A Kington Chinese and the return to the Tower
After the presentation of the 'prosecco moment', which was given to Rob for his pre-game pit stop, the Gardeners went in search of food. This turned out to be an excellent Chinese, but the meal was marked, in the main, by Ferris Bueller's decision to go rogue: abandoning the group, he ordered a Chinese takeaway from round the corner and then brought it into our Chinese restaurant and tucked in with the rest of us. There's no I in team, Ferris!
In an already familiar scenario, the tourists packed up and headed back over the border into Wales for another night on the tiles...
It was inevitable perhaps that Sunday's escapades were less alcoholic after Saturday's excesses. However, clearer heads meant the Gardeners were in a better position to work their particular brand of magic on the local ladies.
Talgarth is a town where everyone between the ages of 20 and 40 seems to have left, so the Gardeners had two possible groups on which focus their attentions. You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes (again, not me, the real one) to work out which end of the age bracket Cunners et al plumped for. Indeed, an uncharitable person might have called the evening's events grooming. Your correspondent was too close to the action to be judgmental, but the photos tell their own story.
Some Gardeners might even have put their dignity aside in pursuit of 17-year-old Jade and her pals, but they shall remain, for now, nameless. In spite of the Chancellor's free hand with a bottle of Courvoisier no harm was done and the Operation Yewtree investigators were stood down.
Monday 26th August
Up early then for another fortifying fry up, or two fry ups in the case of Poker Face, and a journey back down the M4 for a game against Marlow Park cricket club. Would this be the victorious swansong the 2013 GCC tourists craved, or would we slink back to the smoke in receipt of a defeat?
GCC vs. Marlow Park CC
The Metronome's metronomic driving meant that tour opening batsmen Poker Face and the newly christened Frank i.e. Tom, were late arrivals at a sunny and picturesque Marlow Park. Cunners had already tossed (having not got lucky the night before) and we were batting.
On a small pitch and lighting quick outfield runs came at regular, but not prolific intervals: the Marlow Park openers combining line and length from one end with pic 'n mix from the other. At drinks after 17 overs, GCC were 84-0, with the prospect of a decent score on the horizon. However, Tom decided to throw his wicket away: after hitting spinner Stephens for four in the first ball after drinks, he went for the same shot two balls later and was stumped for 39. Andy, captain for the day, survived a little longer to take his score to 45, before Stallwood had him caught and bowled.
The Gardeners kept the runs coming, but none of the other batsmen, with the exception of Clayderman (16*) stayed in long enough to put together a partnership and get 200 plus runs on the board. At the end of the 35 overs (curtailed due to late start) we finished on 177. Sounds competitive, but it was a perfect day for batting, the pitch was flat and the boundaries small. We were 50 below par.
So it proved to be the case, as the Marlow batsmen found runs far too easy to come by right from the off. Struthers was his usual miserly self, but the Metronome, Tom and James Heanley were all given a seeing to. It emerged that opener Francis, who fired his way to 80 before James had him caught behind, was the club record holder, having hit 222 as a 16-year-old. Perhaps we got off lightly?
A couple of wickets did peg the batting side back temporarily and at 125-3 a few more could have got us back in the game. However, solid stroke-making from Mackenzie (23*) and Hawkins (32*) saw Marlow Park through to a seven wicket victory from just 27 overs.
A disappointing end therefore, but with the sun setting and drink in hand the Gardeners were able to reflect on an extremely enjoyable tour: a record equalling batting stand; a tea to trump all other teas; parliaments of owls; pints of local ale; freshly made welsh cakes; nocturnal mysteries; and most of all, the joy of fellowship! TL
A variety of nicknames were bestowed on some of this year's tourists. Here's a full rundown for the uninitiated:
· Andy Offord – Poker Face, very occasionally Tim
· Antoni Rogowski – Voodoo Chiles
· Chris Humphries – The Chancellor, Chumpy
· Ed Spurling – Ferris Bueller, the Poltergeist pisser
· Greg Tellis – Megan Fox
· Nick Cunningham – Cunners, very occasionally Schultz or the Bear
· Rob Navratil – The Metronome, 'nome for short
· Tom Leahy – Sherlock, Cumberbatch , Nova, Frank
We play most of our games in Dulwich and net during the winter at The Oval. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oliver Cunningham (life)
Jamie Elliott (life)
John Lloyd (life)
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and may involve some poetic licence. GCC cannot be held liable for any misrepresentation in these articles.