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Match Report vs Penarth Sports 30 June 2022 @ Wenvoe (Skipper Richie, report DT)

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 you like”

“Wunderbar, auf wiedersehen” and Riccardo ends the call

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 because.....


*Berkeley Hunt is cockney rhyming slang for, well, you get it!

(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.



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