30.5.2004 Rock


25 overs per innings

Casuals 186 for 3

The Rock 130 all out

It was 3 wins out of 4 for The Casuals last Sunday morning at Old Almondburians CC. This picturesque ground is located on the outskirts of a campus known to most of us as King James’s Grammar School for boys, a famous institution for many reasons. My personal favourite piece of its history involves the school’s 1890’s headmaster – Reverend Marshall, rugby union referee and president of both Huddersfield RUFC and Yorkshire RFU. He was one of the many muscular christians who would not countenance the application of business methods to sport, so much so that it appears he shafted his own club.

‘In 1893, Huddersfield were accused by Cumberland club Cummersdale Hornets of obtaining star three-quarters Boak and Forsyth under suspicious circumstances. Such was the speed at which the players had left the Hornets that they were summoned to appear before Carlisle magistrates for leaving their jobs without giving proper notice. An English Rugby Union inquiry was soon under way and the chief witness for the prosecution was the outspoken Rev Marshall, who had earlier resigned from the Huddersfield committee after condemning the actions of his club. At the subsequent hearing Huddersfield were suspended for eight matches. The committee were understandably far from happy.’

(Examiner: Dec 8th. 2000)

No, I bet they weren’t. Two years later and rugby split. One hundred and two years later and rugby went truly ‘open’ and, ironically, rugby union is now a global multi-million dollar operation. It’d make some of those 1890’s committee men’s eyes water. The Casuals outclassed their opposition in all departments. More batsmen not out 25, more sixes and fours and more wickets, David Beal polishing their innings off with three wickets in his final over. We even beat them at silly fielding, the best example coming from Will, last seen on his knees pounding the ground with his fists after nearly producing four overthrows.

The best moment was Sam diving to his right at wide mid on to take a well-struck cover drive. Supple and graceful for a big lad. Larner had another useful game. A wicket in his two overs and 8 runs off the bat, leg glances and straight drives straight out of the manual. He was also part of Will’s silly field, diving or was it falling in a vain effort at backing up what was an attempt at a direct hit which which went several cut strips wide.

The Cooper boys played well again.

I think the reverend would’ve approved.


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