Match report - vs Thorner, 30th July, 2021.

Written by Andy Wood

As the pregnant and radiant Mrs Williams stared at her husband, the words came to her with a resolute certainty. “No Ben, I most certainly will NOT come and take a close look at your groin! You tried that one on me on Valentine’s Day ..... and look what happened!! But Ben was looking increasingly concerned .... “I was just talking to Roger next door over the fence and suddenly this lump poked out above the top of my underpants. That’s NEVER happened before!”. Mrs Williams braced herself and looked. What she saw nearly made her sick. That HAD happened before. An hour later a professional in Wetherby was inspecting the awful sight and confirmed the bad news that Ben was expecting ...... “Yes Mr Williams, this IS an Travel Agents .... the Doctor’s is next door!! Now do you want a fortnight in Tenerife or not?!”. Turns out poor old Ben has a hernia. Unlucky!!

So it was Thorner at home this week and nearly two years on from his last exertions, Rast decided that he should get involved and once again try and make a contribution .... the match report at least! Everything is different these days though and so much has changed in the time he’s been away. Ginger Brett Anderson is now a 16 year old athlete (ok so I like to exaggerate), the once boyish Callum has turned into Barry White .... and in the biggest shock of all ...... Sicklinghall has soap!! The toilets are also different with people making sure they don’t go in when they’re already in use. To be fair even in the old days when certain Sicklinghall players were in there it was at least fifteen minutes before anyone DARED to go in!

In team news Sharkey was working and Skipper Adam had been forced to withdraw late due to washing his hands in the kitchen sink in his new house, and forgetting he’s had one of those fancy kettle taps fitted. After apologising to the neighbours and peeling him off the ceiling Mrs Ryszkowski will once again be spending the next fortnight proving just how much she loves her husband! Finally as Nessie, Willie and Ali invested their life savings for a short staycation (paycation) in Wales, Fatha Wood was dragged away from ITV racing to man the scorebook.

The toss was won by Thorner and they rightly elected to have first use of a nice straw coloured deck. In Sharkey and Adam’s absence Rast was called upon by stand in Skipper Matt, to start off up the hill. Having warmed up for about 45 seconds the veteran was primed to go, but then he noticed that umpire Mick hadn’t managed to get the stumps fully in due to the firmness of the deck (or the holes being too small). In order to test his athleticism he grunted and pushed all 3 stumps right down, almost joining Unlucky Ben on the operating table in the process. As Mick thanked him he puffed his chest out and walked to his mark. Turning round though he realised he was now utterly shagged out! This could be a short spell. Not to worry though as Tommy Ryko charging down the hill soon had the wickets column ticking round. That was about as good as it got for poor old Tom though as the rest of his afternoon was spent ensuring that the runs column whizzed round, while still finding time to shell a couple of sitters.

Rast had done his 12 over stint for a wicketless 30 odd (some things don’t change) and fellow old timer Zai was rolling back the years at the other end taking a stunning 3 for 40 odd. Such were Zai’s powers that he even thought he could pull off an athletic piece of fielding in front of Irish Steve, only to succeed in hammering a bullet of a volley past his disgruntled team mate for four. Gareth Southgate would have been proud.

Two seasons away almost certainly hadn’t seen Rast’s suppleness or fielding improve, but finding himself at mid off he still managed to pull off a memorable stop and seeing Skipper Matt running towards him, he eagerly thrust out his buttocks to accept one of those modern bottom taps that all the top pros seem to encourage each other with these days and which must surely be coming his way. Unfortunately the captain had merely arrived to tell him to sod off into the slips out of the way. The beleaguered buttocks shrank back and he made his way to talk to keeper Robbie, who for the second time in recent memory was busy slipping his phone in and out of his pants. When did pockets go out of fashion!? I suppose it guarantees no one will nick his phone!

Karma has a way of sorting things out anyway and as Matt shelled the second of two catches in the next three overs, Rast budged up to make room for another slip. In direct contrast to this Opper was fielding magnificently and having completed a great diving stop he held out his hand to accept a lift up from his smiling approaching brother. Unfortunately for him his smiling brother had merely approached to fart on his head while he was in his prostrate moment of weakness. Gratitude indeed!

Thorner were motoring on by now though and it needed a mixture of good late bowling from Leo and Steve, together with Thorner’s captain and ex Sicklinghall player Joel running his mate out first ball, to rein the opposition in at 218 all out.

Normally at this point there would have been a sight akin to the Pamplona bull run as gannets fought with each other to get to the teas. In these crazy days though players sedately walked to their cars and returned to sit on the grass and picnic. Very civilised.

So Matt and Rich it was then who went out to chase down the target, with Matt suffering his worst trot since he’d tried to get on a donkey on Scarborough beach just as a passing wasp had decided to use its arse for target practice, before he’d got his feet in the stirrups. But form is temporary (as was Matt’s dip in the North Sea) and class is permanent and North Wetherby’s finest were both soon laying into the Thorner attack with abandon. The score was into the 60s before the Skipper was lulled into thinking that a gratefully received pie meant he was getting a full buffet and the next ball was a good one and did for him.

Opper came in and kept Rich company for a bit before he was snaffled behind and Rast did the same, sharing 50 with Rich before chipping a sitter. It was left to Tom to keep Rich company as he eased his way to a magnificent century and the winning runs. All those hours of lessons from Thomas had paid off and on a day when the anticipated rain had turned into lovely hot Summer sunshine, social distancing rules thankfully meant that the moist centurion was unable to be carried from the ground by his delirious team mates. Even his proud dad shouted “Well done” from a distance and Rich had to settle for a well deserved round of applause and a pint at the Scotts Arms, where among other things another Sicklinghall player wanted to know why in an area where some customers seemed to have given masks the heave-ho altogether, he was being asked to wear two ..... with a bag over his head for good measure.