On Saturday Baston played their final game of the season travelling all the way to Holland to face Friskney. Cricket grounds must be different in Holland as this one was rectangle in shape, had a bowls green where the outfield should be, a muddy patch where the wicket should be and some mental bloke where the opening bowler should be.
Top facilities at Friskney
Two prizes were on offer, 3rd place finish in the league and league top run scorer as the top three contenders all featured. Team news saw too many changes to mention for Baston and only one worth noting for Holland ‘B’; the return of the legend of the north Mickey Troops. Friskney skipper Grant was not present for the toss which was a shame as it would have been the first all ginger toss in South Lincs history. With the pitch sodden and cloud cover galore Friskney stand in skipper Griffiths won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first.
Everyone at Friskney wished Mickey good luck in his future back at Boston next season
Unfortunately for Griffiths he did not allow for the absolute dross that Mental Mickey was about to throw down. The bowls match next door was suspended under health & safety grounds as numerous short and leg side balls were dispatched there as Baston raced to 80-1 even George, in the last game of his loan spell, hitting his first career league six on to the green. However when Howard holed out for 54, posting a decent target for his nearest rivals for top spot, and with Felix strolling in at number 4 the innings was doomed and the usual Baston collapse followed and justified the decision at the toss.
Jon, on his way to 54
There was time for Ben to secure the duck cup for the 3rd consecutive year, sharing the cup for the last two seasons with skipper Dyer who was also dismissed for 0 not wanting to let go of the prestigious trophy. Dyer was not altogether happy with his caught behind decision however and stood in disbelief aghast at umpire Morris, a few minutes past and he finally dragged himself off the pitch presumably drawing some abuse from the opposition as Dyer became visually possessed with mardy-pants. “Fun, it’s nothing but fun playing here…non-stop fun”. Luckily none of the Friskney players took the jibes too seriously and just pointed out things could be worse… “Won’t be fun when you’re dead, in a minute” Real, non-stop fun at Friskney.
Big edge behind > "Don't you know who I am" > Slump off in a sulk
Other noteworthy contributions down the order from the Hawkins family, father and son both on debut acquitted themselves well before Steve inexcusably ran his son out by half the length of the pitch. Young Adam soon forgave his father but did insist of calling him Steve as opposed to Dad for the remainder of the day.
Excellent resolute knock of 33 from "Lamin's son" George
So Friskney had to chase 150 odd for victory and seal 3rd place and either opener to score 60 odd and seal the league batting award. This should have been fairly comfortable on a smaller pitch than Ben’s garden, some tosh bowling and having rolled the wicket with the heavy roller during the tea break, unprecedented in SL div1, the 43rd tier of English cricket.
Adam Hilless 3-29, the proper (angry faced) leader of the attack
Felix took 3-46 from his 11 overs
However opening bowlers Cunningham and Hilless (RSP – squirrel) had other ideas as the opening batsman could barely lay bat on ball during the first ten overs. Hilless bowling especially well and the best spell of his season, he soon found the edge of first Grant and then Griffiths, sparking wide celebration as Howard would be crowned top batsman in the league.
676 runs at 42.25, with 6 fifties and 1 hundred, a great season from the league's leading run scorer Jono Howard.
Mitch Griffiths (2nd, right) and Rob Grant (3rd, left) took it well
Friskney were now right up against it and it was left to local hero Troops to steer them to victory, he however only managed to sky his first ball straight up in the air, miles up, but only marginally higher than his bat went in the reverse fixture. Great spells from Felix and Adam were backed up by spin twins Dyer and Lamin and by some brilliant fielding, from Big Dave (bucket hands / and he had clogs on), The Hawkins family, Liam and Ben. In doing so, Ben sealed his second trophy of the day, this time the league fielding trophy, taking 17 outfield catches, 4 more than his nearest rival.
Big Dave, avec clogs
Baston strolled to victory and made off down to the local village to abuse the opposition and umpire. The plan from here was to stop at every pub on the left on the way home from the Netherlands. However after 17 wee stops, driver/scorer Dibdob was getting fed up and we made for the White Horse to see George’s s**g piece Melissa (good woods – squirrel). We made one more stop and did all that was left to do to finish the day off nicely, so Dave put his clogs on, we recorded Felix saying how much he liked c**k and Liam and George had a race around the nearest child slide (George won)
So a 3rd place finish, the best batsman, the two best fielders and one of the three best bowlers in the league, not a bad old season, especially for a joke pub team.
Are we all having fun?
Back (from left) Steve Hawkins, John Lamin, Ben Hudson, George Hartley, Felix Cunningham, Adam Hilless, "Big" Dave Ford
Front: Liam Davies, Adam Hawkins, Tim Dyer (c), Jon Howard