So the intrepid explorers set off for deepest darkest Dunsford in dribs and drabs last Tuesday, safe in the knowledge that John Bristow's organisation and planning could only lead to one thing......... UNCERTAINTY ! Intrepid 2s skipper Jamie Dunkley was so concerned that he led an independent advance party to the area the week before, reporting back on the state of at least one of the wickets we were due to play on....... surely his time would have been more wisely spent reporting back on the various hostelries we would be " forced " into taking refuge in ?
Tuesday saw some golf during the day, ( The Chairman taking it so seriously he went down to walk the course on the Monday in preparation, later deciding his handicap over several beers in the Royal Oak, Dunsford, which proved to be a very suitable Base Camp ) . Following a successful outcome for the Chairman, and following more arrivals, the tourists embarked on a T20 evening match with the locals from Dunsford, the pitch being walking distance from home base at the Royal Oak . Cunningly skippered by Mr Bristow the tourists initially did a passable impression of England's top order and it was only thanks to the efforts of Finlay and the tail that a target of 128 was set . In the increasingly gathering gloom ( hell it was dark..... ) the home side set about their task with relish , aided in no small way by the tourist's guest keeper Stevie Wonder , who seemed to have ball sighting issues, and some interesting fielding ( including a fantastic Ashley Young impression by Lano who managed to stack it massively while fielding at least 20 yards from the nearest other player ) . However, wickets fell steadily and we reached the last over in near total darkness with Dunsford requiring 20 to put the Surrey Upstarts firmly in their place. Step forward the skipper, a man for a crisis ( well after 2 balls he had done his best to create one... ) . Six needed of the last ball to win, 4 to tie , somehow we got away with a 2 run win . Only 1 thing for it..... back to the pub for beers and a thorough debrief . Many ridiculous bits of gibberish from Mr Bristow about his captaincy, bowling , in fact everything ...
Wednesday saw a slightly jaded crew head to the exotically titled village of Clyst Hydon for a 35 over slog-fest. Having been driven indoors from the pre match team strategy meeting by a swarm of wasps, the team proceeded to ensure they had suitable hydration in place . Messrs Bristow and Wonder (AKA Smith) had elected to rest up and play golf, as things turned out the little known sport of " sofa golf ", clearly the exertions of Tuesday had taken their toll. Having been battered around for 35 overs, with bowlers becoming an endangered species, our reply based around a well struck 90 odd from Jamie saw us come up about 30 runs short, but not disgraced. Only one thing for it........ Royal Oak , fines , pool tournament, beers etc .
Thursday, and a rather dishevelled bunch led by Finlay and his sidekick ( the ever present tour mascot Lenny ) trundled into Tavistock for the final battle . Batting first, due to the need for extra rest, we managed to accumulate 195, only 5 short of what the " Sofa Golf Heroes " had promised us as their opening partnership in the bar on Wednesday evening !! . In reply the youthful home side set off like a train, as the, by now rapidly wilting, tourists could only stand and watch helplessly . Junior Barbs , happily off his sick bed ( dodgy battered sausage on Tuesday ?????? ), eventually removed their overseas player who was threatening to win the game in 25 overs by himself. Despite scoring quickly wickets started to tumble and the introduction of the S.O.D ( skipper of day. Finlay ) and Lano ( King of Flossing ) , saw us victorious........ yes that's right back to the Royal Oak.
First tour for about 12 years for the Club, enjoyment immense, beer consumption immense. Greatly enjoyed by all who took part. Massive thanks to Chris H for umpiring, Maureen " 118 " for scoring, and ex Caterham player Charlie Sheen for sorting the fixtures . Mostly thanks to John Bristow , not only for planning and organising the venue, and cajoling people into touring, but mainly for taking one for the team ( literally - ball in face when keeping ), which proved to be the turning point in the final game .
Tour next year...... YOU BET.... ! If you want 5* luxury tour is not for you, if you want 5* entertainment with quality people don't miss Tour 2019. Seriously, even if you can only spend a day there join the tour, play cricket with people you don't usually play with, socialise like mad, and most importantly ..... Don't let the Chairman win the golf next year!!! Tour highlight?....... possibly Dan Moore's successful yard of ale, first since " Beau " Tyrrell at Warwick cc ( sometime last century... ).
Updated 13:44 - 4 Sep 2018 by George Boosey