White Coppice 141 all out
Longridge first eleven's journey to White Coppice in the Meyler Cup first round was akin to the plot of 'Babe 2' (Pig in the City); little animals staring wide-eyed at the picturesque vista, unaware of the lurking dangers therein (there is a Hollywood ending, but the film does contain local humour and moments of mild peril).
The opening sequence, predictable, as Vince Wilkinson sent his two little piggies out into the meadow to shine with their little bats; and shine they did.
Paul Holden and Danny Wilkinson jnr. smote the leather sphere left and right to keep the wolf at bay.
On the craggy slopes awoke the wily wolf. Surely this was fable, or could it be magic? Neither! 'Twas Wayne Dixon, who rapidly rumbled down Jeffrey Hill* huffing and (you guessed it) puffing as he blew the little piggies back to their shelter. Other piggies came to help, but lay slain to the nasty beasts. Cue rain to halt the slaughter.
Scene 2 – The Flood
When all was lost and the grey clouds dangled and dribbled from above; the team forced to pray to halt the dampenage.
It only takes a minute for a film, or indeed a game to change. Out popped the umpires like Yoda and Obi Wan. Wise sages assisting common sense.
'Of course we can play, heavens above! Who would want to return next week and repeat this unpredictable game/scene/charade' (delete as appropriate depending on your interest in either film, sport or mime)?*
Scene 3 The Assault
With the overs reduced to a paltry extra five, Vince Wilkinson et al carved 60 runs in 5 short overs and Longridge exited stage left with one hundred and ninety five of Marylebone Cricket Club's finest.
Please can you return to your seats on the second bell?
Wait a minute this is neither play nor film. Wrong, 'tis and 'twas theatre on the highest slanted plain.
Second Act, Scene 1
The indigenous men carved the startled swine to all corners of the merry field, and when all hope was lost of victory, up stepped two little bowling gems. Unassuming and meek, with special powers of twist, dip and turn.
A breakthrough. The main protagonist, whom fluffed his lines at seventy notches, chipping ball to Wilkinson jnr. Master Thomas Wood, barely an adult, beaming away, as he'd claimed the vital scalp. Brave Dharmish Patel, wheeling away up Berry Lane *** tweaking and sneaking past the now desperate Coppice blades.
Wood continued with Patel to save the day, as the startled home boys wilted and waned, fifty runs shy of the Longridge total, all out. Wood with seven blows and first team career best figures the pick of the team. Who could have predicted the ending? Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin, we will not let you win.
Moral of the Story
(This is the serious summary that crushes all the previous artistic flowery licence.)
Not the greatest day in terms of weather or Longridge's application and on that performance they aren't going to rule the world of cricket, however not knowing you are beaten is a good trait to have.
Longridge firsts will be in good shape when Tom Wood is back for good.
* Andy Simpson's crude description of the White Coppice slope.
**technically the umpires didn't say any of these words. Well not just technically, they actually didn't say anything remotely like the above.
*** an alternative to Simpson's analogy.