Lads v Dads cricket report
A newly minted trophy was up for grabs in the Leavers vs Parents annual cricket fixture, which took place on a glorious summer’s evening on Wolvesey. That, and standard family rivalry meant this was a keenly contested match.
The tactics started before the first ball was bowled. The adults had attempted to gain a competitive advantage by wearing the boys out via a cunningly scheduled full day of watersports activities in Poole. But the failure of this scheme was evident from the start as the boys took to the fray full of energy, breezy chat and general joie de vivre.
The drama began from the very first balls, with umpire Phillip Guest being regularly called on to make a series of increasingly expansive signals. Intimidating openers Anand Fernandes and Neal Croft put immediate pressure on Rohan and William, somewhat disbelieving smiles from the batsmen showing grudging respect for the wily skills of their elders.
The pendulum swung back in the boys’ favour after Rory K struck a series of lusty blows off Simon, one nearly taking Mr Darlow’s hand off in the process. (Was it a dropped catch? Maybe officially, and certainly one member of the Kennedy family will remember it that way…)
Meanwhile, Johnny Huxley steamed in to bowl an incredulous Harry first ball, prompting Simon Kennedy to quip from deep cover, ‘What you gain now in glory you’ll pay for later in therapy.’ The comment, while incisive, had no noticeable effect on the Huxley bowling.
Despite some unexpectedly good catching from the adults (Orlando Fox and Paresh Thakrar particularly), the boys steadily amassed a very creditable total of 86, Charles L bringing out the reverse cut to notable effect and Toby L also batting elegantly.
The total, though, was eminently achievable for the dads. An easy cruise to victory was surely in the bag…
As it transpired, the dads’ team never really got over tea. (Was the lashings of beer and fine sparkling wine to blame? Perish the thought...)
Tim Daukes hit many an expansive shot; Simon Liddiard fairly toyed with the fielders; the Charlies (Grant and Lingard) were imperious at the crease; Simon Kennedy and Johnny Huxley managed to up the psycho-drama with aggressive shot-play interspersed by the liberal tumbling of wickets.
The boys were firmly on top, the result of tight bowling, sharp fielding and outstanding catching (Freddie Fox, Rohan Thakrar). A good 40 runs were required from the last few sets.
The triumvirate of Peter Richards, Myles Greenwood and Will Darlow took to the field full of trepidation as speed merchants Charles Li and Thomas R paced out their unnecessarily long run-ups. Despite some absurd shot selection and brilliant fielding, the deficit was slowly whittled down to the point where, as the last over started, one nervous boy exclaimed, ‘Hang on, lads, they could actually get this…’
It was not to be. The boys hung on tenaciously to claim a well deserved victory and a sparkly new trophy (for which many thanks to the Huxley family).
Words of gratitude all round were expressed as the last rays of sunlight fell over Wolvesey and the Alex Halliday Pavilion – particularly to the supporters, the staff and family members who had so kindly turned out, Myles Greenwood for making it all happen, the umpires, and the catering team for the delicious match tea.
This fixture is a highlight in the leavers’ calendar, and long may it continue. The boys deserve great credit for the mature but light-hearted way in which they approached the game and conducted themselves. Witnessing the boys’ team spirit and delight in each other’s company was a joy in itself. Thank you, Pilgrims’.
Year 8 parent