Game four on the overcast, windswept plateau at Whixley.
The young gaffer's pre-match plan was to bowl first, try to bowl out the opposition quickly and then knock off the runs before the rain came. The only flaw in this plan was that it relied on him winning the toss...
Plan B then. The Old Master and Louie strode out into the wind while the rest of the team huddled in the scorers hut. A gentle start, but then in the second over, the wind appeared to shift a full toss straight onto Bob's middle stump. Out comes the GW and begins a steady partnership with Louie that ended with the run out of Louie - stranded in no-mans-land with the GW refusing to budge from his crease. Regular first-teamer Steve Wragg came in and barely survived his first few balls. The Whixley team were to rue those missed catches later. GW was out to the only catch of the innings, well taken at leg gully, for 31.
50 for 3 after 15 overs. Not too promising, but never fear, here's Arthur D, the Hoody King of Saxton. Wraggy and Arthur started steadily and then (after a comparatively diminutive Whixley fielder fired the ball at Arthur instead of the keeper) proceeded to wind things up in the light drizzle. To see Arthur occasionally use his arms and shoulders as well as his wrists was a sight to behold. 170 runs and 27 overs later, the partnership was over, Wraggy bowled for 89. Arthur (79) and Nige (5) played out the last few overs in the long expected downpour to take the total to 229.
The Whixley batsmen took to the crease after tea and the rain had eased off. At first it looked like they might be up for the run-chase, but then wickets started tumbling to some well taken catches (Harry yet again for the first at gully) off Jon and Stuart. The young gaffer bowled the remaining opener and then Harry the Pinch-Hitter (3 for 8 in 4 overs) and Tyson took the tail-end wickets to finish off the innings at 91 after 31 overs.
With perfect timing, the clouds then cleared, the sun broke out and the wind dropped. Time for a pint and listen to first-team excuses.