Swansea Law Society 207/5 (off 30 overs: T. Clayton 61*, D Owen 40*, N. O’Neill 29, N. Packer 24, T. Rees 13, Cam 5-1-11-1, Jürgen 2-0-11-1) withdraw their claims against THCC Rot-Gelb Hamburg Lawless Society 209/6 (off 29.1 overs: Satish 40, Mark R. 38*, George 36, Adrian 28, Matthew 16, Christian 13, R. Howell 6-1-23-2)
THCC Lawless Society: Steve (capt.), Adrian, Cam, Christian, George, Jürgen, Mark R. (trading as Hermann), Matthew, Moritz, Rick (+), Satish
Swansea Law Society: A. Murphy, A. Thomas, D. Owen, J. Clayton, J. Murphy, N. O’Neill, N. Packer (not related!), R. Howells, T. Clayton, T. Rees, reinforced by Mark B.
Hamburg 7.9.2014, Report by Max Minor, THCC cricket correspondent
The most recent overseas visitors’ team to THCC’s gem of a cricket ground came from Swansea in South Wales. The local Law Society had sent some of their learned members to Hamburg in order to plead a case of cricket. As much as they appealed, however, their claims were rejected by the home side, a predominantly lawless bunch of club members including four Germans and a single lawyer. Early in the morning, the Welshmen on their way, the ground staff had rolled out the new green carpet pitch. Then, under an overcast sky and the eyes of umpire Kev, in humid and somewhat sultry conditions, the visitors won the toss, elected to bat and scored a respectable total of 207 runs in 30 overs. Alas, the lawyers failed to defend this tally against a variable opposition whose bowling oscillated between the celes-tial and the abysmal but whose batting proved very reliable. When the proceedings closed it seemed like a close finish, the case could have been decided either way. Still, Captain Steve was never in doubt about the outcome. However, this game does not lend itself to a standard narrative; it stands out for some finer features of the trial which shall be mentioned in these minutes as follows.
Upon a certain code word, all Welshmen – whether in play or not – pulled a white card from their pockets and flagged it like a referee in an association football match. The last player to react was then condemned to lie flat on his back and wave with both hands and feet, thus cre-ating the impression of a beetle on his back. This proved particularly difficult for batting members of the team. The exact nature of the card was partly revealed after the match: It was a brief tour survival programme consisting essentially of addresses of Hamburg pubs (avoid dehydration), important German words and phrases like “noch ein Bier bitte” (hydrate) and “er interessiert sich nicht für Frauen” (avoid distraction), as well as some wonderful Welsh songs “to be sung upon request”. Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence of any of the Welshmen on his back so one has to rely on witnesses or hearsay in this respect.
Three THCC bowlers deserve special mention: Cam bowled his heart out, commencing with a maiden over, allowing only one run in each of his second and third overs and finally being rewarded for his tidy efforts with the best bowling average of the day. Jürgen got a fine wicket, too, with a surprise ball that edged to Steve at leg slip who held the awkward catch with one hand. And Christian took the most spectacular wicket all on his own, caught and bowled, the ball returning so fast to him that it reverberated from his hand before he could clinch it. Other bowlers, however, were less successful, allowing Swansea’s best batsman, T. Clayton, to reach an unbeaten half century, even permitting over 20 runs per over in spite of Rick’s reliable keeping performance.
THCC’s batting featured left handed Christian opening together with right handed Matthew, their solid start reaching almost 50 runs. Satish and Adrian, the weasel, followed suit expertly keeping the scoreboard ticking by running almost every ball and adding another 50 runs. Finally, big hitting Mark and George lashed out with 13 boundaries altogether until the target was within reach. Captain Steve had employed a flexible batting order, putting batsmen in and retiring them as he thought fit, which worked extremely well. When Jürgen missed a ball attempting another of his baseball-hits, the captain himself entered the crease and shifted the tally to within one run of winning in the penultimate over. A true sportsman, Steve then avoided a couple of wides at the end of the over so that the only club member who has con-tinuously worked on his scoop-shot this season was able to score the winning run with just that coup, much to the disgust of his coach.
So after both parties’ representatives had pleaded their cases, the decision was final: Swan-sea’s claim was thrown out. THCC had won another legitimate contest, fought according to the applicable laws, and, what is more, also to the spirit of the game. Needless to mention that everyone had got very thirsty. At last, after the necessary lubrication had been applied, the visitors were requested to entertain the home audience on the club house terrace with their Welsh songs which they did long into the balmy night.