In the words of Hugo "Captain Kojak" Pinsent himself;
"The weekend began well before the cricket kicked off - having been met at the airport on Friday morning by Marc and Stéphane, the RHCC had an afternoon tour of the city followed by drinks and dinner hosted by our (much too rarely seen at the cricket) friend Colum at Café de l'Opéra. I couldn't be there myself, but by all accounts it was a wonderful dinner, thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Thank you Colum.
Marc kindly invited both teams to the pickers' lunch on Saturday, and amidst a few glasses of wine and some steak and chips the toss was won by the visitors, who opted to bat. They got off to a quickfire start, the BGs missing a couple of chances while one opener went on a boundary spree. At 110 after 14 overs it was looking like we were in for a big chase. Then, with the fall of said opener to a C Ferreira shimmy-shanga (read straight ball ;-)), the BGs tightened the screws, picking up regular wickets and keeping things tight in the field. Marc Verpaalen deserves special mention here - not only did he throw himself in front of or chase down everything in his vicinity, he also took his first catch for the club - reaching above his head at backward point! The RHCC finished on 180 after their 30 overs, a good recovery from the BGs but still a solid total that would take some chasing.
The chase could have gone either way. Rupert hit a few nice shots, but struggled to find the midle of the bat consistently and fell early on. Then in came Clinton, who proceeded to pepper the boundaries, looking in great touch - until yours truly got a little excited about a single that may or may not have been on - clean pick-up and direct hit from the point fieldsman and Cllint was on his way - sorry Clint. That proved to be an important moment in the match. David Horlock came and went first ball, and the momentum had swung well and truly back towards the RHCC. Despite some lusty blows from the middle and lower order we didn't manage to recover, and never looked like getting to the target, finishing 30 or 40 runs short (I think...).
A couple of warm down beers and a shower and it was off to Château du Tertre for dinner. With Alexander Van Beek guiding the RHCC around the château, Marc the BGs manfully kept the mosquitos off some magnums of Pol Roger by the pool. An exceptional dinner followed, 2000 du Tertre, magnums of 1998 Giscours, delicious food. I can safely say that we all felt honoured to have been treated to such a magnificent feast.
Sunday was time for revenge, or so we hoped. I put the RHCC into bat, and they proceeded, unhurriedly at first and then with real intent by the end, to dismantle our bowling attack. While we managed to pick up some wickets, their number 3 was having a field day, playing shots all over the park on his way to 184 not out. He did give us a few chances, some of which should definitely have been taken (the first one being mine...), but none before he had reached 3 figures. 331 from 35 overs - mucking around was not going to be an option...
Rupert didn't last long, perhaps still reeling after I called him through for a (very) quick single only moments after assuring him I'd go easy. Oops. Then in came Mikey Charreteur for his much requested (by him) debut up the order. He did not disappoint, and the runs flowed from both ends. Why Mikey ever played a defensive stroke is beyond most of us, for when he leaves the block in the kitbag he has a wonderful eye for a cricket ball. He scored a very entertaining 44. Personally I was seeing the ball pretty well, and with support from several batsmen at the other end managed to push past 3 figures. For want of someone else having to write another email telling you all about it, I ended up on 161, run out trying to come back for a second and keep the strike. We were still well short of the target, managing 250 odd from our 35 overs.
The weekend finished with some more champagne, wine and entrecotes on the barbecue at Giscours. A wonderful finish to a wonderful weekend.
Very big thanks to Marc (particularly), Alexander, M. Albada and the Giscours/du Tertre team for their organisation and hospitality over the weekend - the RHCC members were blown away by the way we (you) received them, and it was mentioned that they might try and compete (hospitality-wise) next time we go over... Not to mention the BGs members - what a wonderful opportunity it was to experience such a weekend.
Another big thanks to Neil for his organisation (if we can group all he did under one word), not only for this weekend, but also for our weekend in Windsor - none of this could have happened without you.
Thank you to all the players, umpires and spectators who took part in the weekend's festivities. Apologies for any forgotten details - feel free to add anything I've left out."
Hugo being the modest man that he is only lightly touched on what was a superb innings from him. Scoring 161, he broke the record for the highest total by a Bordeaux Giscours batsman. The previous record ( Also held by Hugo ) was 147 not out against Saint Aulaye . Well done Skipper!