Sunday the 5th of September saw The Mighty Wanderers assemble at HQ (Headstone Lane) on a glorious late summer day to do battle with Guy Stewarts gallant Good Length Eleven (complete with their international stars Paddington Bear, Beau Geste and Porky No-Neck). The setting, bathed in the warm sunshine of Olde Englande was inspirational, and drove the Wanderers on to new levels of triumph and ineptitude.
The Good Length Elevens final total of 186 all out was to prove a river too deep, a mountain too high for our mercurial batting, but was marked by some singularly good points.
Though missing key members of our planned attack, the opposition was bowled out for the first time, with significant contributions from unlikely sources.
Jah Wuffereli Lupff, his all-round capabilities recalling the halcyon days of his captaincy of Blennerhasset United Miners and Shepherds in the late 30s, worked up a notable head of steam, and was unlucky not to claim more than his single scalp.
The sight of Kingsley bowling once again with the wind blasting from behind was obviously a special one to veteran Wanderers, and the old warhorse, having announced his intentions with a terrifying yard-from-the-umpire-eight-bounce-self-yorking-beamer, took two clean bowled early wickets in succession. His fielding skills were also memorably on display for any youngsters to learn obvious lessons from.
Dr Sacha Wheeler, making his Wanderers debut, had already done more than enough by turning out in an exemplary pair of properly cut flannels and an Old Mexiconians sweater, but proceeded to gild the lily with a wonderful display of teasing spin resulting in an incredible second hat-trick opportunity - sadly spurned by the unaccountably unobliging new batsmen in both cases ( cant think why, dashed unsporting, must speak to Wildman about it!)
Margaret, a jungle panther in the field, Bob-our-Uncle and, most memorably, Gaf all claimed first Wanderers wickets. The Welsh Wizards spectacular effort in the final over sent Wildmans stumps flying, the team into delerium, and his name etched forever on the gold shield of Wandering legend. He was rightly applauded off the field at the head of the team (finally coming to a halt looking vaguely embarrassed).
Equally destined for the Gilded Book of Deeds of Wandering Gold was RampraMurds blinding catch off to his left to dismiss Blatcher off Maggie the Cat. Reports are still coming in of celebratory 48hr naked beach bonfire orgies around Portree.
The rapid demise of our top order saw off any realistic hope of victory (Margaret,
targeted early on as danger no.1 by the oppo. gloved a hideous snorter that saw grown men duck and little children weep with fear), but Wuffereli, that immovable block of Cumbrian grit, dropped a typical anchor of implacable nudging nurdlege with Captain Smith that, once a terrifying spell of high lobs clearly aimed at the Jolly Green Giants knackers had been seen off, produced a good stand. Concerned Smith watchers were happy to note that his shoulder was sound and his ring at peace. Though twice as old now as Alec Stewart, his keeping was easily half as good.
However the batting highlight of the day was possibly supplied by Bob-our-Uncle whose
indefatigable innings of 25 not out had the Good Lengthers casting hopeful eyes up to the increasingly thundery skies. He was joined in a final stand by none other than Little Jimmy himself, the fourth Baron Bignose - reluctant before, but a committed steely-eyed competitor reborn once at the crease. He is being actively sought as our gentleman-amateur for next year.
As for your club secretary, he was pleased to have bowled three overs without notable disaster, and his batting was absolutely straight..........over a Wildman yorker.
Till next year.