Match report - vs Halperby CC, 30th April, 2022.

Written by Andy Wood

As Sicklinghall captain Tim Quirke boarded the 6.30 am Manchester airport flight to Athens this morning, he couldn’t believe the chaos that he was leaving behind him. No not the 4 mile queue to get through check in ...... although that HAD left him a little disgruntled, given that the airport had claimed that such problems were wildly exaggerated .... a statement of dishonesty not witnessed since Boris Becker had declared that ..... well .... he had declared all of his assets ..... and nothing could be more dishonest than that! .... save for Matt Hancock re-writing history and claiming that his Government didn’t know about asymptomatic COVID transmission! If only there was literally loads of TV news footage to contradict that whopper!

Talking of whoppers, that brings us nicely back to the tribulations of Quirkey. Poor old Quirkey - one minute minding his own business, fielding at short mid-wicket - the next embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal that could rock him and Sicklinghall CC to the very core. I mean no batsman, stood trying to concentrate on the next delivery from a fired up Sharkey, wants to hear the words “ooh, you’ve got a long dangly thing there .... would you like me to come and pull it off for you?” ...... And from the opposition captain who’s approaching fast, rubbing his hands!

Such was the mess that Quirkey had left behind for the likes of poor old Zai to clear up. As the 737 ascended into the Sunday morning sky, Quirkey thought of the likely headlines in the papers ....... The Independent - “SCC captain faces harassment charges”, The Observer - “Quirk fights to keep his job”, or The Mail on Sunday - “F*****g Immigrants .... send ‘em home!”

It had all started so serenely on Saturday afternoon as Quirkey drove through the gates of The SCG (wish someone WOULD drive through the rickety old things - we might get some new ones!) Blue sky and fluffy white clouds greeted him as he and the boys prepared for the visit of Newby Hall. It had the makings of a perfect day.

In team news the merry-go-round was going round merrily again, with poor Kev still bed bound with a severe chill, following 40 overs of Arctic fielding in just a short sleeved shirt last week. Opening batsman Matt was also missing, still trying to talk the wife out of the luxurious £300 a night hotel that she’d taken off for and was finding very much to her liking. With Callum deciding that the salad sandwiches of Collingham were more appealing than his dad’s pop up Greggs and Unlucky Ben deciding that the weather forecast still said “cold”, there were some vacancies to fill in the ranks.

Luckily Irish Steve had brought his mate Jack ..... and if there were any disagreements we’d all be standing behind him ..... while also making a welcome return was perma-sicknote and all round good egg Andy T. In a desperate last attempt to stay fit for 2 games on the trot Andy had procured some kind of fancy bungee band for his notoriously underperforming hamstrings. Laid flat on his back though, he just appeared to be doing some fancy version of The Cat’s Cradle!

Also making a welcome and most unexpected return was Pecker. Unexpected as he’d spent 3 years desperately trying to STOP playing cricket ..... but now here he was not only keen, but for the first time in his 40 year career ..... sporting his own equipment. It was like the second coming of Christ ..... had the son of God also used Gray-Nicolls.

With Zai also back to offer some much needed experience ..... and sanity, the boys were good to go as the pre-scandalised Skipper won the toss and elected to bat on Mr Pearson’s welcoming road.

In other shocking news Scorer Ali was also absent. When Nessie announced that she was at a bottomless brunch, it says much about different people’s thought process when one man’s “Huh, she’s at an all you can eat buffet”, is another man’s “Huh, she’s joined some weird commune where you can only eat without your pants on!”

So as umpire Dave Spavin (Sicklinghall’s greatest ever pre-season signing?) went out with Zai (I’ll umpire first so I don’t miss the 2000 Guineas), they were followed by a couple of real form horses in Opper and Rich - living proof if ever ‘twas needed, that the threat of having to umpire doesn’t half concentrate the mind. And boy were their minds concentrating, as the Newby attack was stroked and flayed all round the park. Both quickly passed 50 as the opposition changed their bowlers about while the gorging openers just didn’t look like getting out.

The nearest thing to a shock came when Newby introduced an Asian base layer wearing bowler into the fray, which an un-named Sicklinghall player greeted with the words “F*****g black skins. They shouldn’t be allowed!” Hastily and red facedly qualifying his statement as referring to the bowler’s dark non-matching undergarment, 3 SCC team mates sighed with relief that the un-named colleague thankfully WASN’T the reincarnation of Enoch Powell!

Meanwhile out on the field Opper was now giving catching practice to the opposition, something which like us, they managed to get right on about the fourth go. So with 150 on the board and 10 overs to go, it was time for the full on assault ..... so in walked nudging and nurdling Rast *. After 26 balls of not a lot he nudged his way off again and made way for a better man .......

*Nudging and nurdling autocorrects to nudging and HURDLING in I-pad ..... something the geriatric old has been could only dream of!

...... The better man turned out to be Ginger Brett Anderson, sporting a jumper which was even whiter than Rylan off the telly’s teeth ..... and the ordering of which he MUST have got confused between the Morrant Sports website and the Zara website. With sun glasses having to be donned and with wolf whistles accompanying him to the middle, he was forced to demonstrate his manliness by clubbing a 6 which just missed Johnny Medcalf’s head as he got the cows in for milking half a mile away.

At the other end Rich had serenely made his way into the 80s before scooping one in the air, in a vain attempt to match the testosterone levels of young buck Leo, who now suffering from big 6 nosebleed syndrome, duly missed the next straight one. Sharkey decided he would save his energy for tea and bowling, so Irish Steve and Andy T saw out the remaining over or so ..... forcing a disgruntled next in Pecker to have to go through the effort of padding up ..... for nil action! It wasn’t all in vain or nil action however as in his own words he was able to “re-acquaint himself with Siddy’s helmet”.

So a more than handy 237 on the board as players scattered in all directions searching for food. Highlight of this week’s unashamed pigging out had to be the sight of Pecker tucking into something called a “Paradise Slice” .... but which if the trades descriptions act was actually enforced, would have been labelled “Paradise House Brick”. At least they got it half right.

So time to all go out together and in a scene of glee not witnessed since Opper opened his tuck box and realised he didn’t have to share it with Callum, Wicket keeper Ginger Brett had found the club’s only pair of functioning inners. There’d be no blisters on THOSE hands today ..... at least not unless his mum and dad were out later!

Also meticulously preparing for the second half exertions was Pecker, who had taken a pair of scissors and was hacking away at a callus on his bowling hand, despite admitting that he couldn’t actually see it. There being no more than half a cup of blood gushing, he was content that he’d been successful.

But now as Sharkey marked his run from the top end and team mates gambolled in the Spring sunshine, the Gods of April decided to have a bit of a laugh. They’d spotted that half of the home team were bereft of layerage so hilariously decided to turn the temperature dial down to ...... “January”. The ‘Hall boys would not only have to take on Newby’s batsmen, but the approaching Winter weather as well. As a nod to this Sharkey reduced his run up to 35 yards!

Half an hour later he had ripped through the top order, while at the other end Rast had ripped a groin, a hamstring and the small of his back .... but had also miraculously taken 3 wickets ..... including one with the googly ..... an occurrence mirrored in regularity by the arrival of Halley’s comet or a large win on the National Lottery. If that batsman was unlucky the poor guy who couldn’t recover from Quirkey’s sexual advances and found himself letting a straight one through and sprinting off the field, off the ground and straight to the Police Station ...... was arguably just as unfortunate!

Back on the field even more ripping was going on, as Ginger Brett Anderson ripped one out as he contemptuously attempted to play “the Last Post” from his rectum. It certainly explained why he was wearing black underpants with his cricket whites. Suffering this grotesque act of disrespect the opposition were spurred into fighting back, while the slips were spurred into fighting for breath! Leo’s anal aberration had turned the tide though and for a while it looked like there could be shock on the cards as Newby put on a 50 partnership. Poor old Irish Steve who had earlier run one away from the bat to tease an edge, was now running all over the SCG as the ball followed him wherever he went. ‘Hall team mates were quick to offer encouragement to their unfortunate and sweating comrade ..... while egging the batsmen on to hit it his way again. Excellent fun which only ended when Steve’s Fitbit exploded on his wrist.

Thankfully disaster was averted when the flames from the over-worked digital step counter followed the laws of physics and went upwards, whereas by this time the expiring owner was already lying prostrate on the floor gasping for oxygen .... or alcohol. As the partnership was finally broken, real disaster was also averted and the boys could breathe again ...... except poor Irish, who was still being defibrillated and hadn’t breathed for four minutes!

With the result now assured there was just time for a rabbit seeking Sharkey to roar back in and get hit for 3 huge sixes by the number 10, thus ensuring that as the boys made their way to The Scott’s Arms soon after ...... there would be even more merriment.

Meanwhile over in Shadwell a worried Quirkey was hastily re-packing his suitcase ..... hurriedly casting aside the Speedos and the thong, to make room for the Groucho Marx disguise. He shouldn’t worry. By the time the Police get through check in he’ll be touching down again with a nice tan!