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May mayhem

Posted in ECB ACO

Well the month of May has certainly been a very enjoyable, busy and interesting one.

As well as enjoying a short break in Inverness, I have experienced virtually no rain, near artic weather conditions followed by a mini-heatwave. I have officiated in a total of ten matches which, bearing in mind that I don't umpire on Saturdays is more than I could have reasonably expected.

I have umpired in a variety of games, in a number of different competitions and at age levels ranging from under-15s girls to the men's 60+ County Championship.

I have been fortunate enough to stand at the wonderful Boughton Hall ground in Chester, where I've actually played twice on tour in the last five years, as well as the Fishlake ground near Doncaster. It is possible that, during June, my travels will take me to Norfolk, Suffolk, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and further afield, Durham.

I've witnessed my first century of the season - an unbeaten 119 off 116 balls, with 16 fours and two 6s - a spectacular collapse (seven wickets falling for 16 runs) and some highly competitive cricket.

I've seen batsmen retire hurt and injured batsmen requesting a runner. In my most recent match we very nearly had two runners at the crease at the same time - now that would have been interesting.

The Leicestershire v Northamptonshire under-15 girls' match reminded me that I am from the era when the only lady cricketer anyone had heard of appeared to be Rachael Heyhoe-Flint. How times have changed.

The development of ladies' cricket over the years is to be applauded and encouraged still further. In this game I was hugely impressed by one of the Northants players who clearly was extremely talented and looked a natural.

I can only hope that the young lady in question maintains her interest in and love for the game. Who knows - we may see her on the International stage one of these days. I've made a mental note of her name and will watch her progress with interest.

I was most impressed with the Yorkshire 50+ side who dispatched their Leicestershire counterparts with some ease. I understand that they won the championship in 2006 and I can see how. This was a match of many decisions - caught behind, LBW, run out and stumped - there was certainly nowhere to hide.

The latter half of the month has included two interesting Rutland and District League matches. Firstly, on a good pitch with plenty of bounce and carry, Godmanchester very nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at Wisbech Town, prevailing by one wicket after a botched run out attempt.

The same team then ended newly-promoted Barnack's unbeaten start to the season in a high scoring game which saw Godmanchester exceed 300 runs in their 45 overs.
The match at Wisbech was very nearly spoiled by four vehemently contested umpiring decisions - a firm word seemed to restore a sense of sanity with an apology after the game.

I wonder what the month of June will bring.

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