Played our friends Beeston and Toton Sycamore - curious name! - out at the horrid municiple ground at Stapleford. It's a slightly rough area, when we played a game last year there were drunks fighting on the wicket at tea time, and the pavilion looks like it was formerly used as a Chilean Secret Police torture facility.
The screams would echo round the dressing rooms, before the dissidents were taken to be shot on the bowling green next door.
We were merely given a slow, up and down wicket and an outfield scattered with gifts from the Gods, I mean dogs, and a howling wind to contend with.
It was also grey and muggy as hell, and as we bowled first, it played havoc with my radar. The ball was swinging miles, and if I bowled at the stumps, it ended up swinging so far away it was called a wide. I did get to grips with it a bit, but having to aim outside leg stump in order to get the ball less than a foot outside off was a bit of strange one.
I bowled too many wides. Not good. I bowled a lot of really good bat beating outswingers too, but my only wicket was off a horrible long hop - always the way. There were edges, but they didn't go to hand.
Still we bowled and fielded (my one howler apart) very well, and kept them to 65-8 off 36 overs, despite the fact that our evident continual albatross shooting is leading us to be cursed - we lost our keeper today with a broken finger. This proved crucial.
Tea was great, in the sense that there was a lot of it which is why I always prefer fielding first, and as we batted, I scouted out the ground.
Some of you may remember it from last year; it lies overlooked by the famous Sandy Cliff landmark of Nottingham but it really isn't a pace to do any sightseeing. Swifts were about however, and there were some noisy bubbling house martins around as well. A few bees were present on the few flowering plants in the park, but none wanted to stay long enough to be photographed. I don't blame them.
Meanwhile, we started off batting, and against relentlessly accurate bowling, we struggled to get the ball away. I think I went in with 30 still needed at number 8 - PROMOTION!!! - and my batting partner immediately told me to stay forward.
Dreaming of winning a match with the bat again, I did so, and we made good progress for a few overs. At least he did, I just kept the ball out and ran like hell between the wickets.
Eventually, their left arm bowling version of me, if I looked like something out of a Japanese Manga comic, dropped a short ball in, and I went back to pull it to leg. WENT BACK. The ball stayed low, and hit me on the pad, but I figured the ball pitched rather outside leg and was thus safe.
Too bad the umpire didn't. My own team mate gave me out AGAIN when we were trying to win. We ended up losing by 6 runs.
Oh well. Some days are just rubbish.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 10.06.17