In the absence of Tribey, scorer extraordinaire, scribe and polished wit, it has fallen to me to expound on the stirring stimulation, skill, skulduggery and shenanigans of the annual Blick Ball game held this year on Friday July 14th at the Channel 4 Oval between the mighty Seaview Old Boys and the Dave ‘Dogger’ Day XI.
The teams comprised Sea View players old and new plus the odd friend, acquaintance and ringer brought in by the dastardly Dogger in an attempt to finally win a match at the 95th attempt.
Seaview captain Damo was unavoidably detained by a third pint of cider, so Cake rushed into the breach as temporary skipper for the Old Boys. Dogger’s double-headed coin ensured that the DD XI was able to field first (“Always chase, it’s less embarrassing”, being one of his many mottos).
The Old Boys opened with the experience and youth combination of Rob and Emma facing the traditional DD opening bowler, Deb’n’Nick. Emma scored a creditable 9 before being bowled by the DD XI’s secret weapon, t’Steve Johnson. Rob managed an equally creditable 5 singles (that’s 110 yards of running!) before taking early retirement. Will A barely troubled the scorer but a partnership of over 30 between Slider ‘the rock’ Stainer and Liam (retired not out) steadied the ship. The scoreboard at this point jumped 20 runs thanks to Cake’s mathematical genius.
Alan has been batting so well recently that Cake sent him in much further up the order than his usual ‘ferret’ position. Dave Day brought on his key ringer, Kane, and told him that Alan was one of the SVOB’s best batsman. Kane took a long run up. A nano-second later Alan was aware (perhaps) that something very hard had passed him very close, travelling at well over 80 miles an hour. Russell, keeping wicket well back, failed to get out of the way and stopped the ball (he has the bruise to prove it), Emma at long-stop looked worried.
Fortunately Kane realised that the ‘best batsman’ comment was DD being a little economical with the truth and turned to spin. Alan was taking no chances however and swiftly ran himself out; he was soon followed back by Luke – to the usual sympathetic words of Cake and Damo. A stand of nearly 40 then ensued between Ed and Bobby and this, plus some lusty tail-end hitting from Damo, ensured a credible 20-over total of 128 for the Old Boys. t’Steve J was the pick of the DD bowlers with 4 wickets.
The DD XI started slowly with the traditional pair of Nick’n’Deb opening to see off the shine. Debbie was however to be the team’s top scorer (not counting extras of course) with 19. Hamish, a former graduate of the Old Boy’s youth policy, scored a quick-fire 16 but a middle-order collapse that saw Marion (5), Nick J (5), Sam (4), New Dave (3) and New Paul (6), and largely sparked by the bowling of Luke and Emma from the Seaview academy, meant the DD XI had it all to do.
Kane hit a swift 18 but the sight of Michael the landlord, ‘Stokesy’, Oliver striding to the crease at no 11 clearly put the fear into the OBs. ‘Stokesy’ hit a quite astonishing 16 before being caught by Nickray off the bowling of Bobby (talk about nepotism!) and sadly neither Steve (3) nor Tosser and Dogger with their traditional ducks, was able to see the game out.
The result was a victory for the OBs by just 6 runs. A wake, sorry, celebration, was held at the Seaview with an excellent array of quality corn snacks, and the Blick ball speech and presentation by Dogger in memory of his old friend and umpire Harry Blick was moving in the extreme. In spite of t’Steve’s protestations that he took four wickets for two runs, there was really only one candidate for the Blick Ball (at least if Dogger wanted to carry on drinking in the ‘View) and Michael the landlord, or ‘Stokesy’ as he shall henceforth be known, was the worthy recipient of the trophy. If you pop into the View any time in the next week, month or indeed year, Michael may, if you really insist, modestly show you the trophy.
Grateful thanks to DD for organising the game; onwards and downwards all!