Bradford and Bingley Cricket 01/07/02
The weekend of Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30 will long live in my memory. A total of 1,027 runs were scored at Wagon Lane in two days of Bradford League second team cricket and that has to be something to savour.
Just before the toss at Saturday's match against Gomersal, one of the players said to me: 'By, that looks a bit green to me, might do a bit.'
It was a classic statement because Gomersal reached 263 for five in 45.2 overs and decided to declare.
They must have been happy going into tea, but we were not despondent because the cricket shots had been hit through the line with a true bounce and a bit of pace.
Bear in mind also that they gave us four overs, making 54 overs in total to knock off the runs which we proceeded to do and reached 264 for six in 49 overs - quite fantastic! The ball came on to the bat very nicely indeed and, with an already fast outfield, we absolutely shattered the total.
On Sunday morning I went to the ground because we were playing a Priestley Shield, second team quarter final against Hanging Heaton on the same pitch.
Quite a bit of work was needed to get it back up to scratch. It was a dry pitch and the ends were a bit dusty and the block holes needed filling back up. To put in a block hole, you pour water into the hole, slide your fingers around so the water penetrates and is smudged so that 'the fill' has the chance to bond. I use Kaloam to fill the block holes. Fill the hole so that it reaches into every corner and is sitting proud of the surface. With my foot I stand on the block gently to firm and then I use a thumper, which is like a wooden block on a shaft, and really bang it into the surface.
Kaloam has a good binding strength. When I reach into the bag and bring out a fistful I can make a ball so that tells me it is going to be workable.
I cut the pitch mainly to pick up the debris and then I mark the pitch out again and water the line as trying to mark on dust is nearly impossible. The line should be clear so it stands out and straight - use your straight edge.
Sunday's match was another thriller. Hanging Heaton won the toss and elected to field. I thought that was surprising because if we had won the toss we would have batted, got the runs on the board and piled on the pressure which is what happened.
We amassed a total of 261 for four off 50 overs, which pleased us. It was good shot play, nothing flash, hit the bad one, block the good one, but most important keep the scoreboard moving and, in cup cricket, that is a must.
Hanging Heaton started their innings knowing they had to work hard. Their approach at times was suicidal and had we taken our catches it would not have been a contest. As it happened, we let it slip and they carried on and they were always in the hunt.
In fact, at 209 for five with 12 overs left their cup dream looked to be a reality. The captain then brought back the opening bowler who has pace. He banged one in and, with a little more bounce than the others; he produced the snick behind the wicket we were looking for. After that there was a steady progression of wickets and they were all out for 239.
Monday, July 1 and a tired but happy man goes to work. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and we are relieved we got the shield game in the day before.
From a ground point of view, the first team are at home to Drighlington (Saturday, July 5) and a new pitch is required. Having said that, with the rain, it is not I deal preparation. It will be a case of cutting every day and rolling when I can. Long term forecast has said that Thursday will be good. Let's hope it is. I look forward to then.