Entering the Langtons Cricket Ground, adopted home of our opponents, you are met with the clucking of chickens in a field just off the pathway.
An unusual greeting for Duckhunters but perhaps apt when we all arrived to find no opponents.
Yes, you guessed it, we suspected fowl play. ( Sorry about that one).
A misunderstanding had led to a crossed wire about start time which could have allowed more time for practice, if the team had it didn't show.
The pitch played well enough, albeit with a touch of variable bounce, however on each popping crease previous occupants had scratched out enough of a trench to hide a medium elephant or two portions of Frankie's tea. The weather, as befitting expected thunder and lightning, was close and steamier than Thomas The Tank Engines trip to a Finnish Sauna.
Somehow however the weather apocalypse that hit surrounding areas skirted by and a game, or something vaguely matching that description, took place.
The Duckhunters nearly lived up to their name second ball as Ben O'Reilly took a one hander above his head only , on a precipitation threatened afternoon, to have his parade rained on by a no ball call. Indeed it took Henry O'Reilly on his seasonal bow to take a wicket with his second ball instead.
The two highlights of the Stoneygate innings were the Mole grabbing one goalkeeper style at Gully and then the Skipper spinning not one, but three, deliveries in on over including one beauty that came back through the gate.
Sadly the Stoneygate boys could claim more highlights than us on their way to 243. This might not have been the case had we managed to grab onto an early chance from Earland but at least he only managed 50 this time. Small mercies and all that.
With Dave Parker out bowled and Nigel sent on his way by a magnificent close catch in reply we had a commendable example of the spirit of the game that deserves a mention without joke or innuendo.
Andy '3am TV star' Holmes offered to walk although unsure if the sound was bat on ball or ground, umpire said not out and no-one was entirely sure. It was the politest and most agreeable discussion you would ever wish to see and Andy was invited to continue.
Thanks to all concerned.
Andy cashed in and scored a magnificent maiden century which formed the backbone of the 176 for 7 in reply and also another photo (below) for his burgeoning portfolio. After all, who knows?
Photogenic appeal maybe the key to getting that crucial role presenting One Man And His Dog in future years.
Cricket eh. You have to love it