Bures Cricket Tour 2007

(with thanks to The Skipper for the report - how did he remember so much?)

The advance party set off from The Bures Swan at 2.00pm on Friday 6th July. Good progress was made to allow a beer at The Crescent Hotel bar at 6.30pm; the Skipper’s car with Big Pat, Si & Chris was alcohol free but Jim Lee & his entourage of Fenners, Sibboe, Phil & Pilgy took the precaution of having beer in the car (4 cases of premium lager). Nick Sibbons won the first accolade of the weekend in recognition of being drunk when he arrived at Ilkley, eyes rolling and words slurring. He was put to bed fairly quickly but kept reappearing like a nasty itch. Eventually the hotel chef found him rolling on the first floor landing, in and out of consciousness he was put to bed and thankfully did not appear again until the morning.

The rest of the team including Chris & Si Ayers, Pat McKenna, Chris Chambers, Mark Fenwick, Phil Moore, Robert Pilgrim and Jim Lee tucked into creamy northern beer and some acceptable lagers. Dinner was sacrificed in favour of extra drinking time in the knowledge that Turkish dishes would be available later . . . . .much, much later!

Without making notes on an hourly basis some of the detail is a little hazy to recall; my recollection is that two further Ilkley pubs and a Turkish counter were visited before returning to the Crescent Hotel for a 1.00pm nightcap. After the staff had finally evicted non-residents the team was permitted a final tipple which for some reason became elongated to the extent of the final three departing at 3.40am. A good effort from Peanut, 2.30am Thursday, 3.40am Friday…..what would Saturday bring?

Well fairly predictably Saturday brought hangovers and the hope of thunderstorms which did not materialize. A departure was made to The Hunters Inn at Weeton & Huby for lunch, which was dismissed in favour of another pub closer the ground. Due to adverse weather our venue was changed to the Ilkley Grammar School , an attractive setting, semi-municipal with an artificial wicket! Now at full strength with the arrival of Dave Warden and Adrian Wigan we got on with the main purpose of the weekend and invited the opposition to bat. Jim Lee  produced a respectable 6 wickets and steady performances from Chris Chambers and Pat McKenna saw play close at 204 for 8 in 30 overs. Sadly my recollection of the Bures batting is far from hazy; needless to say, The Hawks CC won. Mistimed drives, ambitious pull shots and a lack of application contributed. More importantly however, we survived the afternoon and our thoughts turned to the evening ahead!

Just a quick couple of pints at The Crescent before a shower and change turned out to be a few more, eventually the team emerged for bar drinks with the arrival of Robert Chambers and Nigel & Sarah Norton. These three supporters with Dave Warden took the sensible option of an Ilkley curry whilst Jim Lee rallied the team to depart for the Albert. Si Ayers demonstrated that he has not lost his powers of seduction pulling a grey haired Ilkley lass. Next stop the Rose & Crown, beer, more beer, Vodka, Tequila slammers and then the Shoes. Yes, cream pointed shoes, probably hand made which became the focus of amusement. First Chris Ayers, a bit like a penguin and then the Skipper, probably showing them to their full potential with colour co-ordinated trousers. Later they were split up and eventually, along with other shoes, returned to their rightful owners.

The Escape Bar followed The Rose & Crown and whilst quiet on arrival, this place was to prove our saviour. We soon introduced ourselves to Yar from Wales , slim, blond and posh, Yar 2 not so posh and The Pole from Wales. Big Pat was straight in with a Travolta dancing routine and the large Vodkas, Apple sours and lagers flowed. A grumpy DJ caused us to relocate to the Yard Bar with Yar, Yar 2 and The Pole in tow. Fortunately the Crescent Bar was still open at 1.30am and the serious players enjoyed the Yar and Bar staff company; proceedings closing at 4.20am, a personal best for Peanut who raised the pole of Bar Endurance.

Sunday was part of Saturday and Saturday part of Friday but hangovers had to be carefully put to one side to concentrate on cricket against the Olicanian Striders. The less hungover explored Ilkley Moor whilst Jim, Sibbo & Fenners when off for a spin to rock climb at the Cow & Calf. The team assembled for lunch at the Crescent at 12.00, essential ballast for those that missed breakfast.

As we arrived at the Ilkley ground the heavens opened but the Striders had the forethought to use covers so we were game on. The team was treated to an inspiring and motivational speech by Big Pat, emphasizing the importance of effort with candid reference to Churchill in 1940, Henry V at Agincourt and Nelson at Trafalgar……bulldog spirit was required, chin up and strength of resolve.

The Skipper lost the toss and not unsurprisingly the Striders elected to bat; but they struggled against an accurate and steady bowling attack from  Big Pat (13 overs 2 wickets 21 runs)  Jim chipped in with 2 wickets and the Skipper 5 for 25. There was some brilliant fielding, good catches and the Striders were back in the pavilion all out for 79 after 25 overs. Not bad considering everything!

Bures opened proceedings with Dave Warden and Adrian Wigan , both of whom made steady but slow progress on a wicket designed for singles and not boundaries; the bowling was steady and we fell short by 6 runs. It was a good game and coming second on this occasion did not matter. After the usual exchange of thanks The Skipper, Dave, Chris & Si, Wiggers and Pat tucked into creamy Tetleys before returning to meet the rest of the Bures team at The Crescent bar.

A similar routine was to follow, the Albert and then The Star for Sunday evening Karaoke. With backs to the bar the Wigmeister gave two choral renditions of modern pop music before losing his shirt, saved by a King Charles Spaniel who gave him his fleece. Pizzas, Kebabs and Burgers were the nightcap and the weekend drew to a close.

A good time by all with some very funny  moments…..EVERYONE  played a part in that….it’s a team game!

And what about next year, do I sense a change in the air?

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