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Aldbourne CC - Tour 2011

Boars on Tour 2011.

Background

Many of your reporter’s regular readers will know that the Cornish Stannary Parliament is the original governing body of Cornwall's historic tin mining community. Today it plays a key role in ensuring that Cornwall's distinctly unique history and traditions are given proper prominence to recognise its people, land, heritage and sporting links. In order to promote these activities the Parliament organised a very successful cricket tour over the weekend of 9-11 September which was watched by at least 6 people at one of the games and was televised on Pixeye Sports the Cornish State satellite channel.

The tour involved the Boars, the touring name of ACC the little known Wiltshire cricket club, and it is believed that this fact alone led to the Cornish Stannary Government announcing today that the average life expectancy in the county had increased so dramatically over the weekend that more inhabitants of Cornwall may now qualify for a state pension. It is understood through sources at News Biscuit and Dabchick 24 that these latest statistics were indeed produced over the weekend when the Boars were staying in the Rame peninsula and Tintagel and three of their tour party, Gloves Bennett, Screaming Lord Fitch and the Janner were mistakenly included in the information gathering exercise. Until recently few Cornish citizens survived beyond their forties with only a small clique, eating Betty Robert’s well seasoned pasties and living in and around Luckett, surviving into their seventies. But now, after a 20 year UN led aid programme and this rogue census, it appears around 60% of Cornwall's population can look forward to living well into their fifties.

The revelations came during a press conference at Trenant Mill which was chaired by the Boars very own Harry Hawken, self styled king of the Cornish and the inventor of the new killer ball, the Bramley. At 58 Harry is by some way the oldest living Cornishman in the Mill. As usual, little of what he said was intelligible as he seemed to be cider whipped but he did manage to thank the UN for all their hard work.

The plight of Cornwall's people became international news in the late 1980s after harrowing images of life in some of  Bohetherick's tenement blocks reached the outside world. As Zambia's UN Development Envoy Joseph Kwikmassamapheetamhot recalled, "It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. These people clearly had nothing to live for so I left my work in the Congo to help in whatever way I could. Seeing little children wearing nothing but shell suits queuing for stale pasty crumbs outside the Ginster factory brought tears to my eyes."

One of the early priorities of the aid program was to improve living standards through access to clean drinking water, and now most mud and moss tower blocks have at least one pipe but no tap. In one village called Kingsand, however, this problem has been overcome by the local taxi driver improvising his own very literal version of a stopcock.

Where it has proven impossible to provide clean drinking water, charities have ensured families receive half a litre of Mahogany a day, a traditional drink made from 2 parts gin and 1 part treacle which fisherman used to take to sea and use to fill any holes beneath the water line that they could find whilst out on a 7 day trawl. It appears their wives didn’t realise what kind of holes they were filling as they always came home smelling of Morveren anyway, the infamous half woman half fish  known as the mermaid of Zennor.

As Kwikmassamapheetamhot, recalls handing out aid was often difficult as skirmishes would frequently break out when parcels of unprocessed and condemned Rodda’s clotted cream were being distributed. "This was worst in the Rame peninsula where tribal unrest would come to a head. Factions of Mebyon Kernow and the breakaway Real Mebyon Kernow would arrive adorned in their battle dress; one set in black and white, the other in white and black. The only way we could stop them fighting was by throwing a cricket ball into the crowd. While this object transfixed both sides it was clear none of them had any idea what to do with it unless they came from the Luckett vicinity."

Life in Cornwall as a whole is now improving. As well as inviting cricket tourists like the mighty Boars from Aldbourne, the Stannary parliament is looking to introduce pensions and a prototype health service is being trialled in some of the larger settlements. And with more people moving away from living off the land, jobs are slowly being created and some 9% of the population are now in employment. Prospects for many, though, remain grim as efforts to domesticate the young have proven futile.

The cost of these new developments is worrying some. But it is hoped King Harry’s young Treasury Secretary's written statement will put people's minds at rest. "The number of people living long enough to draw on their pensions will initially be relatively small. Even so there is obviously no way we can afford this new scheme on our own which is why it will be 100% funded by the English taxpayer. Belter me ‘ansums!"

Yelverton Bohemians

All this is by way of a lead in to your reporter’s take on this year’s Boars on Tour Report for 2011. The weather forecast for the weekend did not bode well and Friday appeared to be the best prospect for a dry spell. The Boars approached the designated lunch pub, the Elephant’s Nest, in a convoy as usual. Ed ‘Case’ Fitch had decided to fly in from Singapore and was collected by Screaming Lord Fitch at Heathrow, The Duke set off from Bath, Braveheart and the Boatman came from Aldbourne, Judith Chalmers took in the sights of Trowbrdige en route, the Janner brought Kan Kan from Manchester Road while Howlin’ Willf rode shotgun for Five Stents through the notorious bandit country from Mildenhall to the M4. Some took a detour across the Moors and only appeared by courtesy of SatNav but everyone could see that the weather was far worse than forecast and believed that the first match against the Yelverton Bohemians would be called off. Would that it had.

With good intent the hosts at Yelverton did everything they could to ensure the Boars had a game simply because they were a touring team, however, by the time the Boars arrived not much could be seen of the hedges around the boundary for the infamous fog and rain. The conditions had nothing to do with the ensuing tragedy and your reporter will not dwell on its nature other than to write that a very brave and whole hearted young man suffered a crushing blow to his head that had team mate and foe alike sucking great intakes of breath and praying the ball had not hit him in too vulnerable a place. An ambulance was called and Will and Peter Grant were taken to Derriford hospital. It was clear that no one was to blame for this accident but the game was abandoned as a mark of respect to Will. All the players from both teams wish Will well and a speedy return to the wicket.

After leaving Will at the hospital the Boars trudged off in sombre mood to the Torpoint ferry with Pete’s challenge of winning at Mount Edgcumbe for Will ringing in their ears.

First Night

The evening was, of course, subdued. Food was the only controversial subject with  the Tourists learning that Braveheart didn’t like Ed ‘Case’s’ very creamy dessert and he wasn’t too pleased with his icy sorbets either. Not for the first time the Janner also pointed out the wisdom of making sure there was plenty of salt in your pasty and that Rodda’s was a very poor substitute for clotted cream whatever the Queen Mother thought.

It took a fair bit of drink and the realisation that the Boars couldn’t rely on Will or Pete on Saturday, for the Janner to stand up in the Crossed Keys and try to concentrate the team’s minds on winning for Will. If that didn’t do it then the Boatman’s team talk at the ground the next day certainly did.

Mount Edgcumbe

The Boars were joined now by not only the usual Bennett’s but also Henry Bennett who was a star player loaned from the Bohemians. Will Chapman was another addition from the Janner’s old school. Harry Hawken was a latecomer for the Boars at the Yelverton game but now he was taking on umpiring duties for the day.

 

The usual Bennett’s opened for the Boars with instructions from the Boatman to take it steady for the first 5 overs. Perhaps taking him too literally they staggered to 1 by the end of the 4th over. During the 6th Dada was bowled by Ali for 2 when the score was 5. Gloves survived until the 10th when he too perished to Ali for 2 and the score had reached 13. The third Bennett now joined the Boatman but the captain was gone shortly after in the 11th for 10. Chapman strode to the wicket to resume his cricketing relationship with Bennett. He was struck on the pad first ball and may have been lucky to survive the appeal as Hawken tried to make amends for what he believed was a terrible decision made by a fellow Boar last year. Chapman, or Plankton as he became known later in the day, pottered around for a bit longer but he was put out of his misery in the 13th shortly after Bennett had hit three 4’s off Ali.

Kan Kan now twinkled his toes towards the square. Clearly he was in an aggressive mood as he smashed his second ball for 6! Alas he was not to last long as he was given lbw to Williams in the next over for 11. With life already not looking good a further turn for the worse occurred in the 16th over with Bennett H (Lenny) bowled by Ware for 15. A majestic perambulation to the wicket by the Duke was then followed almost immediately by a despondent trudge back as he was bowled without scoring. The score was 48 for 7 and memories of 53 all out at Luckett came flooding back.

Before the day’s proceedings had begun, Judith ‘Bacon Grease’ Chalmers had surveyed the scene. Not wanting to show the world that she had been on yet another sun baked holiday she had disguised her appearance by cleverly turning the air conditioning system in her car to full blast. This had the effect of pebble dashing her face with the white dust that had been accumulating in her car from the renovation work she had been personally carrying out on her holiday home in Trowbridge near Bythesea Road and thus transforming her cheeks from mahogany leather to skimmed milk. She was now prepared to carry out a supporting role that would even surpass the sterling work that her outsize bra had done for the last 30 years.

At the other end Braveheart Wallace, of course, knew nothing of last year’s shambles and set about the Mount Edgcumbe attack with rare gusto, hitting four 4’s as his first scoring strokes. Judith rotated the strike well and before we knew it the score had raced to 91 when Braveheart tried one mighty swipe too many and was caught off Allatt for a brilliant 26. Showing no sign of jet lag Ed ’Case’ Fitch loped out and exchanged holiday destinations and flight times with Judith before settling down to score 13 including two belligerent 4’s in succession off Wilkinson.

When he perished with the score on 121 for 9 the Janner limped out in the 27th over with 12 more to come. Sadly he misconnected with one in the 30th and was gone for 3. Judith remained defiant and undefeated on 26. The last 3 wickets had put on 87 of the 135 scored to give the Boars a sniff of a chance just like Henry VIII had for writing Greensleeves whilst suffering from a heavy cold – boom boom!

 

After tea the home side set about their task. Captain Ware and Shattock opened and the Boars attack began with Ed ‘Case’ and Kan Kan. The opening exchanges were kept very tight, although Ware showed signs of his obvious ability. Sadly, when Braveheart came on to bowl his concentration lapsed. Following a ball that had he missed would have been called wide, he cut a catch to Kan at point and was gone for 18. Partner Shattock stayed a little longer but eventually was well caught at short extra cover by Plankton for 8 again off Braveheart. He then removed Moore lbw in his next over much to the surprise of the Janner who had just seen the ball go past him off the edge of Moore’s bat!

It seemed to come as a shock to the batsman too. He strode off mumbling dark incantations that the umpire did well not to hear.Lenny (Henry) Bennett was the next Boar to strike, bowling Swinglehurst without scoring. Captain Bishop then disposed of Allatt for 3 and the rot had set in. Plankton started bowling from the Lynher end and immediately removed Gill for 2. A fine run out by the Duke sorted Wilkinson but shortly after he misjudged a skier from Ali that left him with a painful proboscis.

Plankton continued his magic and bowled both Lock and Williams in successive overs. When Kan finally removed the hitherto fortunate Ali for 11 the game was won. Mount Edgcumbe had imploded, managing to score only 70 of the 136 runs needed. The disappointment did not linger long and the Boars were invited back for drinks at the local with sausages and chips generously provided by Mount Edgcumbe’s sponsors. Hopefully, any lingering ill feeling over Moore’s dismissal was gone by the time the Boars bought a couple of jugs to wash away the pain.

Second Night

The Boars had to leave by 8pm in order to prepare themselves for the harrowing taxi ride with Smiffy whose chronic Tourette’s is considered to be only marginally worse than that of the bulk of inhabitants of the Rame peninsula. This year’s greeting of ‘Retards’ may have been less vulgar then ‘Wankers, wankers, wankers’, but it would have done nothing for the Politically Correct Society had they just one supporter that could have set up a Rame branch. The Touring party had barely left Cawsand on the short journey to the View restaurant when they were informed by Smiffy that he would like to osculate a part of the anatomy, where the sun is not normally known to shine, of a female occupant of a cottage on their left.

 

 

Sadly it was too dark to appreciate the view from the View on arrival but the food and wine on offer was again splendid. The old bragging game reared its head halfway through the evening when Judith Chalmers decided to obtain a bottle of vodka and use double measures as the forfeit for being convicted of boasting. New to the game this year was Braveheart. The interesting thing was that nobody seemed to believe a word he said but it was still sufficient for the jury to convict him on at least 3 occasions. He also achieved a ‘first’ when he disputed whether his prowess in one area was as good as someone alleged, only for him to be successfully accused of bragging about his modesty!

Sadly when he told his family about his exploits at Mount Edgcumbe, where he was proclaimed Man of the Match, they refused to believe him, thinking that he was making it all up in order to get attention. On further investigation your reporter can exclusively reveal that Braveheart is suffering from a variation of the Munchausen syndrome where people attract attention for themselves by bragging. The condition is believed to have been brought on by the fact that nobody seems to believe a word he says, or take his tales of celebrity encounters and extreme sporting activities seriously. ‘Even his family laugh at him every time he tells them what he’s been up to, as they think he is just making it up,’ said a source, ‘Things have got so bad that he’s taken to carrying a video camera with him everywhere he goes, and filming even the most mundane activities, like a curry with a friend, but they’re not interested. They just ignore him when he tries to show them evidence that he’s telling the truth.’ Your reporter can confirm, however, that Braveheart did indeed go for a swim on the first morning of the tour because the Boatman was with him, revisiting the scene of his 4am dip after returning from the Harbour Lights night club 2 years before, when he proved it was possible to wear the same underpants for 3 days.

 

 

Luckett

The game against Luckett started at 12 noon despite Len Roberts’ concern that there would still be ‘doo’ hanging on in the valley. That was the least of the Boars’ worries though as the Luckett opening bats, the brothers Hoskin, set about their task. Some said that the pair opened for the Luckett first XI but that held no fear for the redoubtable opening attack of the Boars. Fitch and Kan steamed in with their usual aggression and purpose. Fitch was rewarded first with the wicket of J Hoskin. Next in was the Sri Lankan ringer who had played for Luckett firsts all through the season. The Boars soon realised that Wadgue knew what his bat was for. He smashed 15 off his first over from Fitch including a 6 but despite his obvious skill he could not keep it up. Fitch had correctly identified his weakness and bowled him round his legs with the first ball of his next over.

That, however, was not the end of the belligerence of the Luckett batsmen. The run rate threatened to produce a score of more than 300 from the 30 overs it had been agreed to play. Then Wallace and Ware (from Mount Edgcumbe) replaced Fitch and Kan. Ware struck in his first over of slow off spin when he had the first Brown brother caught and bowled. And in Wallace’s second over he had the other Hoskin caught while in his third he had Fuller caught as well.

Although the score had reached 89 in the 10th over 5 wickets had fallen and three of them were first XI players. Belief was beginning to return that the Boars could still win. Unfortunately, Brenton the first team captain appeared to have different ideas. With the younger Brown brother he began to take the game away from the Boars. Every shot he played came from the middle of his bat and the fleeing ball often sailed over the boundary for 6, (except the one that proved too difficult to catch when he was on 16). The pair had put on 89 when Brown was finally caught off Wallace for 38.

Son now joined father. The buhy did well without quite emulating his father, and managed to show a straight bat to most deliveries. His father though did not stay long with him. After smashing 6 sixes he finally was out caught by the Duke off Bishop attempting his seventh, for 66. His innings had taken the game away from the Boars just when it looked like they were in with a good chance.

The remaining overs almost produced as many wickets as runs with Fitch bowling Brenton junior and Ware bowling Roberts. The final score was 205 from the 30 overs – a much lower total than had looked likely at one stage but still a tough challenge at almost 7 an over.

 

After another of Betty Roberts’ splendid teas with clotted cream scones and pasties the Boars began their reply. Dada Bennett and Judith Chalmers opened and faced Parker and Brown. With the words of Captain Boatman to build a foundation ringing in their ears, the intrepid pair resolutely gathered 8 runs off the first 5 overs. Dada soon upped his game and the scoring rate by slamming 3 boundaries off Hoskin A but shortly after that was run out.

The Boatman then entered the fray and set about maintaining the improvement in the run rate. Sadly Judith could not keep up with him and just as the sun threatened to come out again she was momentarily distracted, lifted her head and was bowled by Parker for 5. At least if the mid September sunshine persisted a little longer she would be able to add the next level to her perma tan whilst sitting next to Betty in the comfortable armchair.

Richard Ware was next in line for the Boars. He had been recruited by the Janner the day before when he joined his team mates for the post match sausage and chips at the Mount Edgcumbe Arms. He had had to work that day and was clearly missing his cricket. When the Janner heard that he had scored 146 off 65 balls the previous week he knew that he would be a good replacement for one of the Bohemians. He started well but was outscored by the Boatman until the captain was bowled out by Brown M for a quick fire 34.

Just as the Boars were beginning to increase the run rate they were then hit by the fall of 2 wickets in quick succession. First Kan was caught off Brown M and then Wallace, unable to repeat his heroics of the day before was out for 0 as well. The Duke joined Ware and, unburdened by the falling run rate and the loss of 6 wickets, began to smash the ball around the postage stamp ground. Ware had progressed to 39 when his valiant effort to keep pace with the run rate finally stuttered as Hoskin A clean bowled him. Gloves Bennett, John the Janner and Ed Case Fitch all perished swiftly before the Duke was finally bowled by Fuller for a defiant 23. The Boars had reached 139 but fell well short of the 206 required.

The series is now drawn at 2 apiece with the prospect of a fifth game taking place next autumn. If it takes place on a Sunday then Luckett will no doubt again be boosted by a fair number of first teamers which will make the contest all the harder for the Boars. Your reporter hopes to be back then to see if they can rise to the challenge.

After a quick pint at the Swingle Tree the Boars set off on the return journey still thinking of the horrendous accident that ended Howlin’ Willf’s tour and wondering what might have been. That episode is probably the realest real it’s ever been for the Boars on Tour and precludes me from signing off in my normal fashion as a mark of respect.

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