Scholes Cricket Club: Pop n' Crisps League

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2006 began as all other seasons have for the Chapelgater’s – with an opening match loss. This is hardly surprising, as pre-season nets is a concept as alien to a Scholes Evening Leaguer as is the thought of Inzaman-Ul-Haq inviting Daryl Hair round for tea and scones one afternoon in downtown Karachi. So the first game was lost to Royal Sports. Luckily, the Emmerson Cup draw was kind to a bunch of cricketers who would have lost to Scholes Under 11’s in their April form, and they scrambled pluckily past St Patrick’s at Paddock, who were to go on and lose virtually every game they played in Division 3 of the 2006 season. Thanks to 46* from Tim Sykes, Brittania Works were narrowly beaten next game, and when the always competitive Ashbrow Garage were dismissed easily at Chapelgate after a fine 69* from Joe Sykes and 56 from Mark Guymer, we were on a bit of a roll. However 83 all out at Woodfield Park didn’t look too promising against Allan Priests, especially as they had the enormous and very talented beanpole Tom Denton in their ranks. But Scholes had their own secret weapon, as the legendary Chris “Phwebo” Hatton had signed on, and together with Jez “Guzzler” Walker (4 for 14) and Joe “The Jackal” Sykes (3 for 1) this merciless triumvirate combined to bowl the home side out for 41. Slawit Old Boys were smashed for a League record of 246 off 15 overs as Joe Sykes and the mercurial Micky Maude made 70’s, Jacob’s Well and Royal Sports were beaten in good hard games, and a tie was luckily clinched off the last ball at Brittania on a pitch that resembled a ploughed field. It should have been plain sailing after such a fine run, but the Secretary, very probably inebriated when negotiating over when to play postponed fixtures, insanely agreed to playing three away fixtures in one week. With vital men missing and two of the games at the bear’s pit of the Walker’s Arms, needless to say all three were lost, including a cup quarter final. That left the Gater’s needing to win their last three League games to secure the title, with confidence severly dented. But Tim Sykes led from the front with superb knocks against Priest’s (69*) and Jacob’s (56*) and a second Division one title was safely secured. Scholes won this year because they had a great squad, filled with talented and experienced cricketers such as all rounder “Chip” Holmes, who played a crucial role with both bat and ball, Sykes, Walker, Dickinson, Maude , Corcoran et all, and the odd contribution from some excellent Juniors. But stalwarts such as Dave Oldroyd and Micky Harries who turn up week in week out are also at the heart of the Chapelgater’s ongoing Evening League success.

Now let's get one thing straight before this season starts - yes we have a millionaire in our side - well two actually as Boot is making yet another comeback - but we aren't gonna be losing touch with our proletariat roots - it'll still be ham and cheese teacakes on match nights and 3.99 Indian balls which you can't see in the twilight..... hopefully. 

It's a shame I just can't find the time to write about our Evening League escapes, 'cos they are indeed a rich source of cricket humour, and great stuff to watch at times. We should have won the League once again this year with a very strong squad (30 players signed up) but we've played with 8 and 9 players and conceded at Honley with only 5 men - too many millionaires, golfers and fellahs under the thumb have done for us. We could even go down if we don't win our last game  v  Royal Sports. But we could still win the Emmerson Cup for the second time after a fab win over Ashbrow last Wednesday in the semi-final.
We batted first in a twelve 8 ball over thrash - Ashbrow were short of confidence after losing their last four matches and Rob Lucas to a broken hand - and we murdered them. Corgi - in brilliantly brutal form all season battered a rapid 55 - Guymer a silky 24 and Chip Holmes a rapid 36 at the end as we posted a daunting 147 for 5.
Ashbrow were never in the hunt after losing early wickets, as Jez Walker confirmed he is well and truly back with an excellent 3 for 42 and Richard Brooke returned from his long holiday to snaffle 2 for 17 from four hostile overs, and they closed on 87 for 7.

18-04-05  Scholes Chapelgater's (110 for 5) beat Jacob's Well (99 for 8) by 11 runs.
Jacob's turned up for the first game of the season with an all stars team of former Honley Hall of Famer's. Andy and Chris Woodhead, Tommy Cooper, Daz Bridge, Martin Hinchliffe were joined by new signing Hirst whose played good cricket, and the ever cheerful Keith Wadsworth was also present. We posted a respectable 110, with Tim Sykes making a top 42 and Guymer and Corcaran valuable 20's in a ten over game. Redge Hallsworth duck for us was a classic of ineptitude as the youngster did a fair imitation of Mr Magooo. Jacobs were coasting at 96 for 3 with two overs left, but then Tommy Cooper (42) smashed one down Chip's throat at deep deep deep midwicket, Boot took three wickets in one over and Brian rook bowled quick in the gathering gloom and they lost six wickets for two runs - and we had done that rarest of things - won our first game.

Of course it didn't last
27-04-05 Ashbrow Garage (54 for 1) beat Scholes Chapelgater's (53 for 5) by 9 wickets
27 players signed on - 9 out on the pitch tonight - that's Pop n Crisps for you. Well and truly stuffed. Rob Lucas as usual superb - Guymer out first ball to a jaffa - Boot second ball to a straight 'un as that's all it needs these days - Aidey made a manful 17 and Chip 13 but even though t'was a horrid pitch it were never enough. Hemingway and Singh knocked 'em off in the 8th over. Thank christ I didn't have to bat was my only thought..... This will be the last time we don't get 11 out this season or i'm resigning in a massive fit of petulance.....


07-06-04 Allan Priests (Not so) Old Boys (82 for 4) beat Scholes Chapelgaters (78 for 9) by 6 wickets
Allan Priests have used the Junior exemption rules best of any Evening league Club in that they have the very fine Premiership regular Danny Glover opening the bowling, backed up by a good second teamer Auckland. those two reduced us to 35 for 6 before Swindella (24) and Brook (16) pulled us round a little, and Piersley chipped in at the end with 13*. I was scoring as usual, and was somewhat taken aback when the seventh wicket fell and somebody said what number are you batting Specky? I'd miscounted and thought we had 11 without me - so it was a quick visit to the craphouse before strolling out to the wicket to contribute a classy run a ball 1*. Danny Glover took 4 for 22. 
We knew we didn't have enough, and Tyndall biffed 47 quicksticks to win the game for Priests. Glenndella and H Dog Bryson bowled well but Chip was once again dismissed to all parts much to the amusement of his great buddy Brooky - and in truth the rest of us. Piers was like a man posessed in the field, but they knocked 'em off in the 12th over with four wickets down. They will do well if they put that team out every week.

03-06-04  Scholes Chapelgaters (74 for 7) beat Wilkinson Rogers (72 for 8) Emmerson Cup 2
So we restricted them to a lowly 72 as Brian Brook bowled like the wind down the hill on a dodgy track to take 5 for 34 and Maudey's 3 for 32 was fine support. But it was getting ridiculously dark, and Sylvester is quick and fired out four clueless Chapelgaters. I was stuck in the clubhouse making the butties and running the bar, and watched in horror as wickets continued to fall and still Chip didn't emerge. Then we needed 5 off the last two balls in the dark and Chip hadn't hit a ball in anger. Needless to say the drama queen of plod blasted a straight six to take us into the next round by the skin of our teeth - later on in the clubhouse he called me a daft c**t for worrying......

27-5-04 Scholes Chapelgaters (180 for 5) beat Slawit Old Boys (137 for 5) by 43 runs
T'Old Boys only turned up with 8/9 men (they claimed they had 9 but I could only count 8), and these days they certainly live up to their name.... but they still have some useful fellahs. We were so spoilt for choice that I unselfishly stepped down to let Guymer make his debut - hah hah - and the Southern Git proceeded to stroke a silky 32 in his first innings for two years - very unfair I would suggest on us mere mortals. Corgi took half an hour out from relentlessly slagging me off to swat a brutal 31, Maudy's 27 included a ludicrously effortless 6 over midwicket to the long boundary that was in the air for precisely 9.3 seconds - come to think of it about the same length of time he takes to complete one of his freakishly long burps - and PC Brook blasted a very arresting quickfire 39* at the end, as H Dog Bryson (15*) watched at the other end. Oh yeah - PC Foulmouth Chipolotah pissed around for a piss poor 2 opening up, guess he'll be bowling again next week.
180 was a mighty score, and they never got near, we let most folks bowl and Stephenson swatted 50 - it should never have been so bleedin' cold at the end of May though - and I forgot to get the butty stuff - sorry Glendella..

17-05-04 Walkers Arms (113 for 5) lost to Scholes Chapelgaters (119 for 2) by 6 runs
ANOTHER BOGEY LAID TO REST! We've always been well and truly stuffed at Leymoor by Walker's burly biffers, but with only ten men we secured a beauty of a win tonight. The enormous H. Bryson was suitably impressed early doors by a Walkerite who was wearing black slacks and answered his mobile as the bowler ran in - but beware this lot - they have two good bowlers in Gill and Maxwell - who went for a paltry 24 in 5 excellent overs - and poor old Ozzy couldn't hit it off the square. Good job Chip stroked a classy 53, and then Maudey smashed 31 including three truly orbital 6's into the Golcar stratosphere, which took us up to 119 for 3.
Walkers as ever biffed from the start, but Brooky was pure class (3 for 28 off 4), Maudey only went for 37 in five and Glendella's 2 for 21 at the end was indeed crucial. Some mighty 6's were smashed by Kavanagh (34) and Walsh (42*) but they needed 14 off the last over and Brian was just too good. Top marks to Aidey for his exceedingly camp pat back from the boundary mid innings, and Ibbo's shocking glass backed display at short cover........

22-04-04 Scholes Chapelgaters (84 for 9) lost to Jacobs Well (134 for 3) by 50 runs.
Bit daft this really. Your professional cricketer (and dead nice lad) Darren Hinchliffe played his one game of the season before he starts playing Saturday cricket and smashed us all over for 98 out of 134. Without Maudey or Corgi that was always going to be a tad tough and we got nowhere near. Glendella Swindella got the now traditional welcome to the pop n' crisps league and his second over went for only 36.......Tee-hee. ho hum, there's a long way to go but we will miss Bubbles badly - boo hoo.
11-5-04  Scholes Chapelgaters (101 for 4) lost to Scholes (196 for 0) Examiner Mini cricket. Oh come on boys, did you really have to play Wasim agin us no-hopers. The languid one and the large one made 196 from 14 overs and hardly broke into a sweat. Chip got murdered along with everybody else. But we've hardly played and would have done a little better in another months time. Thank feck I didn't have to play as I fully expected Coddy to deliver a bumper barrage in revenge for all my literary piss takes down the years. We dropped Wasim twice - shame - it would have been summit to tell the kids in later years.

It had to happen. How could I continue to ignore the rich seam of bizarre and comedic events that occur in the very marvellous Huddersfield Evening League every week. This column will make a sporadic appearance throughout the season, whenever anything particularly entertaining occurs. Read on......... Okay - I'm reporting every game now - as there's always summit worth writing about - and I think we're going to win it. Sunday 14-09-03 Should we win the end of season Allan Priest Trophy between the winners of the four Evening League's - we would do the treble. The draw was made at the end of season meeting - and I was praying that we were drawn in the second semi-final - as the first started at 10-30am - and I happened to know that nearly every member of the team would either be going to Boot's 50th Birthday bash in Hepworth, or Oli's 40th piss up in the Boot on the night before. We were drawn in the second semi - but it made no difference. Corgi turned up at 12-45, eyes prised open with matchsticks and had a shandy - for the first time in his life. Oli, unbelievably, looked marginally worse, and Barney looked disgusted. Piersley revealed he'd left Boot's at 4-30am, and Ozzy (Little Buddha) announced he was playing golf at 3pm in Bradford. 15 year old Harry Bryson declared himself hangoverless - but he was fooling no-one. As for yours truly - I could somehow whiff the scent of imminent humiliation, and it was blazing hot, so I nobly stood down for the day. I will mercifully move rapidly over the actual cricket. Somehow we beat Royal Sports in the semi, Bubb's got yet another red-inker and Maudey smashed a few regulation 6's. But the final was simply a debacle. Good luck to St Pat's, they deserved their amazing win. They rattled up an incredible 227 off their 15 overs, smashing us all the way into Kirkheaton across the Valley. Paul, the Hairdresser owner of the "Salon" battered a brilliant 86, and another fine fellah made 65 (the book is in my shed and I can't be bothered fetching it) We couldn't win - and didn't. We got about 147. Good luck once again to the Irish boys, hope you had a good day. But the brussoning was a bit unneccessary, and will be stored up in the memory should our paths cross again..... Just for once - I was right.... Here's the story of our last 5 games, when the boys clinched the double. 31-7-03 Scholes Chapelgater's (66 for 0) beat Walker's Arms (63 all out) by 10 wickets Ahhh - a big win, against the team that eventually finished runners up, and who always, always give us a battering at Leymoor. Chip got rid of the dangerous Podger second ball, and Walkers never recovered. "Brian" Brooke bowled like the wind, at the top of his form, to take a superb 5 for 17, and Walkers were unrecognisable as the biffers who stuffed us in Lower Golcar two months before. Corgi and Bubb's knocked 'em off in 6.2 overs - and four weeks later I can't remember 'out funny or notable happening - it was a just an important and efficient win 6-08-03 Th'alma (104 for 3) lost to Scholes Chapelgater's (108 for 4) by 6 wickets Any win against the most miserable cricket team on the planet is always memorable - but I was on hols so can't say much about it. That jovial and convivial fellow Campbell batted 12 overs for 34*, and 105 off 12 overs looked under par. Boot bowled 2 tight overs at the end. Chip opened, and made a quick 29, Bubb's was just Bubb's and batted through for 45*, and the rarely seen Redge made 8 in his only appearance of the season. It only took 8 overs - a very fine victory on one of the hottest days of the year. 7-08-03 Upperthong (84 for 5) lost to Scholes (85 for 2) by 8 wickets Again - yours truly was on his "jollys", so I don't know a reet lot about this game. Suffice to say, according to "Chimp" it was the lowest wicket he has ever seen, even lower than a snake's belly. PC Brook took 3 for 30, and we were in trouble replying early on with Corgi gone for 5, and Maudey - in trademark fashion smashing his first ball down into Netherthong, and softly chipping his second to a grateful keeper. But Chip 30* and Brooky 39* used their vast experience to see us to a comfortable win. They could've used a shower afterwards though......Or even a glass of water....... I eventually discovered that this was the game that won the League for us - well done everyone who played - and special mention to Kev who dashed back from Rhyl to play, in *** traffic, in an important game. 20-8-03 Scholes Chapelgaters (71 for 6) lost to Allan Priest's (72 for 2) We'd won it already - so we had some fun and everybody batted. They took it too seriously as they were already safe. Only Maudey with a rapid 39 came to terms with Hibbert and young Danny Glover, League U17 bowler who humiliated yours truly. He sent down a length ball that I thought I should really try to smash - swished - and then watched his slower ball softly cannon into my defenceless stumps. Everybody bowled an over for us and they consequently knocked 'em off easy - Jonners set the tone - he was leaning on the wall talking to Chimp when the first ball of the innings thudded into the wall by his ankle. Bubbles proved beyond doubt that keepers should never, ever be entrusted with the ball........ and Priest's batted their proper batters and won by 8 wickets. Boring boring boring. 27-8-03 Scholes Chapelgaters (92 for 3) beat Ashbrow Garage (91 for 3) Last game - hopefully a laugh. You bet! Ashbrow only had eight - same as us - or was it 9 - but they posted a respectable 91.Everybody enjoyed chucking it in as hard and awkward as possible at Aidy D behind the sticks. Everybody bowled for us apart from me - me backs fecked but I could also whiff utter humiliation in the air -but I shouldn't have worried, skipper Oli was on for it. Micky Harries made a fine 11 and the larger Osborn a career best 7 as we replied, and Corgi gorged himself on some serious pies for 69*. Oli entertained us - just a little bit. Ashbrow were commendably giving everyone a ball, but Oli couldn't hit any of 'em. He huffed and he puffed, but he couldn't hit the ball. After 10 swishes, every one aimed towards deep cow corner, there was a tidal wave of uncontrollable mirth engulfing the ground. Aidey was having convulsions, and I was having great difficulty scoring while rolling around on the ground. Another 10 balls passed, and still willow did not connect with leather. And then Ashbrow's skipper played his masterstroke - that we were praying for - bring on Tom? Healey. He beared an uncanny likeness to England's Anderson with his dyed hair, filmstar tan and economical action. He tied Oli in knots for 6 balls, and then glory be, to the delight of every single person on the ground, probably including Oli, castled the Schole skipper. Oh, I forgot to mention that the younger Healey is a highly promising 4 foot tall, 8 year old pace merchant... A fitting end to a great season then - apart from the Champions trophy - which will finish this column for the year On 14-9-03 Sunday 27th July Scholes Chapelgater’s (131 for 5) beat Lindley Liberal Club (124 all out) by 7 wickets Emmerson Cup Final A healthy crowd gathered at Almondbury C.C. on Sunday, to see Scholes Chapelgater’s and Lindley Liberal Club lock blades in a very competitive battle to become the 64th winners of the Evening League Emmerson Cup. Lindley invited Scholes to bat, and were instantly rewarded as Corcoran middled the first ball of the game, a juicy full toss from Nightingale, only to see Warren take the catch of a lifetime low down at cover. Two balls later Hallas was caught behind, and the pre-match favourites were in a deal of trouble. However the vast experience of Richard Holmes and Tim Sykes steadied a seriously rocking ship, on a sporty pitch against some fine bowling from Nightingale in particular. Lindley fielded like tigers, but when Sykes holed out to Davis for an important 20 with five of the fifteen eight ball overs remaining, he knew Scholes had some big hitters left for the final onslaught. But then Maude and Bryson made it four ducks out of five for the Chapelgater’s, leaving “Chip” Holmes to join his brother Richard at the crease, who had patiently and skilfully nudged his way to 42*. The older Holmes sibling played the perfect role, blasting 54* with two big straight 6’s and his trademark 9 iron hooks over square leg for four boundaries, as a crucial 66 came from the last 5 overs, and “Bubbles” was left high and dry on 48*. McNeil picked up two wickets for Lindley, and Nightingale was outstanding with 2 for 17 from his 5 overs, as the Chapelgater’s closed on a competitive 131 for 5. It looked a good score, but when Wayne Allen stroked Brook’s first over for 17, it was clear that this would be no walkover for the Chapelgater’s. In fact the former Dalton opener had raced to 32 in the third over before perishing in the most unfortunate way, pulling a hamstring when going for a second run, and seeing Micky Maude’s tracer bullet of an arm leave him a yard short of the crease to be run out. Maude then bowled the dangerous Tinsley, and repeated the feat next delivery castling McNeil, and seemingly the game had been turned on it’s head. But Lindley refused to be deterred, and with Gregory picking off the odd boundary, Warren (12) hung around long enough to get them back in the game. With three overs left Lindley needed 28 with 5 wickets left and were favourites, but then Sykes snared two hapless Lindleyite’s in his first over, and once again the momentum was with the Holme Valleyer’s. The rollercoaster ride continued for the crowd, and believe me the players, as Chip Holmes penultimate over of the game disappeared for 14 and Gregory looked like winning a fine victory for Lindley. Nine were needed from Sykes’ last over with three wickets left, and Gregory was facing. But he took a single from the first ball, and never faced another delivery, as the pumped up and canny Sykes persuaded Nightingale to hole out to Holmes (C), a delighted Kearns took a sharp chance at short cover, and the “silver fox” bowled Davis with the penultimate ball of the game, to leave Scholes victors by 7 runs in an excellent game of cricket which was a credit to both sides and the Evening League. Gregory was left stranded on a fine 42*, and Sykes’ 5 for 5 for two overs was a match winning effort for the grizzled veteran more known for his batting prowess. Friday 11-07-03 Jacob's Well (83 for 8) lost to Scholes Chapelgater's (84 for 6) by 4 wickets This always threatened to be a toughy after the night before - and it proved to be so. Brian bowled beautifully again for 3 for 20 off 5, and Maudey was again effective - Boot was Boot and Harry picked up a couple at the end. They managed 83 for 8 off 14 overs, mainly thanks to Andy Woodhead's 33. It should have been a stroll - but we were soon 31 for 4 - but Harry hung in there for a vital 14, and Brooky blasted a quick 17* to settle our frayed nerves for a dodgy but crucial 4 wicket win. It must have been bad - I was next in..... Thursday 10-07-03 Scholes Chapelgaters (85 for 2) beat JT Ellis (81 all out) by 8 wickets Emmerson Cup Semi-Final At long last - we did it. Our first Emmerson Cup final after about 8 years of trying. And where do we have our three hours of glory? Almondbury for fecks sake. Ah well - we'll make the best of it no doubt. JT were a very good side, who hadn't lost a game this season, using the new three Juniors rule sagely. They batted all the way down, but "Brian" Brook bowled like the wind for 4 for 22 off the full allocation of five, and Maudey polished 'em off for another 4 at the end. The boys fielded like tigers, but were glad to get Tindall out for 26. Corgi and Maudey swatted and missed early doors, but "Bubbles" batted beautifully, despite being hit on his broken toe quite early, (hee-hee) and made yet another "red-inker", 43 this time. Tim had 17*, and we were fairly happy afterwards - but bad luck to skipper Oli and Aidey D who will be away on final day. Thursday 3-07-03 Scholes Chaplegater's (135 for 9) beat Jacob's Well (84 for 5) by 51 runs Emmerson Cup Quarter-final Whoa - 10 out of 11 now - I'm getting altitude sickness. Bubbles got 39 batting in a steel capped builders boot painted white, to protect his poor little bruised toe - flippin' jessy - and Corgi - the completely re-juvenated Malcolm the mauler made another fine 45. The rest was cack I'm afraid - despite a batting order that boasted the dangerous Brian Brook at number 9, only Ozzy with 10 managed double figures, but it was still a good score on a dodgy track. Harry was half way to the wicket before Chip, (officially next in) emerged from the dressing room, and the burly bruiser from Wadman Road had reason to regret his hastiness as he copped a golden - as did Oli - who came out for the last ball - swiped with enormous gusto - and simply plopped the ball gently into Tindall's hands to complete his 5 for. Chip's 3 was the perfect testiment to how hard it is to bat if you ain't wielded the willow for 6 weeks - two edges and a chinese cut - everybody must be awaiting my return to the crease with much anticipation... Jacob's sadly only had 9 men, and never threatened us, with only man of the match Tindall, with a long handled 46 causing any inconvenience, as they eventually posted 84 for 5. Maudey - well maudey's just mad - suffice to say he nearly killed a Jacobian with the last two balls of the game - why? - you ask him - if you dare... Wednesday 25-06-03 Slaithwaite Old Boys (108 for 5) lost to Scholes Chapelgaters (111 for 2) by 8 wickets This had promised to be a hard match, but it turned into a stroll in the sun as SOB fecked up big time. Not enough long handle was on display I'm afraid as they crept up to 108 off their 14 overs. Tim said "I'll just have one lads" for the umpteenth time and actually bowled very well, in contrast to Maudey who was utterly dreadful. And Harry Bryson tip-toed up and found just the right length for this dangerous pitch to collect a miserly 2 for 16 from his three overs. Chip was asking me to throw him a transfer form out to him while still fielding after coming off after one over, (he's off to play a starring role for Lord St News), and most disappointingly there were no dropped catches. Corgi smashed 60* and looked back to his beligerent best, hooking sixes while actually looking at that well known cheat and Scholes hater, Roger Harrison umpiring at square leg. Bubbles made 31 and got a deliciously painful blow on the toe which cheered me up no end, and Maudey, well Maudey was just Maudey. He went in with the game won, and I accurately predicted to "Chip" that he would try and hit Clay down into the canal, and get bowled first ball - and the craziest policeman this side of Keystone could only acknowledge my wisdom and cricketing acumen as it unfolded precisely thus. Good win though, and we are looking in fine shape with the season more than half way over and only one loss on the books. By the way our own Little Buddha, Ozzy the minor added a refined 10* at the end, as we won with 4 overs to spare. Monday 23-6-03 Scholes Chapelgater's (31 for 3) beat Lord St News (28 for 6) (Only seven men) by 7 wickets Emmerson Cup Round 2 I don't know what this was but you could hardly call it cricket. This 4th division outfit turned up with only 7 men, four of whom made yours truly like slimmer of the year. At least we knew we'd get rid of all the butties after the match. Maudey took 3 for 1 in two overs and then we mercifully took him off, and wides was joint top scorer with a commendable 6. We reversed the order and lost three wickets in knockin 'em off, and it was marvellous to see Boot poddding away at the end for 5* against "the worst team I've ever played against in my life". How the mighty fall as Father Time catches up with us all. Lord St were a good set of lads who took it well and stopped for a good drink afterwards, to feed their impressive beer bellies Thursday 19th June 2003 Scholes Chapelgater's (93 for 4) beat Th'Alma (90 for 3) by 6 wickets. Sadly, the brusson ones from Broad oak turned up with only 8 men, so giving the most miserable team in history a drubbing wasn't quite as satisfying as it should have been. The po-faced Campbell was a picture of misery as he got a slow 47, as was Thompson in getting 28. Boot trundled up the hill into a gale for 2 for 31 off five, and they never had a chance of defending 90 with only 8 men. As we were reduced to 30 for 3 in reply, a tiny measure of panic was brewing, but the vast experience of Sykesey (25*) and the vast optimism and girth of the youthful Harry Bryson (24*) saw us home by 6 wickets Thursday 12th June 2003 Scholes Chapelgaters (182 for 4) beat Slaithwaite Old Boys (116 for 5) by 68 runs Once Maudey (62 in about 20 balls) and Bubbles (63*) launched us towards an enormous 182 in 14 overs, this game was effectively over as a contest. SOB never really went for it, and i'd like to say we relaxed in the field as four gobbers went down - but in reality we are ***e in the field. It was funny as feck however. Ozzy dropped a true dolly, barely having to move, and Oli never touched a real rib bruiser that thudded into his chest. Then yours truly caused general hilarity by dropping a semi skier - running in I totally misjudged it and it ripped into the tip of my middle right finger. As the serious waves of pain began to pulsate through my hand, I became aware that I wasn't going to recieve much sympathy as most of our team were rolling about on the grass in helpless hilarity. As I was still wringing my hand 20 minutes later, I was heartlessly labelled a jessy. As i write 5 days later - said digit is still purple and impressively swollen. Last weekend at the club I lost count of the number of folks who asked with a smile to see my swollen member - never before can a person's pain caused so much pleasure to so many.. It got even better however. Chip went arse over tit over the artificial wicket, Walkers Fahy did a somersault midwicket as he attempted a quick single, (needless to say he got home safely), and next ball his bat literally broke in half as he hit a single, and then Bubbles gave away a bye for the first time in seven years, because he was crying with laughter as Harry sent down the next ball. As i paid our Umpire Winston up after the game, he was embarrassed to take the money, as he "hadn't had such a good laugh in a long time" Huh - 20/20 cricket - you've a lot to live up to boys...... Wednesday 11th June 2003 Walkers Arms (103 for 5) beat Scholes Chapelgaters (100 for 7) by 5 wickets As usual, we lost at Leymoor to Walkers, to a team of sloggers whose skipper fielded in black trousers and a matching coat throughout. They deserved it though. They bowled well and smashed us all over, with Chips second over going for 33. They have a plan. They always play on the wicket close to the road, and simply try to smash every ball into orbit. It comes off now and again, especially against nine men, which was particularly disappointing. Corgi got 30 and Bubbles was out off the last ball for 40. We need to bounce back tomorrow against a better team (on paper) in Slawit Old Boys. Tuesday 3rd June 2003 Allan Priests (76 for 7) lost to Scholes Chapelgaters (105 for 8) by 29 runs It's official - we may be in with a chance of winning summit for the first time in our fleeting existence in the whacky world of pop 'n crisps cricket. This may not be unconnected to the fact that yours truly is now relegated to the role of official kit man and collector of match money, rather than playing any role on the field. Playing below sea level at Woodfield Park for the second time in five days, it was another decent evening, but windy enough to discourage those blasted midges. We posted 105, mainly thanks to the rejuvenated Corcoran, whose 32 took him past his aggregate for the whole of last season in his two innings thus far, and the ever classy (Boycott) Bubbles made 32, and is still insisiting on playing classical cover drives for one, rather than using the long handle to cow corner, as is generally required in this type of cricket. He'll learn. After all, Tim did. Maudey swished mightily at a leg spinner (yes, a leg spinner believe it or not, and was easily caught and bowled, and only our own litle buddha Ozzy made double figures after that. Our two dog handlers, Plods Brook and Holmes contributed precisely "nil points", and I'll long remember the sacriligeous sight of Aidey studiously patting his first ball back to the bowler, instead of whacking the longest of long hops ever delivered in the history of cricket into the adjoining tennis courts. It was a decent score on a big pitch, but didn't look it after they got 14 of the first over. PC Brian brook was having a good night. but then the magnificently moody Maudey bowled fast and straight and took 5 for 15 and it was all over bar the farting. Somewhat disappointingly Boot only went for 14 in three overs - but he needs to learn Rule 3213938 of evening league cricket - Philip Giles does not, ever, in any circumstances, give lbws. Well done boys. PS sorry to Harry for him having to be the one to drop out. Thursday 29th May Allan Priests (99 for 3) lost to Scholes Chapelgater's (100 for 2) by 8 wickets Emmerson Cup Round 1 Wow - the mighty Chapelgater's march on - 3 out of 3 - without doubt our best ever start. The highlight of this week's triumph could have been Bubbles fab keeping, and superb 53. And what about PC Brian Brook's top 5 over spell before rushing off to work nights for the Plod. Moody's 3 for 17 was certainly influential. Chip Holmes bowled far too many balls and snicked a few at the end before also rushing off to work for the plod - as Oli said - "if we find out where he's working tonight I'll go on a one man crime spree". But no - the man of the night was Corgi. Playing his first game of the season. I couldn't resist reminding him on his way out to bat that if he got a 50, he'd have scored more than he did the whole of last season. He made 27. Top effort. But it was his excellent dropping of an absolute sitter at midwicket that made my night. The ball flew gently towards him, and didn't even touch his hands. The impact on his left tit caused shockwaves in nearby Berry Brow, and was heard down the Valley in Meltham. Hopefully the bruise will be enormous and painful in the morning. Welcome back Malcolm. Thursday 15th May Scholes Chapelgaters (98 for 5) beat Jacob's Well (91 for 5) by 7 runs 11 over bash Blimey! Two wins out of two. It could be our best ever start. Who says you have to practice? Well actually I do. We won despite fielding like pot dogs and dropping every catch that came our way. I cunningly turned a simple single into a three by being unable to to bend over and gather a simple push to my right - skipper Oli in his own words became "completely dis-combobulated" and turned two into four - and stalwart butterfingers Aidey and Micky dropped dobbers as they touched a cricket ball for the first time in 8 months. 98 didn't look that good - but it was a fair effort after Maudey lived up to all predictions and followed up his sublime 67 in five overs in the first game - with a second ball blob as he broke his favourite Indian bat with an enormous and unrewarded swipe. Bubbles then carried his bat for a stately and match winning 53*, he looked to be getting the hand of the pop 'n crisps league towards the end as he slogged a couple of 6's. Our very own buddha Ozzy stroked 16, and Harry Bryson scored his first P & C runs with a classical chinese snick between his legs for 4. By the way, the Well's Tindall took his 400th P & C League wicket during the innings. Incredible but true. Jacobs Well raced away to 41 for the first wicket, as Maudey's first over of unequivocal pie disappeared for 20. We were looking defeat square in the face. I'd been telling everybody we were going to win it. But Brian Brook hardly bowled a bad ball, and once openers Lamb and Bridge were castled by PC Plod, Jacob's just melted away. they needed 23 off the last over - and we needed a new bowler. Aidey drew the short straw - i volunteered but was turned down - and his over of mixed grill was only smote for 13 under extreme pressure and we are still top dogs. Good effort boys. Thursday 30th April Ashbrow Garage - The Champions - (85 for 3) lost to their successors Scholes Chapelgaters (86 for 2) by 8 wickets It was an astonishing start to the new season for the Chapelgater's. Instead of signing up a septugenarian walking his dog in the adjoining field to get us up to 8 players, we had a squad of 16 to choose from. Yes - 16 people turned up wanting to play for us at Hall Bower on a perishing evening on a wicket seemingly pitched on the outfield. Now lets get one thing straight - the priority for many of us tonight was to get Steve Booth on and suffer the regulation humiliating welcome many former Huddersfieled League bowling legends have endured down the years. But I'll come back to that later. As the tiny and craphouse Hall Bower changing room filled up rapidly, the large Harry Bryson arrived with his improbably enormous coffin and was subjected the appropriate amount of abuse for a huge 15 year old. We didn't swear at him honest Neil... We made our team selection and realised that Real Madrid would have been jealous of such an illustrious bench - Oldroyd, Ibbotson, Pearson, Harries, Coldwell.. Our all star attack soon ripped into the Garager's, the "Ploddy" Richard Brook all intimidating pace, and golfer and fellow plod "Chip" Holmes displaying a delightful change of pace, from slow to slow motion. Ashbrow had crawled up to 72 for 3 from 9 eight ball overs, and then skipper for the day Tim Sykes answered our prayers by bringing on Steve "Boot" Booth for the last over of the innings. That would be the Steve Booth who has been full of braggardly bravado all winter, the legendary purveyor of off-spin who won numerous bowling prizes for Scholes CC, and latterly won the Ladysmith Black Zimbabwe candlesticks award for distinguished service to local cricket. "I'll go for 2, maybe 3 an over" Yeah Steve... So Boot hadn't bowled for 2 years since his retirement from proper cricket. His first ball was on middle stump. A minor miracle really. But it was a juicy half volley, and was meatiliy despatched for a large straight 6 by the inevitably uncowed Ashbrow batter. Key general hilarity. Actually it was more like general hysteria. But anyway - Boot went for 14. During the interval Oli had found a sign in the Hall Bower clubhouse stating "Park your car at your own risk. The club accepts no responsibility for damage caused during the game." As our reply began, he triumphantly brandished it in Boot's direction, saying "Ibbo, we need a sign like this at Chapelgate for when Boot's bowling" We laughed - quite a lot actually. And then Maudey went mad - smashing eight 6's in his 67 made from only 5 overs - and that from a man who's never got a run before June for us before. Fan-feckin-fantastic Moody. So we beat 'em - as stated - we're going to win the League folks.