An innings of Evenley

An Innings of Evenley by Graham Wiblin
In Evenley on summer days
Upon the Village Green
A motley crew in shades of white
Will hopefully be seen
 
My story will now unfold
Recalls a certain game
One Saturday in August
Against Long Crendon near Thame
 
The public bar had closed at four
The wives had cleared the tea
And Evenley were chasing
A score of one two three
 
Picture then this lovely day
Hot sun and bright blue sky
The fielding team look young and fit
But the tank tracks hard and true
 
Dave rice is captain for the day
He’s deep in thought unspoken
Will Slinger
Make a useful score
Will Julian’s eyes be open
 
With a stick to match his new white coat
The umpire calls for play
Middle and leg the chosen guard
The first ball on it’s way
 
Now Julian was very proud
He’d never had a duck
But his Charlie Nicholas batting stance
Would fail to bring him luck
 
The click was heard, the fingers up
The fielders go mad
Julian is adamant
“It was definitely my pad”
 
Nought for one a dreadful start
But one that’s not to rare
Dee Day’s in at number three
To do a quick repair
 
Now Dave was very short of work
And the influence on his game
Was to make his top priority
A broken window pane
 
Prod and poke is not his style
Well usually not so
But David patiently waited
For the short one that would go
 
At last it came, a perfect ball
Dave heaved a mighty stroke
It’s hit the road, it’s bounced, a crash
“Thank god” he said “It’s Broke”
 
His mission done Dave wanted out
All had gone to plan
Suicide run, throw in, Howzat!
He headed towards his van
 
Number four appeared in view
Decked out in light blue hat
Accompanied by his portly spread
It was Tykey-Jones the bat
 
Would the Welshman call the tune
Against the quick attack
Downhill from the Church Lane end
A bouncer, ouch a crack
 
He grimaces swears and shakes his arm
But wait a knowing grin
It’s his painting hand that’s hit
No work next week for him
 
He’s coming of retired hurt
Things are not going well
Peter Franklin’s next man in
He’s sure to give ‘em hell
 
Franko was Manns Best form
From beer the night before
A six, two fours, a six again
He acceleractes the score
 
Then Peter spied at deep fine leg
A bird he fancied pulling
He whispered to himself
“She needs a dam good bulling”
 
She strayed behind the bowlers arm
But Franko didn’t worry
Desperate for a closer look
A leg bye they did scurry
 
She settled in a tempting pose
And up went Peter’s hackle’s
He never saw the quicker ball
That downed his cricket tackle
 
Meanwhile at the other end
Stood Slinger mean and tall
The only problem for Evenley
Was that he’d only faced one ball
 
Now worrying about his averages
As Slinger always does
He considered all the options
Yes, nought out’s enough
 
To make sure that he stayed on top
Would mean a crafty plan
So thinking quickly, just for once
He dropped his bat and ran
Hurtling straight into the gents
He looked in dreadful pain
“My stomach”, he said “I’ve got to go”
“It’s the old mans milk again”
 
Thirty three for three the score
Another two retired
Mike Bosher had an awesome task
To get the innings fired
 
He started scoring one’s and two's
Has he ever scored a four?
And despite continual barracking
He pushed along the score – slowly
 
In with him was Harman G
The Middeton elite
Fresh from taking three from ten
He entrenched his static feet
 
He waved the bat at several balls
Never daring to step out
But eventually got a straight one
Which he gave a hefty clout
 
It rolled on gently to the pub
And Graham’s running five
But Bosh has only managed two
These round tabler’s always slow
Thirty eight the stand was worth
When Mike played a forward stroke
The bat itself was so surprised
It jarred his hand and broke
 
The ball was skied to second slip
And he made no mistake
Over fifty still required
Please rain for Evenley’s sake
 
A captains innings was needed now
To halt the teams collapse
But someone’s changed Dave’s glasses
For his reading one’s alas
 
He swings outside the off stump
As the ball goes down the leg
Unfortunately the next ones straight
And takes the middle peg
 
He groans, collapses to the turf
And clutches the injured part
He should have worn a bigger box
To protect his throbbing heart
 
In falling he had left his crease
The wicket keeper couldn't fail
So as well as his parts so closely named
He also lost his bails

The tails looking very weak
Unlikely then to wag
Ned Kelly is our last real hope
But he’s having a crafty fag
 
“Come on Tat pads on quick”
The captain loudly shouts
And so ten minutes later
Speed Greatbatch shuffles out
 
There’s only one thing on the mind
Of this lean and mean machine
To ensure he wins the ducks award
For which he’s very keen
 
So very carefully for him
He lofts a simple catch
To the man at deep mid – wicket
And it goes straight down the hatch
 
“Calm down lads”, the captain says
“It’s strategy we need”
Dave Greenaways a clever chap
Buckingham University indeed
 
Davis does a useful job
Whippet Harman’s batting great
They move the score to ninety six
But they’re desperate for a break
 
The sun beats down, Ah at last
The drinks are on their way
Dave Greenaway just stands his ground
He thought he’d have to pay
 
The orange squash was laced with gin
To spur the lad’s along
But Grahams seeing double
And his middle stump is gone
 
Fingers is in, but the finger is up
He only lasts one ball
And Chico quickly follows
On the trudge back to the hall
Six runs were then needed
To spoil Long Crendons plans
But Evenley required
A volunteer eleventh man
 
Steve Copping had gone back to camp
The Hunt's were at a wedding
Chubby was in Leckhempstead
And Wiggle in Reading
 
Long Crendon then looked home and dry
Their champagne corks were popping
Who's you ask, was the last man in
It was good old Snaky Copping
 
 
Tatty shirt and bright red socks
A trusty can of bitter
If only Snake could see the ball
He’d be a damn good hitter
 
He ambles slowly to the crease
Hands adjusting box
Assisted by loud advice
From Andy Jell and Nigel Fox
 
Just as Snake prepared to face
He heard a sound he knew
And an Escort with a flashing lamp
Came roaring into view
 
The bowler is on his way
And Snake’y is taking aim
One bounce, he swings, connects full face
It soars towards school lane
 
The fielders stand with baited breath
Snakey whoops “Get on it”
And then it landed with a thud
On P.C. Wards white bonnet
 
The umpires hands are raised aloft
It is the winning six
Roger Charlesson hurries out
To quickly take some pics
 
The crowd erupted with delight
Five of them and one and all
There was Richard,Rockey,Reg and Len
And the benchman Jeffrey ball
 
Snakey was mobbed by all the team
The uninjured ones that is
He even offered to buy a round
Of various assorted fizz
 
So in years to come you'll tell your friends
And together propose toasts
When you find old Banbury Guardians
Or Brackley and Towcester Posts
 
And the legend now is written here
For all of you to see
Of that glorious day in August
Of the innings of Evenley

 

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