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Match Report vs Pontymister 02 June 2024 @ Pontymister (Skipper Steveo, Report DT)

“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him”

Matthew 24:44

“They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men (or 11. Ed.) dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee (old Welsh for Pontymister. Ed.) they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken into heaven, will come back the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:10-11

It was a beautiful day for a game of Cricket, which for this season has been very unusual, it was almost as though some Cricketing Deity was looking down on this game as something wonderous. We arrived at the ground to find that some sort of Cricket festival had been organised before our game. It appeared to be a kids tournament but we were to find out that there was a lot more to it.

As usual the Casuals arrived in dribs and drabs. We were all there apart from Rob and Steveo. An eerie hush came over the ground and a bright light entered the ground from the gates (just by the bouncy castle). Suddenly, a low hum was heard, gradually getting louder and louder. The sound coalescing into a single word, repeated!

Steveo, Steveo, Steveo, Steveo, Steveo, Steveo, Steveo, Steveo, Steveo!

The Pontymister team and supporters gathered around Steveo who raised his arms in acknowledgement. It seems after last years game where Steveo had fielded for Pontymister, some kind of quasi-religious cult had been built around him. This explained the kids cricket festival we had witnessed on arrival. Speaking to the locals they confirmed that every Sunday the children of the village gather to do as Steveo does, ie, bowl loopy shit and wildly swing at the ball. This we had witnessed. If any of you have seen Star Wars VI “The return of the Jedi” you will be familiar with the scene where C3PO is carried shoulder high by the Ewoks into their village. Well the scene that followed next was a bit like that, just without the carrying bit, the Ewoks and the golden droid! It was kind of done in spirit.

The rest of the Casuals were by this time in a very bemused state and tried to explain to the Pontymister, i suppose we must call them a congregation, that Steveo is not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy (although i think we may have said Twat). They were having none of it “No, no, no! He is the Second Innings” they exclaimed. Anyway, we backed down as it was starting to turn a bit nasty. With that it was time to start the match.

The Casuals won the toss and Steveo (today's skipper) decided to have a bat. Steve B and Kevyn opened. They batted at a slow but steady pace initially but by the fall of the 1st wicket (Kevyn 15) in the 11th over the score had advanced to 48. Will joined Steve B at the crease but their partnership was short-lived with Steve B (24) falling in the 12 over with no addition to the score. Jack joined Will in the middle, but that partnership was to add only 17 runs in 5 overs with Jack (4) out bowled. Next man in? Steveo! The chanting started as he walked out to the crease. In reverential silence he took his guard. First ball, wide, second ball, swing and a miss, third ball, swing and a....oh! Single. The Pontymister team appeared puzzled at this turn of events but perhaps he hit the ball by accident. Yes, that was the logical explanation. Will then scored another single (getting the strike back for the next over, wierd!!). The next over Will ran a single of the first ball which brought Steveo back on strike. The next 5 balls he faced were all dots accompanied by his trademark, swing and miss. The Pontymister crowd were loving it, this is what they had come to see. The final ball Steveo (1) faced was his other trademark shot the “chip to the waiting hands of a fielder”. Steveo left the field to raptouous, well raptures! 66 – 4- 18

Once the hub hub had died down Pat made his way out to join Will. I must mention that during the short time Steveo was batting there was fly past of the ground by a Saab Draken of the Royal Auxilliary Pontymister Flying Corp to commemorate the occasion. Will and Pat but on a respectable 36 but Pat (10) was the 5th wicket to fall in the 27th over 102 – 5 – 27

Rob was in at 7, he was not there long before he lost his batting partener Will (29) 104 – 6 – 28. Next in Liam F (2) who was bowled in the 30th over with the score on 109. Dan (2) was next up but briefly caught with the score on 118 in the 31st over. Paul, effectively the last batsman with DT at 11. He and Rob put on a much needed 18 with Rob (10) falling in the 34th over with the score on 136. The match had been reduced to 35 overs so there were not many balls to face when DT came in and he managed to miss 6 of the 7 he faced. No more wickets fell and the final score was 142 with Paul (13) and DT (1) ending the innings not out. I was BYOT, we were expecting a feeding of the 5000 type miracle from Steveo, it was not to be, but he did share his Pork pies out, which was nice!

Pontymister took the field and we had a suspicion that our total would not be good enough but the oppo started slowly with some miserly bowling from Dan backed up by Liam F who took the 1st wicket (bowled ) in the 8th over with the score on 27. Unfortunately, the other opener kicked on (retiring on 55) and was ably assisted by the No3 and the next wicket didn’t fall until the 22nd over with the No 4 batsmen LBW to Rob O with the score on 112. DT and Paul had bowled, steadily with no reward, their 5 overs. Rob also took the next wicket to fall (bowled) with the score on 121 in the 24th over. With only 22 runs required and lots off overs and batters to spare the writing was on the wall. the Casuals did take one more wicket (caught Biggs) without Pontymister adding to their total but the reached it in the 30th over.

An interesting day and i must also mentioned the local children that ran on the pitch with gifts of balloons for Steveo, hoping to exchange them for his blessing. The Casuls stayed for a few drinks after the game to enable the locals to pay homage to Steveo and then we made are way home.

As i was leaving i heard a few of the locals recalling a local legend that when Steveo next returns the Ebbw will flow with Brown Ale (a nice thought but if its brown and in the Ebbw its most likely Shit)

 

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