This game had a sort of James Bond-ian element to it.
Two of the division’s title contestants finally met for our first second team joust in the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire League.
You could imagine Fordy and the Monmouth skipper Martin Newell warily eyeing each other up and both thinking, while metaphorically stroking furry white expensive cats, at the coin toss: “So (a long drawn out S-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o), we finally meet at last, Mr Bond, er Mr Newell/Ford.”
Fordy does have piercingly blue eyes, but the resemblance to Daniel Craig stops there.
A shake of the hands, a cool choice to bat (by them) and then battle was joined.
Unfortunately we were the ones who got fed to the sharks. And it wasn’t very thrilling either.
For us, a huge anti-climax. At second team level we were possibly meeting for the first time ever – Monmouth having played in a cross-border league with people from the wrong side of Offa’s Dyke until last year and DP having been way down the South Wales cricketing food chain. Although the firsts got murdered last year by their firsts.
In fact, this was the first fixture I looked for on the list and I’d been looking forward to it for three months. More fool me.
We literally got bloody roasted as Monmouth cracked 247-5 in 45 overs that took three hours to bowl, under a desert sun.
Waitrose became a shimmering oasis in the distance and we fielders, baked to hollow crisps, hallucinated about Soleros and classic Magnums. Personally I was delirious by 3pm.
The skin on my hands was scorched off and I could clean my ears with my knuckles. And then I was lbw first ball of our innings.
It took a walk down the High Street, a coffee in Caffe Nero and a tub of mango yoghurt from Waitrose, thankfully not a mirage, to convince me that now was not the time to quit cricket forever. A close call.
Returned to find us about 80-3 with teenager Dan Pearce en route to a top score of 33 as we subsided to 174 all out – generous DP giving four lbws, like we wanted to be their best butties or something.
Still, no complaints – melons and chocolate ice creams for tea and we could watch the test on Sky.
Our hosts may even go up instead of us. I mean, crikey, they had rope for a boundary. ROPE! These chaps have South Wales Super League aspirations.
If we had rope on the Common it would be nicked. Probably during the game.
So a bad day at the office. An excrutiating day at the office. But it was a very nicely done up office.
As I hope Fordy thought to himself – though I somehow doubt it – with a 007-esque resolve: “We will meet again. Next time you will not be so lucky.”