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May the Force be with you

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2010

It's half ten on February 20th and I'm in our clubhouse. The committee meeting has drifted to a finish so thought I might stay up here and have a pint whilst writing this.

There has been a lot of activity at the ground since September - diggers have been in creating new driveways to ease the access for coaches and this coupled with the new soak away has turned the car park into an Egyptian archaeological site.

Half an hour later and I'm at the Hilters Farmhouse. Had to abandon the clubhouse idea, the tomb raiders have emptied the bar.

Interestingly the groundwork has become necessary due to the increase use of the club last summer by the Gloucestershire Cricket Board for Youth Performance games, one youth ladies' Gloucestershire/Somerset match and our lucrative corporate cricket days.

This has had a lot to do with the work done last year in ground improvements during NatWest CricketForce 2009. I wonder if our founders in the mid-19th Century ever envisaged that we would be fielding four sides at the weekends as well as having under-13, under-15 and under-17 league sides.

Even more amazing when you think we could only field one team in the early 70s.

The meeting was mainly about this year’s NatWest CricketForce weekend. Chris Germaine (the club's self appointed Obi-Wan Kenobi) gave an impassioned plea to get as many members and their families participating as possible (it will be hard to beat last year’s turnout).

It was all he could do to stop himself from ending with 'May the Force be with you' but he eloquently outlined the work needed.

Changing rooms - a novel shower room where the water runs away is being constructed so no further need for life guards to be on hand when in use, and new toilets will mean that the flora behind the clubhouse may grow again.

Kitchen - Help is also needed on creating a new catering area in the back room. First fix plumbing already done. Happy tea ladies?

Equipment Shed - The new equipment shed is at last being rendered too and it will need a couple of coats of weatherproof paint.

New base - Foundations and base for new score board started. Fund raising ideas needed.

General - The necessary tidying up and painting at this time of year including the dreaded sightscreens.

Square - The pre-season work will be started as soon as the weather improves by our dedicated team of groundsmen. The meeting was told that we have been given an award for the most improved pitch in 2009 by the GCB. This I can believe - the track was as flat as a sumo wrestler’s girlfriend. However frustrating for us bowlers, well done to the weekly wicket teams.

My wife has just come in and asked me what I was doing on the computer in the spare room at midnight.

As I had her ear I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask her if she knew where the paint brushes were in readiness for the CricketForce weekend.

Call it bad timing or poor judgment (like many of my run), I now find myself banished to the spare room. She did ask me to decorate this room for the last two seasons.

Last year’s event was so infectious and did so much for club moral, heightened by the excitement of the involvement by some of the Gloucestershire squad, that I went up for a few hours and spent the day, returning looking like a living Jackson Pollock much to her chagrin.

February 21st, 8.45am – Hilters Farmhouse.

Reconciliation, she’s even coming to help paint the sight screen. 'The Force was with me'.