Hoping for better weather in May

Posted in ECB ACO

Six dropped catches, two brief hailstorms and a period of play in which hosts, Oundle Town, plundered 70 runs from just six overs, greeted Nassington Cricket Club on their return to the top tier of the Rutland and District Cricket League after an absence of some years.

Undaunted, they contributed fully to a terrific game of cricket which was a credit to the league. The result - a four run win for Oundle, being decided off the last ball of an absorbing match.

The match included the award of five penalty runs for the batting side when the ball hit a helmet which had been placed behind the wicketkeeper. My colleague, who was vastly more experienced than me, was so shocked at what had happened that he nearly forgot to signal to the scorers. This was a first for both of us.

The previous day, Saturday 14 April, was a somewhat ignominious one for any Northampton born sports-minded person. Northampton Saints were well beaten by their fierce rivals, Leicester Tigers, the football team – 'The Cobblers' – crashed to a home defeat when victory would have secured their Football League Division Two status whilst Northants succumbed to their second heavy defeat of the new season, losing to Kent inside three days.

As if to rub salt into the wound, none of the four horses yours truly backed in the Grand National actually finished the race.

Just a few days earlier, as I was checking all my kit ready for the off, I realised that, potentially, I already had 74 appointments for the season. I decided that the next five months were going to be busy to say the least.

A sequence of eight appointments in 11 days began with the long trek to March, where the home side’s new Aussie import marked his R&DCL debut with a classy 70 followed by a seven-for. I have to say that I felt fortunate just being able to stand in the middle bearing in mind the amount of rain about.

The wet weather, however, did me no favours two days later when I was denied the opportunity of a first visit to Wellingborough School in more than 50 years. I fondly recalled the days when I used to cycle from Northampton when the county had a cricket week there.

Worse was to follow as the incessant rain caused the cancellation of all other matches I was due to stand in before the end of the month – what a start to the season.

Hopefully, the month of May will be more productive – I’ve some very interesting appointments so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.