‘Twas the night before Cricket, when all thro’ the Stone,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a… hobbit.
But it was – or rather is – raining.
Cats, dogs, hobbits and dwarves.
My sudden thought: Is this the revenge of angry cricketing Gods furious at the lack of this week’s match report?
Or is it that the atmosphere has become unstable by heating from the sun causing the ground to warm up and moisture to evaporate and rise. As the water vapour rises, it cools and condenses into clouds and eventually rain.
Like Donald Trump in the face of all logic I’m going to go for the first option – and in recompense relive the events of last Saturday.
That was a day when Hardingstone 1sts welcomed St Crispins 3rds to the Home of (something close to) Cricket, aka Wootton Rec.
It was also the day when HCC recorded their fourteenth win of a so far flawless season, bar one game lost to our old friend the rain.
The latest win came by the margin of seven wickets against a decent Crispins side who were better than the scorecard suggests.
Asked to bat first, the visitors scored 109-7 in their 40 overs.
Generally batting with control throughout Crispins were, nevertheless, unable to get away from some very tight Stone bowling.
Ben Miller bowled with real pace and venom at the start of the innings, clean bowling Sunny Bajwa for a duck and having the unfortunate Lawrence Knowles caught out by James ‘Jonah’ Jones off a bouncer which richocheted first off the opener’s bat and then his nose.
A brave Knowles took the blow and played the rest of the game.
Ben Mellor (3-23) and Jonny Grove (3-25) were in the wickets again and continue to stand neck and neck at the top of the all-time 1st XI wickets list on 146.
It is believed to be the only time Mellor had stood neck and neck with anyone.
In reply, HCC started well with Lee van der Bennet looking in imperious form.
But Crispins’ bowlers stuck to the task well, bowling good lines and lengths.
Jack Larkin was removed for just 2 and then Bennet himself was bowled for 36.
James ‘Buttons’ Hall (15) and Ian Roberts steadied the ship, before Buttons looped one to square leg.
Robbo continued in fine form though to finish unbeaten on 29, as Craig Lewis held up the other end.
The win means victory for the 1sts in tomorrow’s game at Wellingborough Town will mean they are crowned Division 9 champions.
That’s if it stops raining of course.