Y.M.C.A. Tours from the Past.
Bath 1985... by Mark Nulty.
It has been a tradition at YMCA that a party goes on tour every 2 or 3 years. The area around Bath & Bristol proved a very suitable destination and it is to there that YMCA teams have travelled since the early '70s.
Treading tired and trusted ground, the squad of 14 players and 2 supporters boarded the North Wall ferry on June 30th. After the traditional invasion of the duty-free, everybody made good use of the vat-free bar on board. After a calm trip we rolled (in cars) off the boat and made it to Bath the same evening. Tour manager Richard Beamish introduced us to the hotel, George's, where we were to stay for the tour.
The hotel was empty, so we didn't have to wake anyone and as the bar was basic so there was nothing to wreck either.
The first match, in Bristol, was against Downend, a small ground with one ridiculous boundary that makes Phoenix look like the Oval. An exciting tie ensued.
A fairly dull morning of shopping was enlivened somewhat by that accident that befell your correspondent. I managed to get clipped by a taxi while crossing a road and broke a bone in my leg! It was never very painful but finished my cricket for the tour.
The game against Bath, a large and well-run club, was eventually lost in the final over. John Ridgeway hit some big 6s, Johnny Garth hit 12x4s in a 50 and Colin Haine took an all-bowled hat-trick.In the final over of the innings David Gray was at the non-strikers end with one ball left. David Steepe smashed the ball back towards the bowler and hit Gray who had backed up a few yards. He got it full on the shoulder and collapsed to the ground in pain. The fielders collapsed too with laughter and missed a chance to run him out.
On Wednesday, John Ridgeway announced he was going horse-riding, but the horses must have heard him because he couldn't find any. He made do with an open-deck bus.
A drawn game was enlivened by Johnny Garth's wicket-keeping and Colin Haine's umpiring. He managed to signal a leg-bye when nobody had run.
OnThursday D.A.Lewis joined us from Ireland's hiccup at Hove. He was needed as Johnny Garth had pulled a muscle in the lower abdomen (as they say on tv). I hasten to add this happened on the field of play. Alan took a stack of wickets and then found the Lansdowne bowlers less hostile than Imran & Le Roux. Ably supported by Steepe & Ridgeway, he scored a fine century before being given out by Heatley Tector 3 seconds after he regained his ground. Heatley said he had been in too long and as he'd dropped his bat halfway down the wicket, there was no doubt his bat was out.
We said goodbye to Bath and Freddie Wolfe (ex-YMer who organised the tour for us) and headed for Northern C.C. in Liverpool. We lost by three wickets although David Gray did hold a catch!
The trip home was enlivened by Alan Lewis commandeering the ship's intercom during dinner.
He gave quite a few of us indigestion! He was not forced to walk the plank and we all arrived safely home.
Downend C.C. 190/6 (Haine 3/57)
Y.M.C.A. 190/9 (Nulty 51, Steepe 44, Haine 32*)
Y.M.C.A. 133/9 (Ridgeway 66, Garth 50)
Bath C.C. 136/8 (Haine 3/38, Kirk 3/38)
Lost by 2 wkts.
Hamset C.C. 200/9 (Cooke 4/26, Haine 2/48, Masterson 2/48)
Y.M.C.A. 185/8 (Haine 30, Tector 25, Beamish 35)
Lansdowne C.C. 184/8 (Lewis 4/40)
Y.M.C.A. 185/3 (Lewis 100, Ridgeway 36*, Steepe 27)
Won by 7 wkts.
Y.M.C.A. 142/9 (Ridgeway 58, Gregory 27)
Northern C.C. 143/7 (Lewis 3/36)
Lost by 3 wkts.