In the words of Neil " Captain Crimestop" Vasey !
For those not present on a glorious, Sunday evening, it is with great pleasure that I can announce that we retained the Siddalls Cup, beating Toulouse CC for a second year.
Blue sky and blazing sunshine welcomed the players and crowds around lunchtime on Sunday for the premium South-West event: the Siddalls Cup Final, where last year's victors, Bordeaux-Giscours CC hosted last year's vanquished, Toulouse CC. Both teams had seen off their semi-final opponents (Noé-Gascogne CC and St-Aulaye CC) two weeks ago at Damazan and were raring to go.
At the toss, Captain Crimestop called 'heads', and heads it was and no time was wasted in electing to bat with hopes of posting as handsome a total as last year at Damazan. This, however, proved not to be as both Pinsent and Clinton "It moved a metre" Ferreira both fell early on, leaving the hosts somewhat precariously placed at 16 for 2. Holderness (40) however had other ideas and, having dusted down his legendary, swashbuckling other self in the semi-final, came into his own with some wonderful timing and hitting. In fact, other than a couple of strokes from Ferreira, Q (including the shot of the day - an extra cover drive/spank-punch from the first ball he faced), Snooke (an enormous slog-sweep outside off-stump for 6 and Michael 'Charalometer' Charreteur (a massive straight drive for a maximum, again, from the first ball of his crowd-delighting innings), no-one else on either side managed to get to grips with how strangely the wicket was playing: it was a real "sticky dog". Crimsetop (38) occupied (read: 'laboured at') the crease and cameos from Ferreira Q, Snooke and Charreteur (all reaching the mid to late teens) ensured that the home side posted a defendable 153 from the 35 overs.
Snooke and Ferreira, Q opened the bowling and true to last year's script, Bordeaux-Giscours had the game out of the visitor's reach early on as the pace of 'Baywatch' Ferreira (the fairer sex in the crowd not having been as excited since the appearance of his namesake's tight white jeans, or indeed the "Holderness' ripped trouser epsiode") and Snooke's (3 for 19) uncanny habit of taking wickets despite the ball registering minus 55 miles an hour on leaving the hand, had Toulouse floundering. That man Holderness was in the thick of things again, first with a truly remarkable catch at gully and then a direct hit run-out as he swooped down after an embarrasing spill behind the stumps from 'Bald Eagle' Ferreira, C. Veteran keeper, Bradford, in the crowd, must have surely been left questionning his decision to retire.
Abbasi was brought on to weave some magic with a ball that was seemingly gripping to the turf and he delivered accordingly with two good wickets, and with Verpaalen and Smith, S moving with the agility of a young Edwin van der Sar and Brynn Gunn respectively in the field, the Toulouse batsmen found it hardgoing. All that was left was for the celebrated close-out duo of Tiedrez and Charreteur to mop up the two remaining batsman, which they did with haste and aplomb, and the trophy was once again in the hands of Bordeaux-Giscours CC.
Holderness, resplendent in the only stolen blazer of the recent Windsor trip, was deservedly awarded man of the match and the prize of a dinner for two in "The Flags" (a fine dining establishment on the Slough/Windsor border).
A good day for cricket in the South-West and for Bordeaux-Giscours CC in particular.
Bordeaux Giscours CC: 153 for 9 in 35 overs
Toulouse CC: 75 all out in 22.3 overs
Many thanks to Grodger the Dodger, who selflessly mowed the field three times in the seven days leading up to the final despite the fact that he knew he wasn't going to play and also to those members who came to help out and support, namely: Alexander, Bradford, Horlock, Reffray, and Selig. The club is also indebted to the "Sirenes de Giscours" who were out in force with cakes, helping hands and smiles.
ps - finally, just in from the Fines & Crimes Committee. In chronological order:
Crimestop - crime: guilty of abysmal running out of Abassi. Fine: one shot
Smith, S - crime: out without troubling the scorers (sorry Stu, byes don't count..). Fine: one shot
Bald Eagle Ferreira - crime: guilty of truly shocking spill behind the stumps. Fine: one shot
Baywatch Ferreira - crime: allowing the opposition to take two runs to him whilst fielding at cover point. Fine: suspended sentence