And so it arrived, the hotly anticipated East versus West Upton village cricket face off. Tensions were running high in the build up with not even a dog to be seen on the streets in the hours leading up to the game. Just as well really as a dog on the Upton Main Street would not be a good idea.
The players arrived in various stages of dress, some dressed so smartly in their whites that you could have easily been mistaken to thinking this was Lords. Others looked like they’d been pulled through a hedge backwards, and then back through said hedge and then back again.
Anyhow the jovialmometer reached hot hot hot heights as the beers were shared and the captains tossed off in the middle. It was certainly quite a sight and one that the poor old lady out walking her pet sausage dog Ernie will probably never get over.
The West won the toss and decided to bat which would either prove to be a master stroke or their downfall. Captain Nick Aspley said in a live interview before the game that he was confident that his team would deliver despite there not being one postman or maternity nurse in the team.
And so began what can only be described as a long 20 overs. Thankfully the West had decided to enliven their efforts with various items of headwear. That alone made them worthy winners because the Easterners seemed to be wearing no wigs or hats or suspenders or anything else that could be remotely described as ridiculous. Two men, no athletes, stood out for the Westies with Mr Wood and Mr Bowmer having a stand that was as long as it was short, as broad as it was narrow. Somehow they pulled the team to a score of 150 and much shouting of hazaar and noises of backslaps could be heard across the ground as the innings came to a thankful close.
Dr Jones, the Easterners highly attractive captain, seemed not in the least bit worried. ‘I have more fire power than Trumpy!’ he declared to the Sky cameras and then promptly asked the cameraman if he wanted an arm wrestle. He didn’t.
Within a few overs the men from the East were looking sure fire winners and the westerners, one of whom was sporting a fetching monkey head mask, looked like they were heading for an early embarrassing defeat.
Then came the overs of a thousand boredoms as the West found a new tactic called starvation. Yes, the Easts runs were drying up & just maybe the game was not yet up! A wicket fell, then another then one more and a glimmer of light fell easily into the western sky until one man, one breathtakingly hunky man, stepped up to the Eastern plate. John Raper, a man for whom the word man simply doesn’t touch the sides of what a cricketing god he is. Bish, bash, bosh and there, the blade flashing across the oval ball, and the game was won for the East.
Whooping and much affectionate hugs followed for the Easterners whilst the westies were left with no other option than to drink more beer.
Club Captain Tom presented the winners trophy with a stirring speech reminiscent of Churchill’s ‘we will fight them in the beaches’ classic. It brought a tear to many an eye, a tear also prompted by the BBQ smoke that had gotten a little out of control.
A day then for Uptonians to be proud of! Where heroes once again stepped up to the mark, where hamstrings were torn, where old stinky jockstraps got an airing and where Dr Jones reigned triumphant.