Report courtesy of KC

The annual pre-season cricket tour to the Costa Blanca has again been a huge success. Changes in personnel, challenging turbulence, the first rainfall since November and more German Shepherds than ever gathered before could not put a dampener on our spirits.

The format was the same: fly Friday, 1st team cricket Saturday, 2nd team cricket Sunday, fly home Monday. What was different was there were 22 of us: the usual core was supplemented with some notable (and noble) additions:

For the record, we were unbeaten on tour: rained off on Saturday after we posted a below par 193 from 35 overs – the stand out innings of Simon Marsh (62 no) not quite getting us to what most agreed needed to be around / above 220. Despite Steve Dearden’s promise of hospitalisation, the home side looked extremely comfortable on 50 without loss after 8 overs before we decided that two barrels and two huge paellas were better than standing in the cold rain.

Sunday brought an entirely different day: a dog show, Harry making it past the first ball, bright sunshine and lots of eager cricketers. Posting a total of 133 from our 20 overs – thanks to Harry’s belligerent knock of around 80 (made to leave) – the game swung backwards and forwards (helped by some Tom Daley-esque missed dives from Kieran) until a final over that will be forever etched on to the tour’s colourful tradition. Suffice to say that not one tourist showed Tatts any sympathy for his bruised toe. A tie probably, just about, felt right?

Many, many belly laughs and a big thanks go to our new recruits, the hardcore regulars (some returning after a year off) – not forgetting our hosts and of course WOK (providing the surf and turf for our Atkin’s diet).

Cheers and here’s to next year.
Kieran (Mr Mannering)

I Will if You Will Biffaward

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Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC