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29 Apr

Mel Reuben - Cricket Memories

In the 1970’s my cricket club New Rover to get away from the rigors of league cricket use to play friendly cricket matches at numerous village cricket grounds around Yorkshire.
It would be a family occasion wife’s, children and Grandparents would accompany the players making it a social day out away from the big city.

I remember one Sunday we arranged a fixture with the staff of Linton-on-Ouse airbase played at the beautiful village of Newton-on-Ouse. Unfortunately the weather was not that good with a nagging drizzle, however our whole entourage retired to the Dawney Arms the local village pub for liquid refreshments etc. The drizzle stopped and to be honest a few of our guys were quite content to keep on sampling the local brew, however as captain of the club I had a chat with the opposing captain and we decided that as the sun was now out we would have a 25 over bash starting at 4-00 o’clock, the other consideration we had was that our opponents had gone to great lengths to make sumptuous cricket tea.

We batted first and to honest the pitch was not too good and was rather damp we struggled and as our wickets tumbled we were bowled out for only a paltry 34. Our opponents were panicking as teas had not arrived as they were being made at the airbase and don’t forget in those days there was no mobile phones and furthermore the phone box in the village was out of order.
After consultation with our opponent’s skipper we decided to change strait round and have a break when teas arrived. What happened next was unbelievable I decided that rather than use our opening bowlers I would bowl at one end and part time slow bowler David Rose would bowl from the other end, more or less to get the match over quick. Linton found batting on this Bunsen burner of a pitch just as tricky. David was bowling from the end where there was a row of houses.

A lady started to hang out her washing right behind David’s arm. Now most of the washing was frilly lingerie in all colours whether this was a distraction it’s debatable but David soon started to cause havoc taking wickets constantly, we could hear the outgoing batsmen muttering he is turning it out there on a sixpence , which had us in stitches as David rarely ever turned a ball. The last pair were at the wicket with only 31 runs on the board, David with whirl of his arms bowled a Jaffa the batsman edged it that’s it I thought but Malcolm our wicketkeeper somehow slipped as he went to take a regulation catch and the ball trickled downhill for four giving Linton a 1 wicket victory. David was beside himself he had figures of 9 for 10 I calmed him down and eventually teas arrived, and the lady in the houses was hanging out more frilly underwear much to the gaping eyes of some of our younger cricketers.

After teas we all retired back to the Dawney Arms for more liquid refreshment the kids were running around enjoying themselves on the village green the WAGS were nattering away. David sighing over his pint said to me do you realise if Malcolm had taken that catch I would have done a Hedley Verity and taken 10 for 10.

That same year we were playing at Stillingfleet near Selby. Next to the cricket ground was a field with a herd of cows. We had taken lots of children with us they were running around enjoying themselves.

Unfortunately they left a gate open one of the cows got out and trotted over to the car park and took a shining to Anthony Vincent’s brand new shiny Volvo and started to lick it. Anthony was batting when their captain said whose car is that cow licking down yonder, because its tongue is like sandpaper it will strip the paint. Anthony screamed and set of running whirling his bat and shouting at the cow, it was like something from the Keystone cops, luckily we manage to coral the cow back to their field and lock the gate. There was only slight superficial damage and to annoy Anthony even further all the kids kept running round the boundary, taunting him by shouting, moo! moo! moo! all afternoon.

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