Finally got to see a Bradford league cricket game, and on an afternoon when the sun shone, and at times from a cloudless sky.

Took Joe, who has been a bit down, and tired from being in the play, to see Woodlands play at East Bierley in the semi-final of the Priestley Cup. It was one of the best games I have ever seen.

The ground has a marvellous view of the Calder Vale and the Pennines, the beer was good, and the food was first rate.

We sat in front of the pavilion, in a bit of shade for my sake, on what we discovered later was called moaners terrace. Older people giving forceful opinions. We quite enjoyed it. Sometimes there’s nowt better than a good moan.

Priestly Cup games are 50 overs. Woodlands scored 166 for 9. The last 4 batsmen really going for it. Sarfraz Ahmed hit 2 fours in a row against the sight screen, and was not only clean bowled the next ball but the ball split a stump! The umpire had to get a spare out of his car.

East Bierley’s reply was nip and tuck all the way. They lost two wickets in two balls l.b.w and the bowler claimed the next. He did not get it but did take a third the same way in his next over.

Gavin Hamilton made the only 50 of the match but East Bierley had lost 8 wickets with, I think, 5 overs to go. Hamilton kept taking singles early in the over and leaving the tail-ender to face 5 or 6 balls. I thought Woodlands might bowl them out, but with the last ball of the second to last over the number 9 bat scored a four and won the match.

We were forcibly told early on that Woodlands practiced gamesmanship, and appealed everything to try and bully the umpires. It was not an unbiased view, but they did appeal a fair bit, and loudly; but they made a match of it to the last ball; and this is the first time they have been defeated this season.

We went to the New Inn afterwards, for the second time that day. I knew one of the barmen, John, from our days at Sons of the Desert (County Hospital Tent) Neither of us had been for years but it was good to see him. I also sold a book to Iain after his misses came up to tell me I was wearing my hat wrong!

The day did both me and Joe good. He needed a brake and a change, and when I watch cricket I do not think about anything else apart from what I can see; and working out the maths, especially runs required rates.

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