The ground was a rough one, used primarily for football with towering floodlights and a grassy outfield that could have stopped tanks. The wicket looked slow, spongy and grassy, with an alarming hole in it, but it turned out to be quite lively. I didn't fancy batting on it, and was pretty relieved when I found out we were bowling first.
No nature spotting for a bit, but it did mean I was going to get to eat a really good tea and not have to worry about fielding like Jockey Wilson afterwards.
Early on their big openers got really stuck into us, and the ball was flying to all parts at great height - didn't need to worry about the long grass then - and I feared we'd be chasing 350. Luckily we have new mystery spinner straight out of Asia, or rather the well known grocer shop in town on Beacon Hill, and he slowed up the scoring a bit while taking three wickets.
We had a real scratch side today in the seconds, with only about 4 regular players in all the Newark sides let alone the 2s, so our young lads did well not to let their heads drop and really kept on it. Muggins here ended up bowling his first 12 over spell in his life, and managed to take 3 wickets thanks to great catching. While getting battered as usual.
Unfortunately in my overexcitement I celebrated these wickets by losing control of my body and mind in general, and ran around like a Pikachu on methamphetamine while standing on a hotplate. This degree of mania resulted in me being given the man of the match awards by my team mates.
They still managed 284-7 though, and I figured I wasn't going to get much time for nature spotting so I got on with it straight away, zeroing in on a buddleia growing at one end of the rather unprepossessing ground.
It smelled sweet, and it was alive with bees; bees, bumblebees and butterflies, the three Bs of the summer. Red admirals, peacocks, small tortoiseshells and commas, the species I always associate with this plant at this time of year. There was a rodent crashing about as well, but I never saw it.
There was an opportunity to look at the outside of the club as well. You could really imagine the Jim Bowens and Mike Reads performing here in the 70s.
I soon had to get padded up though, as wickets fell, and being the strongest batsman I have to be at bottom of the order supporting the others - that's how I look at it anyway and nothing at all to do with being rubbish - and yet another 0 not out proved this.
A loss again indeed, but a rather more productive one than normal.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.07.16
|The pressure in on us
|3 layers of watchers
|Small tort in the grass
|Doing its thing while the sun shines
|Comma with bee friends
|White tailed bumble
|Size contrast between worker and female
|Not sure about the luxury level of this "Ken Batey Suite"
|"There were these three Irishmen..."