Sunday 30 June 2019

Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man

Off to Hoveringham today to play on a very scenic  little ground, where oystercatchers made a peeping racket as they flew past, while house martins twittered about the treetops before the swifts came out to play later.

Lots of damselflies were out and about, and I found a peacock caterpillar when I was fielding at mid on. Hope it didn't get squished.

So we fielded first, and after the lump of plastecine we bowled on yesterday, today's wicket had much more carry and felt like I was able to bowl with more pace.

Of course, most of the runs scored off me were off streaky edges, and my wicket was taken off a rank ball. That's the way cricket goes.

We bowled pretty well as a unit, and at 100-9 we had Hoveringham in trouble. However, the last wicket pair managed to add 50 runs in a very annoying fashion and we didn't bowl well at them at the end. In the end, we did stump the last batsman, but they set us 150 to win.

I felt it was a bit much, especially as we only had 10 men versus their 11. We lost wickets steadily early doors, although our opener from yesterday scored 59 again and never looked in difficulty until the ball that bowled him. I did a big chunk of umpiring so didn't have time to take many photos alas, but I enjoyed waving my arms around, falling over when attempting to signal leg byes, and given stern faced "NOT OUT" decisions as they appealed at me.

I think most of us thought the game was gone when our experienced opener got out, but two young lads, both 14, played absolutely brilliantly for a good hour or so to chip away at the runs. Even the opposition fast bowler was seen off, which was a relief as there was no way I wanted to face him.

But I had to go in with 20 needed, and only two wickets left. I was very nervous, far more so than my young partner. Didn't have a clue what I was doing, especially as I had the sun shining straight in my face at one end.

Then I got my shit together, as they say, and hit a two before smashing the ball into a hedge for the first 6 of my life, much to the joy of the travelling Newark ultras.

Finished it off by hitting a 4 into the same hedge to win the match.

And now I am going to have a drink.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.06.19

Saturday 29 June 2019

So Near yet so Fart

Well, as expected, today was a murderously hot day to be playing cricket in, but off we went to face Oxton Toads - yes seriously - up at their beautiful ground near Southwell.

Although as the pub in the village is called The Green Dragon, it might as well be near Hobbiton.

Our skipper won and the toss and we batted, which was good for him as we would have hit him if we'd had to bowl. It was such a turgid slow wicket, and long grassy outfield, that scoring was very difficult, and only our opening bat, on leave from a first team that are busy drinking themselves to death on a stag do in Hamburg, really got to grips with it in making 60.

Other folk stuck around with him, but boundaries were few.

I spent most of the innings downward dogging and cobra-ing on the outfield to try and stretch my back. While the team laughed from the pavilion.

Lots of butterflies were fluttering by; mainly red admirals and painted ladies. As ever keening buzzards were being mobbed by crows.

When I went into bat at number 10, my prior injury made it very hard to get my box on with the swelling, but it didn't bother me as much as I thought. It certainly didn't stop me from hitting two boundaries in a row to end up second top scorer (!) on a mighty 11 not out.

Bowling wise, I opened up when it was still blisteringly hot, and opened up with three terrible wides before settling down to bowl well, and even bowling one of their opening bats with a beauty. I actually bowled well enough by my own low standards, but another dropped catch off my bowling proved costly alas. In 34 degree heat.

The heat meant I was dying after 7 overs, and even if the skipper hadn't taken me off I think I was about ready to collapse. 7 overs 1-13. Luck isn't running for me.

But we had other good bowlers, and we chipped away with good fielding, to reduce Oxton to 83-7 and falling behind the run rate - they too couldn't score and the batsman who was dropped off me was suffering from cramp.

My own issue at this point was that my position was at square leg, and the umpire was being frequently, if quietly, flatulent. It was somewhat distracting.

Anyway, their number 9 bat was one of those annoyingly lucky mega-sloggers, and today was his day. He hit two sixes to win the match, with just two overs to go.

We were so bloody close! So annoying!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.06.19

Friday 28 June 2019

More Magical Creatures

Temperature really ramping up ready for tomorrow, where a very hot day awaits this fast bowler at Oxton, and then at Hoveringham on Sunday.

5 butterfly species seen at work today; painted lady, small skipper, brown argus, ringlet and meadow brown. Only got a shot of the meadow brown though.

The 5 spot burnets were around in greater numbers today, there was barely a thistle head that didn't have one sat irridescing in the sun.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.06.19

Thursday 27 June 2019

The Painted Lady Invasion

I read earlier on today that in amongst all this terrible weather, we have had the biggest influx of painted lady butterflies in the UK  since 2009, with over ten times the normal number of the species being reported.

I know little of the veracity of these claims, but I do know that I don't see too many round here, and certainly have never seen any at work. So to see two today was quite surprising.

The one that I managed to snap took a long time to settle down, but I got the shot eventually.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 27.06.19

Wednesday 26 June 2019

The Fairy Creatures are Back

A quick lunchtime walk today revealed that the second pyramidal orchid on campus has now bloomed, wow a population of two! A very unfamiliar purple plant has also appeared on the grassland; common carders love it but I have no idea what it is. Maybe some sort of woundwort? Answers below.

Of more note, is the appearance of our resident teasel and thistle loving fairy creatures from Lothlorien, the 5 spot burnet moth. Why our campus attracts so many 5 spotters, and no 6 spotters, is something completely beyond me, but as July goes on they will become endemic, forming spotty clusters on the big flowering teasel heads.

I guess I rewrite a version of this blog post every year, but I don't regret it. Just to another excuse to show some very pretty insects!


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 26.06.19

Sunday 23 June 2019

Of Batty Girls and Chatty Ladies

I should have had a Sunday match today over Retford way, but it was cancelled by the opposition.

We would have struggled to raise a side as well, but for a very good reason. Most of  our Sunday regulars were over at our ground helping out with a large scale quick cricket festival which started off in the morning with junior games, which I watched for a bit and had a burger and a cup of tea, and then in the afternoon it became a Ladies' tournament, featuring the "Batty Girls" "Chatty Girls" "Aztecs" and "Nomads" playing in a round robin format.

The ground was thus busy all day, with drinks flowing in the bar, Prosecco being scoffed as a pre-match warm up by the women, and excellent burgers and sausages.

It would have been a terrible shame not to spend the whole day there, and I did with a short break to go to the park and do a quick bit of shopping.

Of course, inspired by all that was happening all around us, myself and a few other players went and had our own game, the first ever on our new second field. My grown up companions couldn't help but smash 10 year old bowlers for 6 though (says the man who would have if he was good enough).

I loved the very flash black plastic bats that we used.

A Notts County Cricket Club rep was doing the rounds, making big ticks as to how representational we were I hope!

The day seemed to be a big success overall, although no-one seemed sure as to who had won the whole thing. The expected bad weather held off, it was actually very warm and humid most of the day, and after  losing so much cricket this year it was nice to take a small part in really good event.

They wouldn't let me join one of the ladies teams though. Despite my injury.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 23.06.19