Note from the Editor: Not only is Dom smashing Greys’ records on the pitch, he’s also submitting match reports to the Greys’ editorial team by the Tuesday morning.
Its May, 1987. France performs a nuclear test at Mururoa Atoll. The SAS kill 8 IRA members in Loughgall, Northern Ireland, in what will come to be known as the Loughgall Ambush. 183 die aboard a Polish jetliner that crashes in Warsaw. USS Stark is hit by Iraqi missiles, 37 sailors die. 30 people are killed in a Texas tornado. Military coup in Fiji under Lt. Col Sitivani Rabuka. USSR performs nuclear test in Eastern Kazakh. Starship’s song “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now” tops the UK charts for the entire month, and a pub cricket team called The Mighty Greys is formed in the Hanover area of Brighton, England.
On the face of it, these events have no connection but I can’t help but feel that somehow, somehow, Terry is behind every single one of them – a shadowy marionette pulling strings from his bunker underneath a volcano somewhere, causing just enough unrest to keep the markets turbulent and his ShadowCorp. stocks buoyant.
What were we all doing in May 1987? (answers in the comments if you have any memory of it!) A young Australian boy called Derek was no doubt making a Faustian pact with the Devil…
“Please Mr Satan sir, can you make me really really Flamin’-Galah-ingly good at playing cricket???”
“Why, yes I can little boy….but…..it will……COST A DEL SOUL!!!!”
Dunky-Clunk was probably already being trained by the SAS (was he in Loughgall??….hopefully not).
A very young Monsanto Gallagher was probably still in nappies (how old is Alan exactly? 32?)
Somewhere in central Lincolnshire a small, friendless 6 year old named Zonk was no doubt throwing a tennis ball repeatedly at a wall in his back yard and then trying to hit it with a cricket bat that was too heavy for him, all the time dreaming of one day playing for the worlds greatest cricket team. A team with loads of fans who turn up to watch their games. Sometimes dreams come true.
On Sunday The Mighty Greys took on Jevington in a re-match of their fixture earlier this season. Once again it was decided that we would play village rules but, as our hosts were so hospitable, and yet again prepared such an uncommonly wonderful and extravagant tea, I wont bang on too much about how 40 overs games are much better.
The Greys were put in to bat, which isn’t what we would have chosen to do but it did give Chiefy the chance to sleep off a bit of his hangover which I’m sure was welcome – hopefully no one took any pictures of him. Biffo and Roborbobajob opened up and thankfully Rob’s mum and sister at least saw him hit a lovely couple of 4s before he got bowled by a good one. Biff and the Zonk then very professionally saw off the rest of the decent new ball bowling but scoring quickly was proving quite tough on a tricky wicket.
Having done all the hard work, Biff spooned one up that stuck in the pitch slightly and that bought Monsanto to the crease to join Zonkarina. With a twinkle in their eyes these two cowboys, perhaps searching for a kind of companionship that neither of them quite had an understanding of yet, set about the task of creating a lasting partnership. Zonko’s agricultural clubbing and swiping was soon being over-shadowed by the more urbane and sophisticated rapier swishes of his southern counterpart (perhaps later he would be shown how to eat with a knife and fork and be converted to drinking wine rather than frothy mead – anyway, thats second-date kind of stuff really). Alan hit several lovely lofted straight-bat drives as well as a swoonsome, delayed punch through extra cover. There was also a glance off his pads through backward square for 4 that was particularly pleasing. Gallagher would end (with a cheeky wink??) on 69 not out but, had he not run out of time, would surely have gone on to score a ton. Zonk, rather less stylishly, scrapped his way to a decent total too before being bowled by the young lady who sent down two very accomplished spells during the Greys innings.
Things were wrapped up by Alex hitting his first ball for 4 after Duncan, failing to get the decision reversed on review, was bowled by a good quick yorker. The Greys compiled a score of 263 in front of a cheering crowd of friends and family.
At this point, as well as all the extended Greys fam who came and watched the game, I should probably thank the ladies at Jevington who prepared tea, which was yet again the best cricket tea of the season – they now hold the number 1 and 2 spot with every other club being a very distant third.
“Chiefy!! wake up! We’re bowling”.
Could the Greys defy the greyness of village rules and force a victory from the clutches of a dry and predictable draw?? (oh hang on, I said I wouldnt bang on about that didn’t I?…….edit that out if you want, Dunc). Ben gave them every chance early doors by off-pegging both of the Jev openers with trademark swinger-innerers. The Shadow produced a wonderful spell also, clean-bowling two lads in two balls and almost claiming a hat-trick as the third delivery spooned up off the back of the bat but somehow evaded both wicket-keeper and slip. Robbie Economics bowled fantastically well at the start too (what a delight it is to see him back on top of his game playing on the regs for the Greys!) and would have had a wicket had some ding-dong not dropped at sitter at extra-cover.
Could the spin-twins polish off the tail? Clunkmaster General game on for his first spell of the season (“and about time too!” the crowds chanted). It wasn’t long (obviously) before he’d claimed his first scalp – bamboozling a dude with a slightly flighted one. His bowling only got better as his spell continued – sending down 8 dots in his final 2 overs and firmly cementing himself as an all-rounder in the minds of cricket fans everywhere. At the other end a trim-looking Chiefy was emerging from the Ether. What powers the man must possess to even stand at this point – he is a warrior amongst men, a god amongst mortals. He did bowl a bit of shit to be fair but considering the circumstances he was amazing, and thanks to Zonko falling down a hill and the ball landing in his hands (PSM), even claimed a wicket! Cool sunnies too.
In amongst all of this Alex kept wicket with such poise that not a single bye was recorded all innings! No mean feat considering the lively spell Alan (him again) sent down at the end. Alas, despite all this bravery – and a decent spell from Eeyo where he went past the bat on numerous occasions without any luck – the Greys couldn’t topple the remaining three wickets and the match ended in a draw.
If you’d tried to explain to that 6 year old boy in Lincolnshire in 1987, that one day, he and a lovely sophisticated baby from down south, would put on a record-breaking 185 run partnership for the Greatest Cricket Team in the World but wouldn’t actually win the game because, despite scoring about 100 more runs than the other team, village rules is designed to rob the winning side of the feeling of victory, then I think he’d be happy, of course, but would have some mixed feelings about it. He would maybe also want you to get out of his back yard cus you’re scaring him. Terry. I know you’re behind all this. Somehow.