For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The ‘Summer’ of 2021 hasn’t got off to the biblical start Solomon enthused. Coming out of the lockdown, with the promise of outdoor sports from April, the CC managed to jam in a couple of friendly fixtures and net sessions in balmy conditions with the promise of May on the horizon.
Week one came, and the deluge of rain washed away the 1s, 2s & 3s in the tide, with only the 4s heroically holding on to banks, managing to get a full game (and win) in the league’s first round. On the positive side, the club members finally deciphered how the various weather apps work, and unearthed an iphone rain probability conspiracy.
No matter, these things happen, usually in isolated doses opposed to weekly torment. Well, hold my poodle. Week two brought the same forecast, the tantalising chances of some rain, rain that could happen, but had a 3 in 10 chance it wouldn’t and again, the boys became amateur meteorologists once again.
With a mixed forecast and a reasonably dry morning, there was hope, even if naive, of a start. Of course league rules mandate that an effort must be shown to make a fixture go ahead.
The 1s pilgrimaged to Aldershot to do their part in avoiding a fine and sanctions, and managed a hearty warm up before the heavens opened and the inevitable was confirmed. Washout, 7 points each. Mark Lines’ men would have to return to the club and drown their sorrows in solidarity with the fixture that had reached a similar demise.
The 2s were umming and ahhing all morning. Club pitch liaison office Rob Noble deemed C1 unplayable as the covers, bent from over enthusiastic children, mistaking the large metal tetanus vector for a climbing frame, on Friday nights, failed to cover adequately and leaked all over the square. A quick call to opponents Kew, who said they would do their best to keep the fixture on and would travel regardless of the odds, meant something would have to be done.
With some quick thinking, the game was moved to C3, and club umpires Swapna and Keith were dispatched to officiate the fixture. Nobsey, keen as anyone to get a game in, was very weary of ruining a pitch, and his relationship with the ground crew this early in the season and urged ultimate caution.
Omar & Dean took the new ball in a game that felt hastily organised, but thoroughly disorganised. After the second over, it was apparent by the footmarks Dean had left and the divot the batsman had scalped, that the pitch wouldn’t hold up. Match abandoned. Kew were 2-0 off 2 overs, and Nobsey was relieved.
Thankfully Charlie Jackson was running the bar, and while the pitch was useless there was still some dry weather and benches were occupied for hours.
The 3s managed to defy the elements and pull off a win at High Wycombe (report pending).
The 4s, managed by caretaker Carl Mobely, welcomed Ickenham for a friendly fixture, due to a bye week in their schedule, in preparation for playing Maidenhead & Bray (again) in the league for week 3. Karl ably sold the threatened fixture as best he could; “it’ll be a bit low and slow, but don’t worry, it’s always like that”. Sadly it didn’t work as 2 of Ickenham’s travelling squad did an about face shortly after arrival and well before the fixture was formally culled.
Week 3 tempts similar fate, with the 1s & 4s travelling to Cove and Bray this weekend, while the 2s & 3s will hopefully host Hounslow & Whitton and Ickenham at Home park.
Fingers crossed paddles and scuba gear are not required.