THERE COMES a time in every gentleman’s life when they should resist the lure of competitive sport. However, when the Hondón de Los Frailes Neighbourhood Watch challenged the Hondón Valley Branch of the Royal British Legion to a game of cricket, they enthusiastically accepted.
On a sultry hot Friday morning in early June, the pitch was marked on the green asphalt surface of the local seven-a-side playing surface. The rules were agreed, teams briefed and the RBL President’s XI (having won the toss) invited the much younger Neighbourhood Watch team to bat.
Within the hour, the less mature NW team – bronzed of limb and athletic in movement – racked up an impressive tally of 162 for 8 within the prescribed 20 overs. The RBL fielders, despite having a brace of Yorkshiremen in the team, suffered some minor scuffs and grazes and regrettably lacked the agility to combat a sparkling batting display by their much younger opponents. For a team who last bowled seriously in the 1950’s or 60’s the RBL bowling was surprisingly accurate. On occasions it had both pace and variety but occasionally faltered mid-wicket.
The sun was at its highest as the RBL President’s IX having, by ths time, lost a couple to early morning injuries, took to the wicket. The opening pair of Tony Dengate and Malcolm Thomson demonstrated the competitive spirit of our resolute campaigners but were both dismissed as we edged our way slowly to double figures. The NW’s team of demon bowlers eventually dispatched Steve Suffield, Bill Watt, Dave Stewart, Malcolm Barrett, Nigel Hails, Geoff Larder, Peter Broadbent and AN Other for a disappointing 68!
Senor Eleuterio Jover Garcia, the Mayor of Hondón de Las Frailes, graciously presented a silvered cup to the captain of the winning team who was enthusiastically applauded by the assembled crowd: proud to have witnessed the first cricketing spectacle held in the Hondón Valley.
RBL post match analysis provided little in the form of constructive improvement, but agreed that, limbs and lungs permitting, we would do it all again next year … hopefully on grass!
c/o the Round Town News: