How to go to a brewery and not get drunk

Well its almost that time of the year when we dust off our whites, open our cricket bags for the first time since last September and wonder whether the half empty bottle of lucozade amongst the handbooks, batting gloves and protective box will still be fizzy. Only one way to find out… 

Of course, for many the season does not just run from April to September. Work continues behind the scenes through the dark days of winter, and I sometimes wonder whether that work might just benefit from switching a light on now and again to check on progress. 

I can inform you that Whaley Bridge will, as last year, be fielding teams in the under 17s, under 15s, under13s, under 11s and under 9s age groups. However, I can’t tell you the exact fixtures as yet. 

The league decided that the under 15s and under 17s would be optional, as long as all clubs had a team in at least one of these age groups. Not the solution I would have come up with, but the decision was accepted and so we awaited the new season’s fixtures. The fixtures were duly published, and it was as if someone had opened Pandora’s box and thrown away the key. Emails multiplied, “with due respect” was quoted many times, and junior co-ordinators up and down the league cried rivers of tears, upsetting the already beleaguered groundsmen who then saw the flaw in the plan. Whereas last season the under 15s and under 17s alternated on Monday evenings, a far from ideal situation but one that could be resolved with a bit of lateral thinking, this season the league decided that the under 17s would play on Mondays and the under 15s on Tuesdays. This was as well as the under 11s on Sundays and under 13s on Wednesdays. Threat of a groundsman’s strike was narrowly averted as attention drifted on to the prospect of talented under 13s playing three consecutive nights against the same opposition. Not great for their cricketing development, or indeed their schooling. Email upon email upon email fizzed around the ether like the ghosts of a million mosquitoes, until Stuart Garside got involved. Stuart has been involved in the league for many years, however, it turns out that the biblical plague of emails that included him in the recipient list was not OUR Stuart Garside. This was just a random chap who shared a similar Gmail address, and who said he really didnt mind deleting the misdirected emails, but perhaps the wider ramifications should be considered that the emails destined to reach OUR Sturat Garside were reaching another Stuart Garside instead, and we may like to consider including OUR Stuart Garside in all future emails. Up to now I had been an interested observer, wondering how we could possibly create an additional day in the week on which to play cricket, but the intervention of the aforementioned Mr Garside distracted me completely. I am not sure whether this was the catalyst, but shortly afterwards the league “had a rethink”, and the under 17s and under 15s will revert to alternate Mondays. Fixtures are yet to be published, so things could still change….. 

And by the way, the Lucozade had gone flat!