The British summer, having decided that BREXIT means BREXIT, greeted our French friends last week with a first cricketing day of climatic misery. After all, a morning of dry weather with a depression moving in from the west- just in time for cricket- is the lot of a Sunday journeyman in these parts. Having realised that most of our guests were English anyway, and the West Indian among them would also be familiar with rain too, it eventually decided to try the tactic of turning dry instead. We were quite happy with that- and so was anyone else tasked with the job of tea preparation.
The festivities had started in the Duke of York Inn at Sayers Common- although The Author, unfamiliar with such a setting, had missed the jollities thinking that a watering hole with such a grand old title could only exist in an urban scrawl and got ready for an evening out in Brighton. It seems that, however irregular my appearance during, a season will always have a Fennell story attached somewhere.
As Wanderers and the Brittany All Stars (some folk troubled when spelling the region of our southerly neighbours) made there way to the ground for the first match ominous clouds hung overhead. Muggy and dark an hour before play was due to start, it was soon raining heavily. The track at Sayers Common, in common with most clay soil in Mid-Sussex, holds water like a grudge and play was thus called off very quickly.
So what to do. Well, the starts of Brittany seemed less bothered by this eventuality as they were mostly still in the pub. And why not ? So accepting the weather’s poor judgement of inconvenience, a spontaneous and happy gathering was had. But there was not be an ending there. With an evening table booked at the Plough in Pyecombe a few hours were yet to be had. So a small convoy of cars made is way to Henfield for the first and unofficial challenge of the tour. A game of Skittles…
The teams were evenly divided according to, well, which cricket team they played for. The Slaymaker representing France. In fact, the games were billed as England v France- although it may well have been San Marino v France such was the thumping Wanderers took. French Dave (every team should have a ‘Dave’) and Mr Snelling were the pick of the overseas bunch. Six strikes were to be had on the french side with only Lord Sponge responding for the home team.
So Wanderers first match had ended in defeat without so much as a ball being bowled. But no-one seemed too fussed as some attendees then made there way to Pyecombe for a splendid evening meal.