once wrote, “It may be said that there are things of more importance than striking
a ball, but there are things that make more noise and do as little good.”
summer term the Abbotsholme 1st XI have tried to strike a ball, and
all term long the Headmaster’s XI grew until at last, like the Rebel Forces
against the Empire they were ready to confront the Abbotsholme 1st
XI not on Tatooene but in the beautiful surroundings of the Abbotsholme playing
omens were not good, smiling Scottish ladies on the television telling us of
inclement weather, players withdrawing at the 11th hour and the
difficulty in getting tea and biscuits down to the pavilion.
two teams met, and the Captains having ‘tossed the coin’, The Headmasters XI
were inserted on what could best be described as a ‘sticky dog’. Hostilities were begun and the Headmaster’s XI featuring strong local
cricketers, a few staff members old and new, a brand new governor, a sprinkling
of OA, oh and the Headmaster readied themselves. Wickets fell with
the regularity of departing witnesses at the Leveson Enquiry, and the
multi-abilitied team managed to get the total to the mid 90’s in their allotted
25 overs. Not a bad total in the conditions and with only the one break
for rain. So much for Kipling’s ‘flannelled fools’ and ‘muddied oafs’.
lunch, the noble Abbotsholme XI were set an increased total of 40 overs and
they duely engaged the determined and multi-aged attack. The fall of wickets
followed the same lines as the senior side’s innings with all of those able to
bowl getting the chance to turn their arms. Old age and cunning as well
as a few rash shots won the day, and the Abbotsholme team fell a few runs short
of the required total. The minute the players crossed the boundary rope
the heavens opened. Someone upstairs had seen and enjoyed enough!
ever, the total of runs, the ease of wickets or even the quality of the lunch
are not the important things. We played the best game in the world, we
enjoyed each other’s company and for a few hours on the 4th July we
were, staff, pupil, and visitor alike, all equal!