29 June to 1st July 2002
The inaugural Whalers CC tour was a resounding success where cricket was less often than most the winner. A club record score, centuries for all participants and the proliferation of local nurses and ginger ladies provided most members of the squad with a weekend to remember Unfortunately, however most of the party can’t recall most of what happened after 9pm on the Saturday night and if one looks at the photos this can only be deemed a good thing – especially for Ian Gibbins!!
The usual panic set in en route to Gatwick. Give 10 Whalers players a meet time of 7.30am on a Saturday morning and see how many actually make it. In this case we had a club record of one, Paul Osbourn, who managed to stand at the front of the British Airways queue for a good 20 minutes. Eight were stuck on the same train from Clapham Junction and one was fast asleep in West Hampstead. Credit must go to James Perrott who managed to travel in his pyjamas across London in a matter of hours to arrive 2 minutes before the check in closed. At this point we did not have the heart to tell him that the flight had actually been delayed by an hour and he could have got changed.
The delay proved influential in our pre match preparation and the Red Lion in the North Terminal seemed to be a perfect place to discuss tactics, measure our body fat ratios, Andy Nelson officially being crowned the teams “pie eater”, and watch Duncan neck 2 pints.
The smallest propeller plane in the world then slowly whisked us to our destination where the sun was shining and despite Ollie Bayne’s incessant questioning the team was in high spirits.
A quick turnaround at the hotel and it was off to the Mare De Carteret Cricket Ground (MdeCG) for the battle to commence. Having won a dubious toss and electing to bat there proceeded much deliberation over the batting order culminating in picking numbers out of a hat. With the controversial 6 and 9 positions affected by definition a quick game of scissors, stone and paper finalised the order.
This pitch was very plastic and with 3 lines down the middle of the pitch certainly gave the bowlers something to aim for. As the opening pair of Duncan and Nelson sauntered to the centre the remainder of the squad settled down with a lager and the local radio. A solid opening partnership by Whalers standard was then set into motion, the first 3 overs and then double figures were soon easily passed without incident. Duncs persisted with his big hitting and Nelson unique style also got runs. However all good things come to an end and Nelson was clean bowled for 15. Duckfries then wandered out and lived up to his reputation by failing to trouble the scorers, fielders or any of his protective clothing for a glorious 1st baller.
Suddenly it was 38-2. Fortunately a strong rearguard action was to follow with good performances from Duncs, 44, James Perrott 23 and Paul Mildon 33 keeping the scoreboard ticking over with some big hitting and delicate cuts. Ian Gibbins was obviously saving his energies for the evening scoring 3, before the West Country pair of Ollie Bayne and Big Al carted their way to 28 and 63 respectively. After 40 overs the score was 246 – 7 unknown territory for a Whalers team (especially as it did not include a ton from our number 11, Oz) and probably influenced by the number of empty beer cans surrounding most fielders. It was definitely something to bowl at which helped as we had no chance of hitting the lines on the pitch.
After a magnificent BBQ it was back to the middle with the new rule concerning consumption of sidekicks for any misdemeanours / mistakes. A fine opening spell from Osgood and Duckfries both claiming 2 wickets each and well supported by a wicket from Gibbins and 3 for Perrott had them 93-7 and teetering. Then came the turning point and inspired bowling change. The introduction of Mildon and the seagulls enemy Dickinson and big hitting from home batsman Hayes proved decisive. Mildon went for 21 off 2 , Dickinson 42 off 4 and it was game on. Only the reintroduction of Osgood and Ollie Bayne finally ended the game with the Presidents XI scoring 171 all out in 30 overs, Whalers winning by 75 runs.
A quick 5 aside football match of very debatable quality killed time waiting for a taxi to take us back to town for the serious part of the tour – the night out.
Saturday night in Guernsey is a sight to behold. The first proposition happened 5 minutes from the hotel with a frank 14 year old appreciating the fine quality of a Whalers man. Buoyed by this early compliment the arrival of the nurses was childs play. The following hours of pints, strawpedos, cleavage shots and 21s-this time with no accountants corner, and Follies D’Amour came calling. Following one of our hosts removal from the club after 5 minutes and a round of tequillas the dance floor beckoned. Now despite the lack of natural rythym from most quarters the ability of throwing any kind of shapes seemed acceptable and at least 3 local ladies had a night to remember, the one with Ian Gibbins has probably waited a while for such a night though !!
A slow procession of weary faces made it to breakfast at exactly 9.59am on the Sunday morning looking forward primarily to the World Cup final than another game of cricket. A slow wander of 100 metres round to Freaky’s house was as far as many could manage before collapsing in front of the telly. Despite the proliferation of alcohol available most could only manage soft drinks but the eyes lit up with the presentation of half a cow and pig from the oven providing a substantial feed. Brazils satisfying demolition of Germnay showed an elan we wished to repeat on the cricket field in the afternoon. With a lack of opposition an intricate system of pairs cricket within the squad saw cricket of the rawest nature. For every shot of style, some of Duncs and Paul Osbourn’s are still yet to land, there were fielding, batting and bowling moments that would get us £50.00 from You’ve been Framed. Considering runs were scored as normal with 10 points deducted for the loss of a wicket the fact that some pairs ended in minus figures after 6 overs tells the story. The only way to ressurrect some self-esteem was to pop to the curry house for a banquet and have a few games of 21s hoping to find a suitable replacement for Gary Mac in the muppet corner. Fortunately Ollie, being one of the very few non accountant, York Uni, hockey boys or Rome veteran was the lamb to the slaughter. The only other aim was to get Gibbins as pissed as possible as he had to get a flight the next morning to get to work and had a taxi coming at 05.30am.
Monday was due to be the golf day where 10 of use would spend hours looking for golf balls in all areas of the course other than the fairway. However the heavens opened and the bowling alley was our only sporting option. For the first time in Whalers history all 10 players scored centuries in the same game however in other games some forgot where they were scoring a creditable golf score of 73.
All in all I am sure we would concur that cricket most certainly was not the winner for the touring party. However I would like to make a special thanks to our host Simon Freeman who managed to arrange all the sporting arrangements and also a vast quantity of food and booze. Here’s looking forward to 2003 wherever we end up.