Match Report vs Penarth
Sports 30 June 2022 @ Wenvoe (Skipper Richie, report
What follows is a fictionalised account of the day in the
life of a Casual some facts have been changed and any similarity
to current squad members are purely coincidental (that means
the same as intentional doesn’t it?). Any inaccuracies
found within this report are purely for comedic purposes (attempted).
Our story begins in a former mining town north of Cardiff.
Our protagonist awakes, let's call him “Diego”,
from a restless night's sleep. He has had a nightmare! Perhaps
those Greggs cheese and onion pasties before bed were not
a good idea, he thinks to himself, but he can’t shake
the sense of foreboding hanging over him. He makes his way
to his kitchen to make breakfast, two frozen Greggs sausage
and bean melts, and a cup of tea. Diego looks out of his window
at the early morning rain, the forecast says sunshine and
showers but more persistent rain later, so tonight's Cricket
match may be in jeopardy, but he’s not down to play
so no worries. He looks back at the teacup on the table in
front of him, the surface of the liquid is moving strangely,
he feels drawn into the mug, mists seem to swirl below the
surface and suddenly surround him!
Diego finds himself surrounded by this mist, as if he is
inside a maelstrom of sugary tea! He hears the sound of shots,
and blades whistling through the air, a man in a black uniform
barking orders. His vision begins to clear, and he sees a
cricket field, a loan batsman, flailing hopelessly at cricket
balls flying past him from an unseen bowler. The scene changes,
the player is now a wicketkeeper, but the balls keep flying
past him evading his efforts to stop them.
The mists clear, Diego is still sitting at his kitchen table.
“WTF”, he thinks to himself, that seemed like
a portent of impending doom, so glad I'm not in the team for
the grudge match tonight against the team the Casuals broke
away from many years ago.
The phone rings, making Diego jump. He looks at the name
on his phone “the angry bald man” it says, Riccardo,
the casuals skipper, what could he want? He answers the phone
“Hi Ric” he replies
“You still available for tonight”, a cold shiver
runs down his spine. “I’m not down to play tonight
am I skip?”
“No, but Godofredo, has dropped out, some staffing
issues he has to sort out in the big smoke apparently, or
as he put it “got to go and sack some useless c*nts”.
So can you play?”
“Course I can skip” says Diego but the icy chill
he feels is still there
“By the way” says Riccardo “I want you
all to call be Hauptmann rather than skip from now
“Righto!” says Diego feeling rather puzzled “if
“Wunderbar, auf wiedersehen” and Riccardo ends
Diego just sits there for a few minutes trying to make sense
of what has just happened, what did it mean, and why was Riccardo
speaking German. Anyway, he’d said he could play and
that was that.
The rest of the day flew by in a blur and before he knew
it, he was pulling into the car park of the Wenvoe Oval. Riccardo
had obviously arrived moments before, he was just getting
out of his car and appeared to be removing some kind of insignia
from his shirt, his black shirt! Suddenly Diego was back in
the events of the morning, the figure in the black uniform,
surely not! He had no more time to consider what this meant
as more of the Casuals began to arrive and soon it was time
to start the game. Well, it was time to start the game, but
as usual Estebano was late to arrive with the kit.
“Sorry skip, fell asleep”. said Estebano
“Just hurry up. Schnell! Schnell!” said the skipper
Casuals were to bat first. Amantes and Alejandro opened the
batting and after a slow nervy start soon took the game to
‘Sports. Amantes retiring on 52 after some glorious
boundaries, a great knock but not chanceless. Pinzon was into
bat next joining Alejandro. Alejandro was keeping the strike
ticking over but struggling to get the ball away, dealing
in singles. Trying an expansive shot, he was caught for 12
in the 10th with the score on 81.
Diego made his way out into the middle to join Pinzon; a
sense of trepidation filled his entire body. As he was walking
out, he felt a great coldness wash over him it, the sounds
around him were muffled, it was like some kind of entity was
trying to possess him. He took his guard but as the bowler
delivered the ball, he tried to play a stroke, but something
was fighting against him and then he remembered the sound
of the blades whistling through the air. He fought on but
was only able to edge the deliveries coming to him. Pinzon
at the other end was having no such trouble and after a slow
start was now despatching the ball to the boundary. Diego
then remembered the sound of shots from his vision, he shivered!
Pinzon tried one lusty blow too many and was caught for 38
in the final over.
Ricardo marched out to the middle, Diego heard the sound
of the jackboots he was inexplicably wearing crunching the
turf behind him “nur noch ein paar Bälle, geben
Sie ihm einen Schlag” he shouted incomprehensibly. Diego
and Ricardo added 3 more runs and then Diego was bowled taking
a mighty swing for the final ball. Diego finished on 18, not
a bad score but he still felt the pull of the “entity”
that seemed to have overtaken his entire being.
G Loveridge 52 not out (retired)
A Heath 12 CT
G Finch 38 CT
J Hodkinson 18 Bowled
R Holliday 1 not out
Lewis, O’Reilly, Sim, Bluff-Hughes, Owens, Thomas
Casuals 144 for 3
Once back in the changing room the skipper told him to get
the gloves on and again, he was back in his vision. No! No!
No! this couldn’t be happening! But it looked like his
waking nightmare was to continue.
Tomas and Tim (no Spanish translation!) opened the bowling.
Diego saw the first ball approaching, it all seemed to be
in slow motion, (or that just could be Tomas). The batsman
withdrew the bat to take a mighty swing but only caught the
ball on the bottom edge of the bat. Diego saw the ball deviate,
but his hands wouldn’t move towards the ball, and it
sailed through his legs. “Gott in Himmel!” he
heard the skipper cry!
The first wicket fell in Tim’ first over, bowled. (Godofredo,
who as it turned out was available was scoring but did not
record the fall of wicket, the useless Berkeley*). Tomas took
the 2nd wicket in the following over, a great diving catch
by Roberto in the deep. Roberto and Jack (same as Tim!) took
the next four overs, bowling well, but no wickets fell. After
8 overs the score was 30-2. Estebano and Dan (this isn’t
really working now) took the next spells, Estebano taking
a wicket with his first ball (bowled), which he definitely
had or hadn’t done before. We had to wait until Dan’
last over for the next wicket (bowled). ‘Sports were
now on 36-4 after 11 overs. Pinzon took the next over. The
first ball was a dot, he ran in for his second delivery and
took and amazing low catch, diving to his left.
Riccardo takes the next over, throwing grenades at the batsmen
(thankfully none of them go off and he is given a ball!).
Jack and Tim (whatever) take the final four overs, Tim takes
two wickets in his third over, the second bowled the first
caught by Pinzon who was “hiding” behind the square
leg umpire. Jack then takes the ball. It’s his fourth
delivery. Time stood still for Diego, this was the final part
of the vision, he’d seen this, the ball balloons up
in the air and he is rooted to the spot. Oh God! No! This
can’t be. Time clicks back on for him. The ball leaves
Jack’s hand, the batman swings the ball balloons up
in the air, Diego tries to move. He can, he’s under
the ball, it lands in his gloves. OUT!! He lets out a guttural
roar, he feels free as if a great weight has been lifted from
him. Jack has his first wicket for the Casuals! Tim’s
final over sees a particularly good Caught and Bowled off
the last ball of the innings. Penarth Sports finish on 76-
9, a very good win.
DT 2 0 8 1
Tim 4 0 16 4
Jack 4 0 13 1
Rob 2 0 5 0
Dan 2 0 5 1
Steveo 2 0 2 1
Gareth F 2 0 6 1
Richie 2 0 19 0
Both teams retire to the Wenvoe arms. Diego sits at a table
contemplating the day. Did that all really happen, was he
possessed by a spirit? Then it hits him, of course he wasn’t
HE’S NOT A FUCKING MEDIUM
*Berkeley Hunt is cockney rhyming slang for, well, you get
(After thought - for those of you who have stuck with it
and read this report - congratulations - you're in the minority!
Although classed as a literary master piece (lots of 'mmmms'
on that one - the build up was for the 'Medium' punch line.
To help put into some sort of context - the Cazh have a new
sponsor this season, and just prior to this match all Casuals
were asked to select their preferred initials to go on the
sleeve and what size they would like. One of our number -
I won't name names, but the finials on his sleeve are JH -
selected medium - which prompted much discussion and quips
on the sidelines during this match - as he is twice as large
as the 2 other players who selected medium.