Secretary Hiscocks first retired in 2009, after reaching his fifties, so far as I can recall, and has come back since several times.
Skittles skittled selection for this weekend as a horde of players went off to terrorise Minehead and the irregulars of Dads Army and ne’er do wells were roped in.
The secretary was exhumed from his sarcophagus and played an exemplary knock to restore Twos’ pride.
Let’s face it, you win the toss against nine men, choose to bat on the always-very-excellent Bryn y Don land of milk and honey and you’re 56-4 – that’s bloody rubbish. By any standards.
Sixty from the secretary and then the bowlers start caning it merrily and, what can you say, why on earth embark on a batting career in the first place?
Swansea student Reuben Mitchell – amazingly sober and fresh-faced for a first-year – and left-arm thunderer Will Mardell made 30 and 20 respectively to leave us on 227-9. Below par really. But after the shocking start, not bad.
Lots of wides too – 48 – which broke the back of Croesyceiliog’s decent attempt to skittle us against the odds.
In response, once the opening partnership was broken at 56, the game was an advert for never playing again. An excrutiating 30 overs was then played out, quite understandably, by the visitors who recognised the game was beyond them and reached a catatonic 143-3.
Only 83 off the bat, which at least made our first five feel a bit better.
In return we bowled 50-plus wides. A ton of wides in 90-over match – one an over (though there were some five-wides as the ball raced to the boundary).
What with batsmen being unable to bat and bowlers, largely, unable to land it accurately, there’s a good argument next week for bowlers batting and the batsmen doing the bowling.
Bill Keeling RIP
Bill never made a ton in his cricket career, though it was a lot harder back in the day when entire teams struggled to make 100 (you never played at Old Cantonian did you? They played on a buttercup field and if you had false teeth you were advised to take them out before batting).
And he fell one short in real life last week. But it was a great knock.
The marvellous thing about playing cricket is that, as a teenager starting out, you play with people three times your age and entirely unlike any other people you mix with because, of course, you’re still at school.
Consequently, they make a big impression on you.
In 1978, Bill was 63, only slightly younger than my grandad, and his regular Twos’ opening partner, Reg, was 59. They were still at it four years later when their combined age was 130.
Reg, Yorkshire-mad, partially deaf, never stopped talking, and was caller of quick singles to gully, even at 67. He is still asked after by opponents and one player told me last year: “I used to love playing against him.”
Playing from 1957 to the early 80s Bill was the quiet force at the other end. He had been either a captain or a lieutenant in the forces and used to talk about playing cricket in Germany and modestly said he only got picked in the 50s and 60s because he was the only person to have a car to take players to away games.
Huw Lloyd: “I remember his green Wolsey car and he always batted in the cravat. He never swore, ever.
“He used to walk over to Wenvoe to play rather than take the car and he played Wimbledon as a vet.
“Glyn Rees said he would take the weekend money round to him as he was treasurer and Bill would be in the window there as he walked up the drive – he said he felt like he was being received by the Pope.”
And Kelvin Thomas: “He beat me in the single wicket when I was 16 and then, over at the tennis club, he beat me a couple of weeks later in the club championship. He was at least 70 then!”
He was, there’s no doubt and to use a phrase he would certainly approve of, quite a chap!
RIP old boy.
Final blast from the past
Travels away mean the season is already over for me. Courtesy of another old boy, John Brain RIP, a fixture card from 1979 when Bill would certainly have featured in many matches.
And just to prove that we have been spelling Llantwit Fardre wrongly for more than 35 years – and we played well into September:
‘Abercymon’ sounds an improvement on the original.
And who were SW?
- Cheers to Simon Hiscocks and Huw Lloyd for pictures