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Aldbourne CC - Tour 2009

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The 2009 tour took place over the weekend 12th and 13th of September 2009 in Cornwall.

12 September - "Boars on Tour", Luckett - 40 Overs

Venue: Luckett Start: 1:00pm

13 September - "Boars on Tour", Mount Edgcumbe - 35 Overs

Venue: Mount Edgcumbe Start: 12:00pm

Friday Afternoon – Getting There

This year’s Boars on Tour consisted of a return match with Luckett and a new fixture at Mount Edgcumbe. Your reporter was amongst a flotilla of vehicles that set off on the afternoon of Friday 11 September with high hopes of fine weather and a successful outcome. Sanders and Fitch were in the first vehicle to depart, followed by Grant and Bishop and then,father and son Tellwright.

Each had learnt of impending traffic problems from the M4/M5 interchange and each decided to deal with it differently. The Aujla and Ashley families left much later and formed no part of the re-enactment of Car 57 Where Are You, an ancient US comedy known only to your reporter.

Of the various mobile calls between the cars it was obvious that Grant and Bishop either had no idea what they were talking about when giving their positions or they were just misleading everyone else. One moment they were in Frome heading for the M5, next they were at Yeovil, then they were 10 miles east of Exeter and finally they were in the Barbican in Plymouth looking up Granty’s old haunts in the barracks at the Citadel. Apparently the walls were already 65 foot high to keep the Dutch out but when Granty was stationed there the walls were increased to 75 foot just to keep him in!

All three cars eventually took the Torpoint ferry to reach Cornwall and then on to the beautiful seaside village of Cawsand and their hotel, located right on the beach.

Friday Evening – Getting Together

Then the fun began, slowly at first, with an Afghani taxi driver who had remedial problems (that were later to visit most of the Boars). He had no idea where the Rod and Line pub was in Tideford and little conversational skills compared with his boss, who would collect us later. When he found it, the Rod and Line lived up to its billing of being a spit and sawdust pub with good ale and food – provided you liked baguettes. The barmaid was known as TJ, obviously short for Tattybo- Jangles.

While waiting for the food Granty acquainted Fitch with the plan he and Bishop had been developing on the journey. They simply wanted to open the batting and offered to bat 10 and 11 the next day if they did not put on at least 75 for the first wicket. By the fifth time of putting the case it was clear that Fitch had been softened up sufficiently for Granty to then introduce the tour party to the delights of a drinking game where forfeit sambucas had to be drunk by those found guilty of bragging. During the evening Fitch varied the forfeit to include rum and ginger and, according to Granty, five other variations were imbibed during the session. Meanwhile, at the table next to the tour party a gathering of women were beginning to catch the eye of some of the Boars. At first it was thought they were all Cornish but when they agreed to the webbed foot test it became apparent that only one had the necessary Cornish credentials. Even this was questioned as, on further examination, she did not have any fur on her pads.

By the time the taxi driver arrived the tourists were beginning to enjoy themselves. The outward journey had taken 30 minutes but the return was clipped to 20. The driver was not only fast down the winding narrow roads but he also demonstrated that political correctness had not yet reached Cornwall’s ‘forgotten corner.’ His totally unreconstructed nature was finally unveiled for all to see when he was advised that the Boars may not have the £30 fare. ‘That’s all right my luvver.’ he riposted, ‘a blow job should do it.’ The tourists wondered briefly whether he was serious or just used this as a ploy to get his money. They settled on the latter option and left as fast as their inebriate legs could carry them.

Saturday Morning – Getting Straight

The Ashley and Aujla families had arrived about 2300 on Friday and rose to meet the unattached Boars. The Cornish Gods had decided to offer the best of Cornish weather and all could see the beautiful view from the hotel across the bay  to the Devon coast. There were no portents of what was to occur in the next 24 hours as the Boars set off to reconnoitre the Mount Edgcumbe ground. On arrival the scene looked better than the pictures which had captivated some, if not all, of the Boars. Aujla in particular remarked on how colleagues at work had envied him and that he was looking forward to the game. First though, there was the game at Luckett.

En route to the ground it was confirmed that Hawken, now clinging on to the final vestiges of the twilight of his career, would be playing. The Griffiths brothers from Bridestowe, would also be meeting the rest of the team at the ground. (Regular  readers may remember that Adam Griffiths was famous for smashing a 6 through the back window of Sanders’ car last year). A further call to Len Roberts enabled the Boars to access the Luckett ground and get some net practice in, but not before Sanders was given some much needed catching practice. Only time would tell whether it would be of benefit.

Saturday Afternoon – Getting On With It

Hawken, like his hero Ian Botham, is fond of a jar and it was no surprise to find him drinking scrumpy at the Royal Inn. There was just enough time for all to have a quick bevy before the game began. Fitch won the toss and decided to bat. As per their request he had agreed to let Grant and Bishop open the batting. With only 4 runs coming from the first 4 overs it looked like they would not achieve their stated aim of a 75 run opening partnership.

By the 16th over, however, they had indeed achieved it and they proceeded to cream the runs off the Luckett bowling attack. Grant hit a 6 to reach his 4th 50 of the season and the pair went through the 100 partnership barrier before Bishop succumbed to Warne in the 23rd over. They had put on 144 for the opening wicket and secured their positions as openers for the next match.

Fitch and Grant then put on 42 for the second wicket but Griffiths N did not trouble the scorer before the third wicket fell. Tellwright Senior also went cheaply and Aujla managed to hit two 4’s in his short tenure. Grant’ scoring had slowed slightly but when joined by Griffiths A the pair began to fight over the strike for the few remaining overs. Griffiths hit a 6 but not to be outdone Grant hit two, the second of which brought up his century. It was clear he had set his mind on this on the trip down, possibly well before then, as he had narrowly missed out against Kennet earlier in the season when making 96.

It was a superb effort and the first century for ACC that your reporter had witnessed. More runs were needed, however, and the pair continued to fight over the strike until the last ball of the 40 overs. Griffiths A finished on 14 and Grant carried his bat throughout for a magnificent 111. The Boars had reached 261 for 5 and set Luckett a formidable target.

After a splendid tea which included scones with clotted cream, Luckett set about their task. They started briskly but lost their first wicket at 35 in the 6th over to a splendid run out involving Griffiths A. He was also bowling well with 2 maidens in his first 2 overs. He became a little irate, though, when the umpire resisted his appeal for a catch behind the wicket and a slight contre temps ensued. His brother then brought a dangerous partnership to an end with a brilliant catch by Bishop, and then took another 2 wickets in the same over.

Luckett were reeling when Warnes senior came to the crease. He was partnered by Wadland, the owner of the adjoining land that had a prize bull and herd surrounded by an electric fence. Earlier Fitch had sought to discover whether the fence was live when a ball had strayed out of reach. If it had been live he had expected it to be about 12 volts but was surprised, not to say shocked, to find that it was connected to the mains.

Meanwhile, back at the cricket, Harry Hawken had been brought on to weave the magic he had learnt from Morveren the mermaid of Zennor. Not known for her bowling prowess, being half human and half fish, she nevertheless knew how to reel a sailor in. Over the years Harry has practiced this art and, latterly, even used Bramley apple windfalls from his orchard and ball shaped hog’s puddings to develop his skills. As the years took their toll, his run up had become more of a trundle and his bowling arm had dropped from an upright position to 75 degrees to the shoulder. His guile, however, has increased to compensate and today he took on the mantle of the white Munim, ACC’s revered Pakistani spin bowler.

Sadly, after that build up, Harry was brought on just as Warne began his innings. He did his best to contain him but his previously excellent figures for the Boars did suffer a little. He was, however, rewarded by the wicket of Wadland, but not before the pair had put on 103 runs.

Warne continued to plunder the Boars bowling following Wadland’s departure and was ably supported by Brown. Warne appeared to relish the prospect of the return of Grant to the Boars’ attack, but if he did, it wasn’t for long. With the first ball of his second spell Grant brought Luckett’s rearguard action to a close by clean bowling Warne after an excellent display of power hitting.

The young Brown continued to chase the target of 262 but he and his new partner, Warne junior, were unable to cause the Boars the same problems. Their effort closed on 232 for 7 and the Boars had beaten Luckett for the second time.

Unfortunately, timing and tradition prevented the after game drink because the Boars needed to return to Cawsand for their evening meal and the Luckett team did not want to change their normal drinking den to one that better suited the Boars’ itinerary. Nothing could take away the enjoyment of not only visiting Luckett’s special ground but also winning again. The teas and hospitality were wonderful and it was great to meet the Luckett legends that are Len and Betty Roberts. Best wishes go to Betty for a speedy recovery from her unfortunate skin condition and the hope that Luckett will be prepared to indulge the Boars again next year.

Saturday Evening – Getting Down To It

The convoy set off for Cawsand and made it back in time for dinner at the Cross Keys at 2045. To celebrate his century Granty generously bought a couple of bottles of champagne and whilst it was being drunk it was decided that Alex Tellwright would be the sole arbiter of transgressors of the bragging game that evening.

Hawken claimed he couldn’t drink shorts so was allowed to stick to wine for his forfeits but Alex was less kind to Sanders who found himself on the receiving end of every alleged brag despite his obvious modest character (mind you he has a lot to be modest about – Editor). Another group were enjoying a birthday celebration which the Boars broke into. In the process they found a Yorkshireman named Tony who offered his cricketing prowess and telephone number should he be needed in the future.

Dinner over, the party moved on to the Rising Sun pub where a blend of Cornish folk music and hippy grunge greeted their ears. The kitty was topped up and blown quickly before an inebriate walk back to the hotel ensued. On arrival some members of the Boars expected the drinking would continue but the hotel staff were not so inclined. As the Tellwrights, Sanders and Hawken retired to their beds, the remaining Boars attempted unsuccessfully to persuade the staff to ply them with drink.

The realisation finally came, like the dawn would later, that they would have to find another hostelry to sate their thirst. Perhaps keen to rid themselves of this persistent group, the staff informed them that they might visit the renowned Harbour Lights, the hottest night spot in bustling Torpoint.

Adolf lookalike Ashley was despatched to raise Sanders and Hawken. On locating the key to Sanders’ room, Ashley found him adopting a Bela Lugosi pose with his hands crossed over his chest. Although not remembering the incident himself, Sanders did not appear interested in Ashley’s invitation to rejoin the party and suggested Adolf should take a sexual journey instead. And so it was that a passing taxi took just 5 Boars the 7 miles to Torpoint, and, perhaps foolishly, the driver gave them a card to call back when the return was needed.

Your reporter did not witness the entertainment which followed but sources at the Torpoint Enquirer and the Kingsand Temperance Society Gazette have provided an insight to the kind of excesses that this intrepid crew encountered during the evening. The Harbour Lights appears to be the best of a bad group of watering holes in Torpoint but it is well known for subversive activities involving Czech speaking, members of the Special Boat Services (SBS) who cross the Tamar, under cover of darkness, on the Torpoint ferry.

This night was no exception as it is reported that one of their members was talking in Czech to a group at the Harbour Lights about a special manoeuvre he was engaged in. Like a Will O’ The Wisp, leaving only the faintest trace of the Betty Stoggs brewery behind him, he was there one moment and gone the next. The only other indicator of his stealthy departure was the crash emanating from the Gents, which some took to be a grenade going off, but on closer examination turned out to be a pint of lager hitting a urinal. Meanwhile, back at the bar, a group of hardened drinkers were playing the bragging game. Your reporter understands that this could not have been Boars as the forfeit drink was not sambuca.

The taxi returned at 0300 and collected the Boars for the drive back to the Rame Peninsula. Added to their number were an unknown couple who had hijacked the vehicle. It is not known, but considered likely, that these 2 were responsible for depositing much of what they had eaten and drunk since 2030 the night before on the luckless Bishop and Grant on the journey home. The unamused taxi driver threatened to charge an extra £40 if he found any traces of vomit in his cab.

Bishop had pondered what to do about his soiled clothing on the journey back to Kingsand. Without regard for the possibility he might encounter a Czech speaking SBS man on manoeuvres, he decided as soon as he was dropped off, to dive into the sea fully clothed. Though foolhardy, his idea worked but only up to a point. By the time he woke that morning his boxers had become stiff from the dried salt water which only goes to show the wisdom of taking a spare pair on a 3 day weekend.

Grant, by contrast, was much more sensible about his predicament. He simply removed his clothing on arrival in his room and threw it down the stairs where his roommates, the Tellwrights, were able to utilise their olfactory senses to determine just what he had been up to that night. The scenes that confronted them later when Grant was searching for the nearest toilet, however, are not repeatable in this report.

Sunday Morning – Getting Over It

Sanders awoke oblivious to the misfortunes of the night before. Concerned that Grant might go without breakfast as the 0930 order deadline approached, he took Tellwright senior’s advice and ordered a bacon sandwich for him. He need not have bothered. At 0930 precisely, Grant appeared, looking like an extra from Shaun of the Dead. Shortly after Ashley and Aujla arrived and a better understanding of the previous night’s activities unfolded.

It was soon apparent that Aujla would be unable to take any further part in the cricket due to something he had ingested the night before. Unfortunately, there was no immediate replacement, but after a while Grant suggested the Yorkshireman the Boars had met the night before. After tracking him down it became obvious that he was too much under the thumb to be of any use to the team so the Boars soldiered on with 10 men.

Sunday Afternoon – Getting On With It

On returning to the Mount Edgcumbe ground the Boars found it looking even better than the day before. The grounds man was cutting the outfield to make it even more like a billiard table and the sun was shining to set off this jewel of a cricket pitch to its best effect.

The sign over the away team’s changing room was specifically addressed as Aldbourne CC and gave the impression that not only was the Mount Edgcumbe team courteous to the opposition but also very professional. The Boars were joined today by 2 replacements for the Griffith’s brothers. Confronted with their short notice withdrawal 2 days before the game, Sanders had called up the cricket secretary of his old school’s old boys’ team to plead for some support. This materialised in the form of father and son Brazier. The junior member came with an average of 99!

Mount Edgcumbe won the toss and opted to field. The opening overs were accompanied by cannon fire from a naval battle being re-enacted in the Sound, although some residents of Torpoint may have wondered if it had anything to do with the Czech speaking SBS man who had disappeared the night before.

The previous day’s opening partnership resumed with Grant finding the middle of his bat with regularity. At the other end, Bishop did not look quite as composed as he did at Luckett. He soon played all around one and was bowled. As he zigzagged his way back to a chair in front of the pavilion it was evident he would benefit from a prolonged snooze. Tellwright senior joined Grant but it was not long before he was bowled for 5.

The scene was now set for Hawken to grace the stage. For long the finest cricketer to come from Trenant (there are no other cricketers there) he seemed determined to make up for the fact he wasn’t needed at Luckett. Prior to Hawken’s arrival, Grant had been peppering the boundary with great regularity but then chose to slash at one he was convinced would not go within reach of a fielder. Imagine his disappointment when one appeared where he least expected and snaffled the catch.

Sanders then joined his old pal whom he had first met when they were teenagers. Foolishly believing that age would not weary them, nor the years condemn, these two old duffers set about steadying the Boars’ ship. From 54 for 3 the score very steadily (at least while Hawken was facing) rose to 85. At the drinks break Hawken confided that he was having difficulty dealing with Stein’s bowling. This was made evident on the resumption when Stein smashed Hawken’s wicket. Just like the sniper’s bullet Hawken just hadn’t seen it. As he goose stepped off and saluted the incoming Fuhrer, he may have wondered if his lenses needed a bit more laser tightening before touring next year.

Adolf took guard before surveying the lie of the land. Enemy fielders had been placed strategically around him but he still managed to pierce their defence to reach 7 before the traitorously named Stein took away his ramparts. The Boars now depended on a pair of Old Plymothians and Mannameadians to take up the challenge. Alas it did not last long. Sanders had benefited from Granty’s coaching and had moved forward to the ball and kept his head down. He could not keep it up though and when the bowling changed he did not wait his chance but went for it first ball with his head well in the air. The ball was not middled and ballooned towards mid on who safely pouched the catch, despite Sanders’ profanities ringing in his ears. He departed at 110 for 7 having scored 32.

Son now joined father Brazier – but only briefly. First son then father fell for 0 and 1 respectively. When Tellwright junior also went for a duck the Boars thought Fitch had been left high and dry. They had, however, not counted on the generosity of Mount Edgcumbe. Fitch was allowed to stay with a runner to enable the Boars to have their full 10 wickets. Fitch did not look this gift horse in the mouth and proceeded to thump the bowling all around the park. By the time he was out he had added another 46 runs and top scored with 41.

It was not long before the Boars saw the quality of the Mount’s batting. Grant’s first ball was smacked for 4 by the opposition captain who then proceeded to elegantly smash the ball all around the ground, including a straight 6 off Fitch. Grant soon disposed of Shattock but that only brought Stein to the crease. His ability soon demonstrated itself and he too cracked a couple of sixes.

Hawken was brought on in an effort to contain the batsmen. His scant reward was to see Sanders perform his usual trick of dropping a catch – this time it was the hard hitting captain. By the time Bishop trapped him lbw the score had reached 114 for 2 in the 18th over. Adolf then bombed Ware for 2 and for a moment the Boars wondered if they could cut through the tail.

Stein soon dispelled that notion by continuing to stroke the ball all round the ground but he lost another partner for 15 to a catch by Brazier junior off Tellwright junior. The 2 youngest Boars briefly showed the rest how to do it but it was too late and Mount Edgcumbe breezed through as worthy winners by 6 wickets in the 27th over.

The teams retired to the Mount Edgcumbe pub where the home side had graciously arranged sausage and chips to accompany the beer. It turned out that not only did the team not come from Mount Edgcumbe but also a number of them played for Plymouth’s first and second teams!

Despite the Boars inadequacies it seems that Mount Edgcumbe may be prepared to see us back another year – maybe it’s because they like winning!

Getting Home

It was good to learn that all the Boars returned home safely after an eventful couple of days. It is hoped that the many good things outweighed the odd one we all could have done without and that the Cornish odyssey can resume next year with the usual suspects in tow.

Keep it real Aldbourne!

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