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Abington v The Philanderers, Wednesday 1st August at Gt Abington

In politics there’s room for jest; With frequent gibes are speeches met, And measures which are of the best Are themes for caustic humor yet. E’en though the pulpiteer we fret With sundry quiddities we fling, We pray you never to forget That cricket is a serious thing.

This was, to say the least, an unusual match for your correspondent to write up, but the poem above, by Edward George Dyson, an Australian journalist and poet, captures a part of it for the reader.

Having lost the toss, Philanderers were put on the back foot immediately by two pretty good batters who went to town on their visitors’ bowling. It then became clear that all incoming Abington batters had each drawn from a hat a shot that they were obliged play to their first delivery. This, together with the growing levity being displayed by the entire Abington team, had some of the more venerable members of the fielding team muttering that it just wasn’t cricket. Of course it was cricket but sadly, the type that generally leaves no one feeling that their time has been well spent.

Suffice to say that Abington posted an impressive 197 from their 20 overs, but it’s also fair to say that the bowling was not awful by any means. Thank God we had Pimblett’s perpetual commentary and guidance on different aspects of the laws of cricket, otherwise the whole exercise would have been pointless.

The ball (or balls, as there were loads of them) was being hit to all parts when Pearson senior (there were loads of Pearsons as well), showing great leadership skills, led some of his loyal men into a trap when they become locked into the primary school grounds whilst retrieving one of the said balls.

The Philanderers reply had an air of resignation attached to it. Although some lusty blows were struck, a couple of early wickets confirmed the strategy of damage limitation and pride preservation as Pearson senior, abetted by his offspring, drew a halt to the fun and turned everyone’s attention to the pub.

Those of us of longstanding, and long suffering, have played in these games before and it’s not a great experience, but the answer is not to whinge, but to make sure we take a really strong side next year and turn the tables.

Man of the match was undoubtedly the landlord of the beautifully appointed and adjacent Three Tuns pub who kindly provided sausage and chips, which were enjoyed as debate continued in the gloaming, with Pimblett still available for Q&A.

Gerald Coteman

The Philanderers in pensive mood

It was much the same in the dressing room

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