Fri 25th May – 7th XI vs Full Monty

Some years ago, a film was made starring Bill Murray called “Groundhog Day”. The central premise of this film was that Bill Murray’s life had become so repetitive he was unable to distinguish one day from another. In many ways, this Dulwich 7th XI tour has come to resemble Groundhog Day.

  1. Friday, set off from London, leaving plenty of time, get stuck behind a Norbert Dentressangle articulated lorry halfway down the dodgy bit of the A303. Actually, sometimes it’s Eddie Stobart or Willy Betz. Try a short cut, get lost in squaddyville just off Salisbury Plain. Arrive late in Bruton. The vitriol and unpleasantness in the car that is likely to occur can be directly attributable to the length of the queues at the roundabouts of the Z303. (On some signposts it appears as the A303, but anyone who has travelled on this road will acknowledge that to describe this road as an ‘A’ road is rather like calling Donald Trump a politician.)
  2. Drive to Bruton. Play the Full Monty. Lose to the Full Monty in 20 over bash. Fail to score enough runs or bowl accurately enough to stop the Full Monty batsmen filling their boots. Go to Montacute and drink several pints of Otter Ale.
  3. Pan Pylas suffers the usual nervous breakdown in the week running up to the tour as people cry off with various ailments, injuries, diseases, marital breakdown, marital breakup, Brexit, death: the usual lame excuses.

But then the sylvan delights of Sexey’s school playing field revived all our spirits. (N.B. There are no more jokes to be made about the name of this school. Your reporter has been writing this match report for 10 years.)

This state of euphoria was short-lived, however, when opening bats Tate and Gasson (Snr.) destroyed Dulwich’s bowling with a blistering assault: one that might have been halted when Solicitor Griffiths was introduced into Dulwich’s attack. For those of you unfamiliar with Griffiths bowling, it was memorably and accurately described by Simon (a regular of the George Hotel, Castle Cary) as the bowling of a “dibbley dobbley spin arsed t**t”.

Nevertheless, it must be said that Griffiths’ “tactics” may have been justified if only the septuagenarian Gibson had clung on to a towering, spiralling catch at deep mid on. Sadly, the chance was spilled and the Solicitor ended with the not entirely satisfactory figures of 0 for 30 off 4 overs. Gibson’s ineptitude was partly due to an earlier encounter he had with a ditch and some stinging nettles in a lay-by between Yeovil and Wincanton on the A 303. Gibson’s weak bladder has led to a number of mishaps on this journey and it is high time the authorities saw their way clear, to providing adequate toiletry facilities on this main arterial road. Perhaps one could be constructed near Stonehenge. This would enable both Druids and members of the general public to relieve themselves when the need arose. But I digress from the main gist, nub and substance of my report.

Dulwich arrived with 9 players but were brought up to strength by the ebullient and voluble 12 year old: Cyrus, who bowled and fielded with commendable fortitude. Dulwich’s reply to Monty’s 105 was full of purpose, but it was all to no avail. Both Corbett snr. and jr. held Dulwich at bay and the required run rate was never quite achieved. This may have been due to a certain lassitude by Dulwich’s scoreboard operators who on several occasions left Mascarenhas (29), Branch (24) and Rochford (17) having to speculate on what was the exact nature of their task. In 20 over games, information is king! Both sides repaired to the Montague Arms for curry, chips and several pints of Otter Amber Ale: a smooth palatable brew with notes of caramel and a biscuity finish.

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