zonko says “Just need some good old fashioned rehydration salts, and maybe a cup of tea later before you play. Init.”
Southwater: In the field.
We turned up 5 minutes before game was even due too start.
Having lost the toss again, TMGs took to the field like a gaggle of ungainly wildebeest surging across the parched Southwater grasslands.
James Ward, Rich Kendal, and Trevor Holden joining us this week to swell the herd.
The ground is set diagonally across a steeply sloping hillside. Big slope. Serious.
From the Pavilion end at the top, to the “hedge end” at the bottom (tall hedgerow, some big trees), it must be at least 2 contour lines on the map, and whatnot.
To the left, just more fields, to the right, a primary school with metal gratings over the windows to protect against wayward cricket balls; allotment gardens further down the slope hemmed in by a handful of good quality 1950’s semi-detached council houses.
Bite me, and do I not bleed?
They never even knew what hit them.
First up, some sharp, accurate bowling from James took wickets early on and generated a flurry of dropped catches.
A zippy spell from the pace man, 8 overs, 2 for 25. Could have had 5 wickets if those catches had stuck.
At the other end QB pummelled the batsman with his signature maelstrom of swing and yorkers. Suppressing the run rate; out-swinger, in-swinger, then the breakthrough: taking their no. 4 batsman plumb LBW. Six overs, 1 for 21.
Alan, our stand-in wicket-keeper, says “Actually, a combination of gloves and helmet grill is often the most effective way of gathering the ball. You’ve just got to do what comes natural mate”.
More nifty bowling today from Chairman Terry “the Shadow” Burgess, aka. Telzebub, aka. The Hammer.
First to go is the opener clean bowled for 35. Then he ghosts through the defences of their no.6, Danish danger man Osbourne, with a ball that looks as if it’s remote controlled.
This was the real PSM moment , Terry was robbed; fake news and voter fraud as usual.
[diagram 1: The Shadow’s remote ball control. Source: Maxwell, Z., 2018]
Terry says “Just keep putting the ball on the spot, and eventually their brains will turn to mush.”
Chiefy (a.k.a. Michelle Pfeiffer) rolls in some big breakers; takes out another batsman.
The wickets tumble before him again: clean bowled, and the Greys say “ahhh”.
The kid clobbers a loose one for six into cow corner, and it’s, “hmm, he was supposed to chip that down to long on”.
Eventually the kid complies, and hoofs one in the air, straight-ish on the on side and its scooped up by Zack aka. “The Bucket” running in from the boundary (PSM).
The Greys would later learn, during the intensive post-match analysis, that it was the only catch that stuck today and Chiefy is averaging 4 with the ball this season.
“Just so glad to be back on the field again”
27 overs. 120 all out.
Break for tea; Tea was served, eaten and drunk. A quick update on the football..
.. and back to the cricket.
The Mighty Greys
Where the hell are Biff and Alex? Jerry’s AWOL too?
Alan G. and Hatrick open the batting.
In uncharacteristically flamboyant style, Hatrick aka. “The Baconer” scores 13 off a lacklustre first over from Southwater; grace and power; some tidy drives; and a truly rindless clip off the legs racing away square for 4.
A couple more fine strokes and he’s undone in the 2nd over by a peach of a ball that just nipped in a bit off the seam; bowled for 19.
Zonko steps up to the crease and twats some loose bowling to all parts of the ground.
That epic six he hit last year still lights the afternoon sky, burning bright on its fiery trajectory into low earth orbit.
A fine innings from the Grey’s new rockstar batsman, 58 not out.
Solid batting once again from Alan “the Wall” Gallagher, blocking it out, taking his runs mostly in singles. A flourish now and then as he cracks the ball away for 4.
Good supporting role, 25 not out.
17 overs. 121 for 1.