Two things must ye know if ye venture towards Barrow Cricket Club. Firstly, don't put the postcode in your Sat Nav, it will try and take you half a mile away to where the only spectators are livestock. Second there is a noticeable slope on the cricket field (more of this in a moment).
Fleckney gave a debut to the man known as Sid (full name available on request). Sid assured us he was a self proclaimed 'cricket tragic' with ample enthusiasm but dodgy joints and athletic prowess firmly in the rear view mirror. We knew he would fit right in.
So, onto the game itself. The Claw claimed 'senior' bowler status and somehow bagged the down hill slot. Will Savory was therefore required to charge uphill to release his more potent armory. This tactic is probably in the Formula One tactical handbook under 'Trying To Get Pole Position Whilst Driving A Milkfloat'.
Truth be told Fleckney didn't have the firepower to dislodge a much stronger side on a nigh on perfect batting wicket. Or, to put it another way, the boys were struck with a painful case of cricketing constipation as they strained and heaved but couldn't force one out. Barrow closed on 234 for 0 after two rain breaks and nearly 35 overs.. Two batters had retired, some chances went down but the fanciful idea of victory had long since caught a cab and headed home for a cocktail or two.
The second half of the game however was a very pleasant surprise. I will say this slowly so you can take it in, but the Duckhunters turned in a very credible and borderline competent batting display as they reached 178 for 4 in reply. 'Credible', 'Competent', too often this roving reporter has not after to go past 'A' in the dictionary to describe the action.
After Chris Hill had gone early for 8. Andy Holmes pulled off the rare party trick of a third consecutive 50, Kev Kisby came and smote a robust 47 and the new boy scored a promising 28 with some swashbuckling blows on the off side. Sadly this left poor Nigel who was making a belated seasonal debut with a nasty case of pad rash.
Thanks are due to Barrow for their efforts to keep the game on despite the conditions, their groundsman who produced a pearling wicket to play on and their left arm spinner who thankfully couldn't repeat his opening delivery which pitched on a perfect length and turned from outside leg to past off.
T20 club charity game next week so the Duckhunters will glad forgo a match for the greater good. Who is up for it? Who can eat a burger, down a beer, buy a raffle ticket and still smash the cherry to all parts. It's a time for heroes, will you answer the call?