The Ashes were forgotten for a day as the might of Colchester CAMRA Cricket Club took on The Famous Railway Tavern Cricket Club in Brightlingsea on Sunday 21st of July. After much arm twisting, threats and bribery I had managed to assemble 11 players for this, and all bar one of us met up in The Railway for pre-match team talk after getting the bus or driving to sunny Brightlingsea. The 11 stars were: Big Richard (WK), Keith Tyler, Matt, Mark (Captain), Steve Edmonds, Steve, Danny, Simon, Chris, Stuart and Scott. Crouch Vale Best,Yakima Gold and Black (6%!!) were on offer, Steve E taking a like to the Black by throwing down 3 pints!! We also had a few fans,our own Barmy Army; Tony, Annabel, Amanda, George and Mary are the ones I can remember. George's folks turned up later to roar us on.
Victory plan formulated we made our way to the ground in various vehicles.The ground was a picture, lovely sunny day and what looked like a concrete pitch which hadn't seen any water in ages. 'Good toss to win' me thinks, make them sweat in the outfield piling on the runs and then spin them out as the wicket deteriorates. Luckily I called correctly and decided to have a bat. The batting order was decided by the scientific approach of 11 pieces of paper in a hat. Hence Simon and Big Rich opened the batting, and got us off to a fine start, helped by Mr Extras as well with some wayward bowling. Sadly after a decent opening partnership Big Rich got out for 5, and then wickets started to fall regularly on a pitch offering good bounce for the slow bowlers. Simon made 16 and Scott a breezy 12, but we used only 22 of our allocated 30 overs and were all out for 107. Notably the Skipper held his end up with 8 not out at the end.
A nice tea was taken in the pleasant pavillion, whilst listening to The Aussies getting stuffed and then it was The Railways' turn to Bat. I decided to open with Danny and Steve E, pace and spin.The Railway made a good start as well before Steve 'the Destroyer' Edmonds found his length and line. Obviously the 3 pints of Black and pint of cider at tea had done the job, as Steve proceeded to demolish the top order, ending up with figures of 5 for 5 from 5 overs!!! Danny chipped in with the vital wicket of Mick, and the other batsmen were quickly mopped up by a combination of Keith, Steve and Chris assisted by faultless catching in the outfield. In only 14 overs the Railway were skittled out for 63, resulting in a thumping victory for CCCC by 44 runs. Most of the Barmy Army had already dashed off to get the 6:20 bus, as they had been away from The Vic too long and were in danger of turning into pumpkins and Matt rushed off to join them.
We retired to The Railway to gloat over the opposition and Steve E managed to finish off the Black, luckily Farmers Hotel Porter replaced it. At just before 8.20 we all assembled to get the bus back... which didn't turn up... good old public tramsport. Lifts and a taxi were arranged to get the happy team back to Colchester. Thanks to everyone who played and watched, it was a good day out. Looking forward to next season already.