Match report vs Crossgates, 20th July 2019.

Report written by Andy Wood

It’s funny how fame destroys some people. How a moment of joy and adulation can make the cravings for more and more just scream out over and over again in someone’s head ..... “Adore me!” For six hours yesterday Adam Ryszkowski had the world at his feet. The match winner in a game so close and tight that had Sky Sports been there they would have chucked the footage of last week’s World Cup Final into the nearest bin ....... digital fish and chip paper. For Captain Marvel had been carried off the SCG shoulder high, totally spent from his exertions but elated, by teammates who didn’t care that the sweat was raining from his helmet and down their shirt sleeves. They just wanted a part of him. None of them would shower tonight (except for Rast who had been positioned mainly under his arse and was currently on his third shower and scrubbing himself frantically with Domestos!). The similarities with a certain tattooed ginger haired England all rounder were plain to see.
 


In the Scotts Arms the players had raced to be first to get their heroic leader a drink. “Pint of Moretti for Adam please Ted”, gushed the usually non pub frequenting Zubair (who had turned up to join in the celebrations ..... and to disprove the theories that he’s dead!) “That’ll be £8.95”, replied the fellow gout suffering landlord. “Actually make it half a Coors”, replied the Sultan of Samosas, suddenly sweating even more profusely than the knackered Skipper.
 

But then the call had come, from Adam’s delighted brother Tommy Ryko .... a man who in a moment of slight confused hearing had earlier agreed to go down and have a look at Bristol with his girlfriend ...... He wanted his brother with him to celebrate long into the night. A few hours later there they were, boogeying in the Mbargo nightclub ..... and that’s where it all went wrong. Yes in another spooky harkback to the previously mentioned Ginger England all rounder, Adam Ryko, drunk on a cocktail of adulation and halves of cooking lager, was suddenly committing a dreadful act of violence in the Mbargo club. Yep he was up on the stage butchering “We are the Champions” by Queen. Walking by the club, geriatric guitarist Brian May, a man used to hearing tortured screams as he goes round saving badgers, said he’d never heard anything like it ...... including the time when Freddie had quickly nipped for a wee in an extremely tight Lycra suit between numbers and had nipped something else as he rushed to zip up and get back to the stage.
 

Anyway poor Adam Ryko now sits alone on remand in a Bristol prison, charged with crimes against humanity and unsure if he will make his wedding on 17th August. One thing’s for sure ..... he won’t be getting picked for the West Indies tour!
 

Much earlier in the day of course there had been a game to play and as half the Hall boys made their way through the gates at twenty to one, there was already hell on. Umpire Mick had swallowed the rule book and was currently quoting rule 23.7.a subsection G(ii), which states that captains must be suitably attired when they go to have a toss. Chastised Captain Adam Ryko quickly ironed a crease into his white trousers and went out to spin the coin. Clearly it was to be a day of proper dress standards ..... so how a Crossgates player subsequently got away with playing the entire second half as golfer Payne Stewart is anybody’s guess. Ah yes the old trousers tucked in the socks look. Fashion designers the world over will be falling over themselves with zest to get that on the catwalks of Paris and Milan in time for next year .... yes I can see it now ...... The Starship Enterprise collection!

 

The perfectly dressed Adam Ryko, trouser bottoms thankfully covering the flip flops and thus saving the twenty run penalty, lost the toss and Crossgates would have a bat. In team news the new signings of Sharkey and Robbie were already finding excuses not to play ..... some cock and bull story about going to look for Zubair, there being genuine concerns for his welfare, amid rumours of something enormous crackling away in his deep fat fryer for three days now. The erotic Andy Tennant also hasn’t been seen for weeks since passing his driving test. It’s thought that he’s either gone away on a stateside road trip with Dylan, his new hippy friend (Mrs Hippy wasn’t happy about that .... she’d wanted her husband to take her to Glastonbury) ..... or he hadn’t regained consciousness having seen his insurance quote! Luckily Dan was back though and Callum was once again around to field and laugh at his uncle ..... who CAN’T field!
 

As Adam Ryko charged in to deliver his first ball of the season at the SCG, three miles away on Wetherby golf course, groundsman and foothole repairer Lindsey Pearson pulled away from his crucial putt ..... as he had that feeling that someone just walked over his grave. But all those hours and wheelbarrow loads of top soil and cement were surely worth it now, as the Skipper struck on just the second ball of the innings .... the opener getting a feather on one to Ginger Brett, back behind the stumps despite last week’s bowling heroics (more later!)

 

It was another quick deck and with the help of a howling gale Adam sent through a bouncer which the other opener could only cloth straight up in the air to Rast at gully. So ten for two ...... WOULD have been the score but for the most shocking drop since Claz had got lucky in Bangkok all those years ago and removed his conquest’s underwear, only to find that Wun Hung-Lo was not just “her” name! As on that occasion the ball had escaped and disappointment ensued.
 

As Rast recovered some semblance of dignity shortly afterwards with another caught behind, things were looking up, but Payne Stewart had other ideas. Entering the fray at number four, his shots would have been duck hooks out of bounds back on the golf courses of the PGA. On the SCG though they were highly valuable flays for four, as together with the other opener they made hay .... and Rast’s aging blood boil.
 

By now the wind was absolutely howling across the ground, as was Opper as the sight and sound of his surgically constructed nets blowing over and shattering into a mangled pile of metal, was only matched by the sound of his own anguished heart shattering, as once again he realised ..... that he would be expected to put them back together again. But now coming into the attack Zai had a plan. Firstly to take off Poldark’s hat which he had borrowed to field in ..... but then to toss it up on leg stump and let Payne Stewart try to find the long boundary into the teeth of what was now a hurricane. It was a plan but with one drawback. Out on the long boundary Unlucky Ben, patrolling like a cat, couldn’t see that far and as the ball flew in his direction .... he did indeed react to the chance like a cat ..... Bagpuss! His subsequent failure to judge the gale and make it to the next chance saw him ignominiously replaced by Immy ..... who absolutely got to the next chance ..... and shelled it! The Immy of old would have given the howling gale a run for it’s money, but the new version merely reached for some leaves in his pocket, rolled them, lit them, inhaled them ..... and giggled.
 

And things were now improving anyway. The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band Fan Cub, otherwise known as Dan, was into the attack and had removed the captain. Meanwhile Zai had realised that the way to get Payne was to clean him up BEFORE he could tee off. Despite the wickets though things were not looking up for Ginger Brett Anderson behind the stumps. He was suffering with his hand by now, and every time he gathered another vicious throw from Mayonnaise Matt he winced in pain. As he finally succumbed and handed over the gloves to Immy, the problem became obvious. The blistered right hand proved without doubt that following his bowling exploits of last week, he had spent far too much time celebrating with Quinten De Kock!
 

Crossgates had stalled though and as Speedy and the heroic Skipper helped themselves to four wickets each, the score stood at exactly 200 as Dan smashed the stumps one final time, in a display of such accuracy that Bonzo Dog was seen edging closer to Andy Wood and looking to fetch HIS slippers instead.
 

It was time for Hatherly’s teas and despite a definite lack of mayo (strange as he’d been seen leaving Mozzers with eight jars of the stuff), they were highly delicious. Ginger Brett Anderson’s badly damaged right hand recovered long enough for him to use it as the bucket of a JCB digger, to load up the other bucket which he’d brought from home, in scenes reminiscent of Alan Partridge’s big plate
 

So Rast and Matt once again went out to try to chase down the target but it was a strangely withdrawn Hatherly, looking distinctly uncomfortable as he made the walk to the crease. Rast put it down to his partner’s natural Crossgates nerves, but as he clothed a long hop straight up in the air first ball and immediately left the ground ne’er to be seen again ..... there was clearly something bigger. As news filtered through of a tea time incident in the gents toilets, where Matt had entered the electricity deprived darkest room and headed for trap two, only to not realise until he sat down that someone was already there ........ Rast sincerely hoped for Matt’s sake ... that it wasn’t TOO much bigger!
 

Opper arrived at the crease and duly slapped another long hop straight to mid wicket. As the catch was thankfully shelled he expressed his relief to Rast and announced that he certainly wouldn’t do THAT again. He didn’t ..... he slapped the next long hop straight to point instead. Rich was next in but sadly received the best ball of the day as one that pitched middle and flattened off, saw him trudging off for a duck. There was no shame in that, though four year old Thomas clearly had other ideas, as he spent the next two hours giving his dad batting lessons.
 

Unlucky Ben now came to the crease and immediately found himself being sledged. He wasn’t having that. Did they not KNOW he’s got a tattoo? The verbal assault merely made the top of the village tapster just knuckle down though and the score was up to seventy by the time Rast became the latest to give it away. Despite his best efforts to blame it on the track ..... no one was listening. As Dan made his way out to replace him, the door of the black Merc opened .... and Bill appeared. It’s not clear whether his presence adds pressure to poor Speedy ..... but as Dan made it to ten, it probably didn’t subsequently help that Bill was seen donning Zai’s black Poldark hat. As Dan sent back a caught and bowled how was HE supposed to know it was just to keep the sun out of his eyes? As he walked back in Dan daren’t look at his dad. He needn’t have worried. Bill had turned away. He was looking for a new son.
 

Ben had made it to fifty now, supported by Immy and when the latter got out with the game now seemingly going away, the crowd gulped worriedly .... only for Immy to sit down with his mum and sister and lead a chorus of “All things bright and beautiful” ..... harmonising with Rast as he did so .... before sparking up another medicinal one.
 

When Ben departed for a classy 59 soon after, it was all over bar the shouting. Out in the middle shouting their heads off though were Adam Ryko and Ginger Brett. Slowly the runs required were coming down and hopes were going up. It was 32 needed off four overs when Leo was run out just failing to stretch his bat out. As Zai went out once again as last man in his lucky cap (whoever has the white floppy, just burn it), Bill had found his new son and was already demonstrating the art of running between the wickets to a dumbfounded Brett. He just wanted to see the end of the game
 

It came in wonderful style with ten needed off the last, when Adam Ryko slog swept the boys to victory and earned himself the freedom of Sicklinghall (but sadly not Bristol later in the evening!)
 

Everyone headed off to the pub for celebrations, with a deep and crispy Zuby appearing at the bar with his equally deep and crispy wallet. Everyone that is except for Opper, who had announced that he was off to Looe. Please God don't let him suffer the same fate as poor old Matt!!

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