New Year 2016 came in cold but dry, leaving icy puddles on the St Boswells cricket pitch but, as with every year, there was no chance of the annual Villagers vs Club match not being played.
In fact, by the allotted start time of 1.30, there were already 25 names down on the team sheets, and far more people besides, enjoying the bar and the newly painted clubrooms.
The toss was taken between the captains, Grant Todd for the Villagers and Scott “Slaver” Hunter for the Club. The Villagers opted to bat first, and everyone went out to the middle to hear a short speech from Simon Taylor in tribute to the much-missed Spencer Pitman, for whom this match was being played in memory of.
With 11 overs to bat through, the Villagers had a few dropped catches, caused by a wet ball and often one fielder’s hand holding a bottle. Big runs along the ground were an impossibility, and up to about the sixth over the Club’s bowlers made things very tricky.
Then some loose balls from (name redacted) allowed the Villagers back in the match, after which a big score seemed possible. It was not to be: catches were eventually taken, stumps were skittled and the final score was 59 for 7 (or was it 8?)
Drinks were taken copiously, the sky darkened, but the rain stayed off. The Club went out to bat, and progress was slow and slippy, until the entry of Elms and Chambers, who headed the score quickly towards the target.
At this point it was suspected umpire Mucky was playing fast and loose with the rules, and the help of a second match ball – only fair, though, considering the Club team was much stronger than normal.
In the end a sporting draw was played out, and the ceremonial quaich was shared for the first time. Photos were taken, and a collection made, with £120 donated for The Lavender Touch.
It was a wonderful afternoon of cricket and community, and a tribute to everyone who came along to support and play.