I wonder, at times like this, when I attempt to write up one of our events whilst trying to avoid cliches, if there are any sports clubs in Scotland which don’t open their write ups with the phrase “thanks to those who came and braved the elements” or “those who came despite the weather forecast”.

Anyway big thanks to the social sub-committee for organising a great day out on Great Cumbrae for our annual visit to Millport. And an equally big thanks to those who braved the elements and came despite the weather forecast. Most folk left a car at Largs and caught the ferry over, that is to say EVERYONE caught the ferry over, some drove to Largs, the hardcore roadies cycled from Glasgow picking up non-Glaswegians at various places along the way, and there were rumours of a few who DROVE to Millport to only unload their bicycles from their cars on the sea front…

The highlight of the day was the second annual mass rounders match with the Group 7 Coach (the dastardly and underhand Jason Barnes) leading his team of bounder and scallywags, ¬†against the honest and wholesome team led by Group 1 coach (me). When the team captains were named Jason immediately and nefariously began his team recruitment whilst I finished a short lecture I was delivering to Coach Phil about the history of frog statues as good luck charms and house warming presents in Scotland (a belief that is reported to date back to Pictish times). Once I’d finished my talk (Phil did try to curtail it but I chased after him) I turned round to begin team recruitment only to see, stood on the far side of the field, Jason his team of athletes, adults and teenagers already chosen leaving me with what can only be described as a misfit bunch of infants, the elderly and the infirm…

So. That’s how it was going to be.

Last year’s game had ended in a draw (37-37) but this year we were determined to win, despite the cards being stacked against us. As the game progressed, the nefarious tactics continued. At one point, two fielders tackled Andrew “Father of the Club” McCaffery after he played a crushing shot into the long grass beyond the sight screens, causing him to finish his rounder with youths hanging off his limbs trying to pull him to the ground.

But if Hollywood has taught us anything it’s that the honest underdog will succeed and this afternoon was to be no exception. As the sun came out Team Barnes failed to press home their massive advantage and as wicket after wicket fell, the team fell apart. Louis was caught out by possibly the greatest catch that field has ever seen, whilst Kro won “Man of the Match” for a beautiful throw from silly mid-on*, knocking over 4th base as if his tennis ball was laser guided. This seemed to break the spirit of Tem Barnes and they were unable to score the final rounder they required for a draw and Team Shuttleworth was victorious!

Until next year Mr Barnes, until next year…

For those that couldn’t make it I can’t reccommend it enough, Millport is a great day out – it’s probably the most cycle friendly place in Scotland if not the UK, the kids have a hoot on largely traffic free roads amidst visits to the sweet shop. All I ask is, if you do come, and you have any cricketing / rounders / baseball experience could you make yourself known to me please. After that slightly exaggerated account I suspect I’ll need some help next year.


*That reference entirely for the benefit of the pitcher, club chair and board member of Cricket Scotland, Mr Jonathon Kemp.







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