Buck This For Laugh

leaving bristol in seasonally typical weather….sheeting rain, we head off to devon.  some of us via dorchester to get the noodledoodle machine.
we arrive in buckfastleigh, meet up at the globe pub and get stuck in.  there is pig racing on t.v, there is pig roasted on the table.
pig racing?  similar to what the cowgirls did with the horse racing at the plough….but…with pigs!  i won a fiver…which i spent on the extremely nice local ale provided in the pub.
in the car park was a white polo and my mind did cartwheels at the possibility of dc2 making it there before us and finding the pub. turns out there is more than one white polo in the world and dave was driving in circles around a carpark 20 yards away ringing us for directions.  there were even more white polos later but that, as they say, is another story.
richard, head honcho of the buckers, is a lovely man, warm, welcoming and arguably daft as a brush as he let us stay in his house and buggered off to sleep somewhere else.
so the first night of tour went as you might expect, relaxation, beer, conversation, beer, a bit more beer and some beer enhancer and a run in with the landlord of the pub involving the definition of legal highs, whether we thought he had been born yesterday and the fact he must have weighed 18 stone.  he was also in the buckfastleigh team for the next day.
the game started at two, the ground on top of a hill just outside the village, i looked at our team, looked at the pitch and as stroddy asked me to captain for the day decided, should i win the toss, that we would bowl first.
i won the toss we bowled.
our team.  nellie, alex, me, dc1, alfie, dc2, matt noodles, stroddy, pete (dc1’s son in law) and two locals, a father and son combination, giles and billy.
so 8 of the sunday twos, but no wicketkeeper.
i kept wicket, which is why this has taken so long to write as i have only just started being able to move again.
i dont have the score book in front of me, but in a 30 over game we bowled them out for 93.  as keeper i had a birdseye view of our attack.
alex bowled really well, alfie bowled really well, showing grit and determination after being carted by cheddar midweek, pete bowled well and billy and giles showed yet again what proper coaching can achieve. but the glory went to stroddy….4 wickets, 4 overs, 18 runs! the man’s leg spinners bambozzled the batsman, as the ball drifted in from leg you could see their eyes light up, hear the inner voice as they thought it was christmas, watch them step to the off side to smack it to the ropes and then walk back to the pavillion as the ball pitched, moved two feet and scattered the stumps. glorious and nothing more than he deserved.
i enjoyed keeping and felt i did ok, but fuck me it takes it out of the legs.
94 to win then.  94 for us seconders to taste victory for the first time since i dont know when.
3 an over, doesn’t sound like much but this is cricket and pressure is everything. we ticked along, at one point 20 something for 4 and after 20 overs still needed 50.  it wasn’t looking good, alex stonewall hooper and noodledoodles stuck around but something needed to be done. we were doing the score board every over, we started doing it every run, increase the pressure.  then billy came in and started knocking it about and the run rate tumbled, we approached victory with hearts in mouth not daring to believe.
but we did it! we won…on tour..after no cricket for a month.
the naysayers might carp that billy’s runs weren’t cowboy runs but that overlooks the team spirit and ignores the fine efforts in the field.  we earned the right to be in the game with our fielding and won the game with our attitude.
buckfastleigh were magnanimous in defeat and provided a delicious tea and some more beer and then we headed home.
hopefully the landlord thing is forgotten and we will be invited back next year, they are also bringing a team to our tournament and i trust they will be made as welcome as we were.
this has been got out by a friend

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