Saturday, 22 April 2017

Give us back our missing day

posted by John Winn

In September 1752, when Britain changed its calendar from Julian to Gregorian, there was civil unrest as people demanded the return of the eleven days of their lives they believed they had lost when the date jumped directly from Wednesday 2nd September to Thursday 14th. I was reminded of this on Wednesday when I entered the long room at Headingley for the second day of the friendly between Yorkshire II and Gloucestershire II. Civil unrest? Perhaps not, but some pretty serious grumbling. 11 days? No, just one, but some of the most faithful of the faithful were seriously concerned that they had missed the first day and that a fixture change had been made of which they had not been notified.* Little consolation for them to be told that they had missed some decent batting from Yorkshire, under the captaincy of Jack Leaning, with runs for Rhodes, Tattersall and the skipper. The day had come to a nice clean ending with Yorkshire all out in the last over.

My source for this information was Malcolm Shearsby who had seen most of Tuesday's play and who informed me that the crowd had been in the high thirties, fewer than forty people in a ground that even before the proposed reconstruction holds fifteen thousand. And as is typical of second XI cricket at Headingley there was little in the way of home comforts for the slightly increased numbers who attended on Wednesday. The Kirkstall Lane entrance closed, no scorecards, no refreshments in the long room, no pa, the usual signs that underline the principle on which second XI cricket, other than at out grounds is based, ie nobody watches.

Wednesday's weather was pretty typical of the whole of the week, dry with high pressure in charge but the sun losing its battle to break through thick cloud and cold, double figures Celsius at best. The day's cricket began as had Tuesday's with a wicket in the first over and Gloucestershire's captain Roderick on his way back to the warmth of the dressing rooms, ct Leaning bowled Fisher, 0. 100 minutes passed before another wicket fell and by lunch the West Country men had reached 117 for 2, with Cockbain, son of, unbeaten on 65. During the interval I restored circulation by lapping the ground and was not surprised to hear the fixture change still under discussion.

Cockbain was out shortly after lunch but another good stand developed between Howell and Hankins, the latter having scored just one off his first 45 balls but going on to make a century. Slight drizzle at three o'clock gave me the excuse I had been looking for to set course for home but the Yorkshire website tells me that Gloucestershire declared at tea, 57 behind, a Yorkshire lead that was increased to 124 by stumps, drawn when bad light intervened just after 6:30.

Family duties kept me away from cricket on Thursday and I missed a last ball victory for the visitors by four wickets, a Yorkshire declaration having set them 283 off a minimum of 61 overs. Hankins in the runs again, runs that got him a first team place against Durham yesterday, and he received good support from 'keeper Bracey who was lbw in the last over for 77. Skipper Roderick came in down the order to hit the winning runs.

Saturday morning's weather in the Lower Ure Valley has kept up the pattern of the last few days with overcast skies and a temperature of 7 degrees, But this is a special day in the blog's calendar for it is the day when most league cricket starts and I shall be at Clifton Park for 12 noon when Yorkshire Premier North newcomers Clifton Alliance take on Scarborough and Tony will be not far up A19 at Easingwold, the other promoted club, who host the academy. I will join him at some point before returning home via Alne where my local club Ouseburn start the defence of their Nidderdale league title with a local derby, just six miles apart.

* Second XI annual and the blog have the game starting on April 18th. The YCCC Members' Guide seems to have been the culprit listing the first day as April 19th. With May just around the corner we will be publishing our fixture guide for that month. We will try and get them right!

Clifton Alliance CC

No comments: