Anticipation was hanging in the air like a bad curry, nerves were literally on the edge of their seats and an intensive Goole-style warm up had been completed. The moment had come. Match day, the last game of the season.
As the Ovington players prepared, the enemy for the day had been spotted on the famous Albemarle Road. Today it was Hemingbrough. And they’d brought their big guns. Influential skipper Leonard Howard, his talented younger brother David, ex-Wheldrake opener John Cockerill, big hitter Barry Clough, A. Rowley, who bowled our team out on one leg earlier in the season, and of course, the man, the myth, the maverick – Sir Granville North of the North. The Ovington players looked fearful and even, dare I say, intimidated. Rumour had it that regular 2nds captain Benji Busby had heard about the strong ‘Brough team and insisted on playing for the 1st team. Witnesses’ also claimed to have seen vice-captain Brandon Bishop lock himself in toilet for 20 mins, presumably to compose himself mentally, although there may have been another explanation…
Friendly greetings and the usual small talk followed e.g. how was your journey?, think we’ll get a full game in?, how’s Prangnell getting on in America?, etc. etc. Stand in leader, Andy Cole (31), tossed up with his usual lucky double headed coin and called tails. ‘Brough put Ovington into bat knowing that, with the dubious forecast and their potent bowling unit, it would take at least 10 legitimate deliveries to bowl Ovington out.
Talented teenage prodigy Jacob Lamb and Hollyoaks actor Nick Pickard opened the batting in an effort to confuse the opposition. Lamb took guard. Rowley marked his run up. The ‘Brough fielders urged ferocious encouragement. A lost seagull flew above. The umpire prepared himself… “Ready all? PLA…”
The heavens opened and St. Swithin himself had turned on the tap. There was no turning back. This match was over before it had even begun.