Gestingthorpe CC V Sampfords CC 26/6/11

Herminia: The  memory palace is a mnemonic system well known to ancient scholars where reams of information are preserved.  As the vandals burned books during the dark ages much data was kept safe there.

Estefania:  So to clear this up, you can remember facts about say, the Permian–Triassic extinction event, earth’s largest extinction, killing an estimated 83% of all genera and 70% of all land species, just by wandering the great halls and state rooms of a fantasy palace in your own head? Is that correct?

Herminia: Yes my darling.

Estefania:  But why my darling?  It sounds like a construct only required by a persecuted medieval monk with a secret or Dr Hannibal Lecter.

Herminia: Our annual joy my love.  I want to remember the schedule, the structure, the specifications, the minutiae of our annual joy.  I never want to forget him or any of his actions.  And the only way I can so do is with my memory palace.

Estefania: O jesu our annual joy is truly joyful.  Have you heard much from him, our bringer of annual joy?

Herminia: I had a swig just now from the vial he filled before departure.  Cold is how I like it.

Estefania:  Yes me too.  But I mean from the PI.  The one following him.

Herminia:  Well yes actually I do, and its funny you have just mentioned the Permian–Triassic extinction event.  You know how that extinction ended the primacy of mammal-like reptiles and paved the way for the archosaurs, mammals and ultimately us humans.

Estefania:  Of course I know that, who on this earth doesn’t know a simple fact like that, even people without mnemonic memory palaces to help them know that fact, know that fact.

Herminia:  Well yes thats true, but think about the death of kingdoms, classes, genera, of whole species and sub-species.  Always, following any mass extinction, new dynasties will occupy the vacant niches.  Hot, home grown talent will fill the void left by the extinction of any level of the taxonomic classification.

Estefania:  Darling, I have no idea what this has to do with our PI following our annual joy however.

Herminia:  The PI just told me.  One species is dead; our annual joy has filled the void.  He is in primacy.

Estefania:  Can you read me his whole report please darling whilst I touch myself.

Herminia:  Yes I can.  Dear girls, he writes, you won’t know many of the banal people mentioned in this report, but don’t concern yourself with such trivialities – They are just filling in the life of your annual joy and of importance to no one. Annual joy had a word with the captain and with the Hopkinson who both did something correctly for the first time in years and reduced the opposition to 132 for 7 in 2 and half hours.

At this point the hulking phylum of Ryan Webster became extinct, sacrificed on the altar of avarice erected by the leaping salmon in the public’s trousers when they heard tales of your annual joys actions.  Webster is extinct, annual joy marched in to ascendancy and pre-eminency and all are happy.  He timed the ball, he drove the ball, he made that leather whistle and hum to his tunes and top scored for Sampfords as they were cast as victors by 2 wickets.

Estefania:  So its all down to James?

Herminia:  I know darling he saved them, just as he does every week.  I am drinking from my little vial again.

Estefania: Me too darling.  Lets touch.  We won’t charge him again.

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Wickham Saint Pauls CC V Sampfords CC 12-6-11

Regrettably I forget the finer details of how Good God went about the business of telling his buddy Noah that it was soon turning a touch wet and you best build yourself a boat bigger than Charlie Squires house, but the finer details are less important here than the warning itself.  When Jacques Cousteau first started his underwater experimentations on diving apparatus his son helped him build the prototype aqua lung, with parts, when required, from his leg braces.  “Preparation was key to Cousteau’s success and the parts obtained from his sons leg braces probably saved the divers life on more than one occasion, but left the poor lad however, stuck in a back bedroom unable to walk, as his dad lorded it up down in the Med and I cried into my gin by the pool”, said his forlorn wife in 1981. Before a dive off the top platform, even little Tom Daley is provided with a triple pack of miniature crack-hugging lycra protection from his main sponsor Speedo Thrower. 

The connection between the three case studies above is the need and desire for thorough preparation before attempting H2O based activities.  Even the dogs of Sampford village prepare for a long drink of water from their bowl by having a turn out on the cricket field, usually near where I am fielding.  No longer playing our cricket in the Ural Mountains we don’t bother anymore to pack our thermal whites, and since that disastrous tour to a village that was claimed by the North Sea over 80 years ago our wetsuit whites have hung idly by in an attic or under the stairs.  In other words we were not properly prepared for water based endeavors.  There was admittedly a time, only a week or so ago, when a cricket match would be called off upon the arrival of the great flood, not, however in Wickham St Paul (a Christian I believe), not when a chance of victory against the mighty might of The Sampfords is hanging in the air, unlike the rain which wasn’t hanging anywhere, more falling rapidly.

We arrived in a light rain mist, lost the toss as it was sprinkling, watched a 101 run partnership between G. Banks (44) and run out Ryan (58) as it began spitting, saw Sampfords collapse to 142 all out in the drizzle.  The precipitation became rain during tea and a downpour as we were fielding.  With storm water blinding the fielding team’s eyes and pints of water mixing with the yeast in our socks, the captain of Sampfords finally conceded the match when J. Drane started howling like a baby without his nipple and we fled the field to the relative safety of the pavilion.

Ever since my brother was accidentally dragged to Spurn Head behind Des Lynams motor cruiser I have been somewhat mistrustful of the water and all its associates and Sunday once again added truth to my caution.  Ironically the one man who would have been equipped to deal with the situation, the one man to arrive in the correct attire for the day, was otherwise engaged with Tom Daley.

Sampfords CC V Chairmans XI 11 June 2011-06-12

The great and the good, legends of yesteryear, former Sampford players of quality and distinction, all were invited by the club chairman, Mr Brian Gypps, to play in the annual match against the current crop of maladaptive ungovernables, or players, as they are sometimes called.

When he devoured 2 dozen eggs for a light breakfast did George Smith care for the burgeoning reputations of these former players?  As he snacked on a couple of roast boar for lunch did he concern himself how many runs they may have previously scored or how fast they once bowled?  After his 4 match changing overs the answers is clearly no, he yields nothing to reputation when charged with the prospect of village heroics and victory.  Following opener M. Gouldstones 50, the Chairmans XI middle order were setting themselves to score a suitably massive total.  Smith changed those plans in what seemed a relatively short time, but according to the pavilion clock was actually three and a half hours.  Anyway the G. Smith changed the plans, that’s whats important here.  First we saw a flighted delight bamboozle its way onto S. Wards pad in front of middle.  This was closely followed by the highlight, rejecting a caught and bowled chance in favour of running out the danger man at the non strikers end.  To prove it was a matter of skill over chance, the very next ball he drew the same batsman into the very same shot and relieved him of his wicket caught and bowled my good man.

Thrower and Saych cleaned up the tail, after the true damage had been done, to leave Brian Gypps XI with a total of 145-9.  In reply Sampfords surprisingly lost Webster early, and also Hughes – not so surprisingly, before Trustworthy Doctor Mark Everard with 77 not out, Hoppy and N. Jones saw the village home by 7 wickets with 10 overs to spare.

Sampfords CC V Finchingfield 5th June 2011-06-12

You may think you know that I didn’t write a report for this match because Sampfords lost.  Well you are wrong.  Its simply down to laziness.

29th May 2011 Sampfords CC V The Red Lion

The Sword of Damocles hangs perilously above Sampfords cricket Club once a year when the annual match against The Red Lion is played, and resting uneasily on the throne of Dionysius II are the village players.  Must not get out to Everest.  Hope the Lord baby Jesus grants me the chance to trigger Hoppy.  Dont want to be involved in the wicket of the Landlord and end up barred, caught Blyth bowled G. Smith for 6, by the way.  Must not be cleaned bowled by an under 11, no matter how good they are.  As you can see an endless list of concern clouds the usually vacant minds of the Sampfords Cricketer on what should be such a happy cricketing day.

Webster avoided particular peril by ditching his team mates and turning out for the public house and went on to score his obligatory 50 odd runs with ample help from C. Sparrow with 29 not out.  This enabled the Men of the Red Lion to total 173 for 7.  The pavilion clock claimed it was a few minutes before midnight when Sampford opened their reply but the lateness of the hour didn’t disrupt the beatific flow of their batsmen.  R. Smith, W. Aitkin and S. Hughes collected a few runs around N. Hopkinson’s 52 not out.  Results counting more than aesthetics, it matters not that Hopkinson’s wagon wheel is more like a soap dish, lacking as it does any spokes on the off side, as it saw Sampfords to victory by 4 wickets.

All were delighted with the day, and also the night that followed chez Red.  So the sword and the horse hair that holds it aloft were stored away for another year in the secret captains cupboard that no one else knows about.  Its preferable I find, to keep swords, or any other ancient fictional creations, locked away in a secret cupboard when not in use.

21st & 22nd May 2011

Saturdays match saw sulking barrel Ryan Webster fire a blistering hundred to hand defeat to the happy men of Lindsell in such a manner that has not been witnessed for some time.  Byford, with 3 wickets, and Thrower with 5, were the village heroes of the opening exchanges as Sampford dismissed Lindsell for 167 in the 39th over.

Unlike Blyth, Webster filled his fine form with an ample tea before heading out to open the innings with Greg Banks.  In the 15th over Sampfords lost their first wicket, that of Banks having scored 47, certainly not a slow rate of scoring.  By this time however, the match was all but over.  Sampfords were on 155 with Webster on 107 not out.  He finished the match in the 17th over with his 8th six and a score of 115 not out.  Whispers in the square keepers shed say he may even have cracked a sly teenage smile.

Saturdays windspeed measured on the Beaufort scale as category 2 hair rustler, comb-overs proceed with caution, which is enough to intimidate the sensibilities of some less steadfast, probably town dwelling, cricketers.  Sunday turned out to be considerably windier, a hat and bail remover if ever there was one, yet the men of Radwinter dully rolled into town more or less at the appointed hour.

Sampfords won the toss and batted first and posted a moderate total of 178 all out, without any player making a huge contribution.  Radwinter valiantly replied with a score of 161 all out to secure another Sampfords victory.  Once again Steve Thrower was at his parsimonious best with ball in hand taking four wickets, top order wickets to boot.  Webster and Hughes ably backed him up with 2 wickets a piece.

Match Reports 14th and 15th May

The sun and moon continue to rise; days become weeks become months and years.  Decades disappear in the blink of an eye, great men live, die and become forgotten.  Eons become epochs, species rise and species fall.  Through-out the passing of time we look for constants, omnipresent, everlasting, we look for the indomitable; we look for The Sampfords Cricket Club.

The weekend of the 14th and 15th of May 2011 will be a marker through the ages, a final beacon of light in a dead universe when all other systems have ebbed away to entropy.  A 40 over match on Saturday verses the men of Chappell and Wakes Colne saw The Sampfords post victory by the hardly imaginable margin of 225 runs.  Incredulous voices may consider this size of victory a one off, beginner’s luck, a shocking feat never to be repeated.  These voices of incredulity I would now point to the following day, Sunday, when the men of The Sampfords upped their cricketing powers to beat Ashdon by the even more impressive 229 runs. 

Saturday was laid out for the eclectic batting delights of Ryan Webster with 134 and Nick Hopkinson with 82 and they duly obliged to dismiss all bowlers past and present.  The Sampfords first innings score of 276 for 4 never looked anything but secure once Simon Green and Edmundo Byford forewent a delicious tea to safeguard their bowling arms from the perils of home-made cake.  The plan worked and the two hungry bowlers restricted the visitors to 2 for 2 off five overs and 6 for 4 off 8 overs.  Blyth and Drane added a new brand of bowling carnage and the job was done, all out for 51.

Sunday followed a similar pattern, the infamous two headed Sampford pound did its work again and the hosts batted first on a fine day for wielding willow.  Nick Hopkinson again, with 73, and Simon Hughes with 112 not out helped The Sampfords post 305 for 4 and also finally settled the point that S Hughes always bats for his average not the team.

Splendid over arm bowling after tea from Steve Thrower, 2 wickets, Scott Blyth (3) William Chappell (2) and James Drane (2) settled the matter with Ashdon 76 all out. 

That my children is the story of the last star left shinning in the cricketing universe, handed down from father to son for the countless millennia that has passed since it occurred.