Old Boys v Octopus CC
Sunday 14th May 2006 at The YMCA, Golden Hill
By SA Ogilvie
The first (and maybe the last) Henleaze Old Boys v Octopus challenge trophy saw the Octopi travel to tropical Bristol. Cricket tours usually consist of an over night stay, 2 games of a cricket and a couple of friendly beers with the locals. This tour consisted of 1 game of cricket, far too many beers and night in the no star A4 hotel.
The touring party consisted of Stew, Danny, Wayne, Andy, Stuart, Rich and Simon. I'm no mathematician but even I know that 7 people is not enough for a cricket team. Thankfully Harsh and Syd were coming down on the morning of the game to give us 9. Skipper and 10th man (11 men is too much to ask for) Posh Jon did a Lord Lucan and failed to show - through the drunken early evening haze a text arrived citing a dodgy stomach. This was to be a recurring theme.
Being a tour veteran, Danny outlined the standard itinerary for Octopus tour matches "Hard liquor, Fighting and loose women - In no particular order". Not quite cucumber sandwiches with the vicar on the village green is it?
Saturday's game was left as a TBA in favour of a dark pub and the FA cup final. This was then followed by more dark pubs and more beer. Feeling the effects of an afternoon of light deprivation and Stella, Octopus headed for the de rigueur curry. The first establishment declined their custom, this despite Danny loudly enquiring "DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" Those tactics might work at the Ivy when your Al Pacino but not when you're Danny Kemp at the Brunell Tandoori after an afternoon spent consuming heroic quantities of continental strength fighting lager.
Wayne secured free reign to dictate his bowling/batting/fielding position by picking up the curry tab "This is a work do aint it?" was his assessment, as his company credit card took care of business. We're still unsure of what Wayne's "business interests" are - rumours that he imports Somalian refuges are at this point unconfirmed.
A few more of Bristol's Hostelry's were inconvenienced before staggering back to rest up for the big match.
The overwhelming topic of conversation the next morning centred around how many visits to the gents the team had managed that day. It was refreshing to see the tour continuing in the same high brow vein as the day before.
Arriving at the ground bright and early, The Old Boys entered into the spirit of the tour when Matt Clements volunteered "I've had 5 shits this morning". This was alarming on many levels, but mostly because;
a.) It was not yet midday and
b.) He'd helped make the Tea
A first for cricket saw both teams winning the toss! HOB wanted a bowl and Octopus wanted a bat, at this stage everyone was a winner. It wasn't going to stay that way for long….
The traditional Octopus opening partnership of "good cop bad cop" i.e. a malingerer: Andy James and a window worrier: Rich Cowling securing spots 1 and 2. I'll leave you to decide which is which. The guys stuck rigidly to form, with Rich racing to his fifty with the score on 62! Mr James didn't last too long seeing the inaugural HOB v Octopus trophy wicket go to Barrett, with a catch from Adams. Fresh from his 131 not out the week before Harsh was up next for the Octopus. With these two at the crease the runs continued to flow before a very smart catch from Serjeant saw Harsh depart for an average maiming 13. Free reign Wayne was due up next but a call of nature caught him short meaning Ogilvie taking his place at the crease. The sledging that ensured was relentless, batting ability, parentage, and species were all bought to question by the hosting team. A niggled single down to fine leg was celebrated with all the gusto usually reserved for a century at lords. A duck would have been too hard to take. A hard fought dozen was bought to an end by the Smith brothers; bowled J Smith, caught S Smith. Free reign Wayne was due up next but eager ringer Sage beat him to it. He didn't have to wait long, as Cowling misjudged one that caught the top edge and Fillingham made no mistake, holding onto the skied shot - a career best 78 from R Cowling. The weekly Octopus collapse was gathering pace. Wayne helped it along by embarking on a suicide single that saw him back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers. Sage next to go for a half dozen, clean bowled by J Smith. Ingram to the crease. Burnell out c Fillingham b S Smith. "I thought you only got out caught behind in the test match" was his response. Danny "Do you know who I am?" Kemp up next. Danny signalled intent to cut loose by unleashing some lusty blows, shortly after he lost Ingram for a round number (0). Syd up to partner Kemp. Danny's swashbuckling 20 something were invaluable before losing his wicket. Shortly after the innings was wrapped up with Satterly last man out. An innings that saw much early promise and an anticipated total of 200+ turned sour and ended up a limp 165 all out in the 37th over.
After a top notch tea with scotch eggs and pork pies (and potentially some e-coli from Matt "5 dumps" Clements) Octopus took to the field aiming to knock over some early wickets and expose the inexperience HOB tail. Much like aiming to leave after "just one more pint" our aim was somewhat off…..
Ed "steady Eddie" Davies opened along with Aussie danger man Anth. Much like the good cop/bad cop Octopus opening partnership, Barrett was going for the big shots and Ed was playing the reserved role. Unlike the Octopus opening partnership, Ed was scoring the quicker of the two. 165 from 40 overs was always going to be attainable if HOB batted sensibly and didn't lose quick wickets, so when the first 10 overs were up with the loss of no wickets and 44 on the board, all was looking good for HOB. Harsh came on first change and took a wicket with his first ball, bowling Barrett for a swashbuckling 20. Jon Smith was up next, nursing an ankle injury which saw him bowl from a standstill, he announced "Nah, don't fancy it much today" and so it proved as he was caught by James at slip off the bowling of Braham for 5. 56 for 2. Next to the crease was pinch hitter P Serjeant, batting up the order due to the condition of his curfew. I'm not sure WG Grace would have approved! A quick fire 17 took the score onto 79-3 after a fine delivery from harsh clipped his off stump bail. GAME ON! It didn't last long. SJ Smith to the crease and these two correct batsmen played sensibly and took very few risks to effectively take the game away from Octopus. Probably two bowlers short, Octopus gambled on the main bowlers taking wickets before they ran out of overs - alas, this was a gamble too far. Cowling turned his arm and was unlucky to see a couple of catches put down from his bowling before stand in keeper Wayne stumped SJ Smith for a cultured 27, including a fine straight 6, leaving the hosts on 154-4. Brown came in at 6 and along with man of the match Steady Eddie saw HOBs home by 6 wickets with 3 overs to spare. Ed finished unbeaten on 77 and with Brown 7 not out HOB won the Inaugural Octopus V HOB Challenge trophy!!