Park Hill Cricket Club 2014 Tour Report by Dave Symons

the-park-hotel-barnstaple

The Park Hotel – home to Park Hill Cricket Club during their annual tour to North Devon

This was our fourth year back on tour in North Devon and, I felt, another success. The activities (beach, laser quest and karting) are now imbedded and I see little need to change those or the Park Hotel. The fixtures saw us try a couple of new games which I will provide a brief analysis of below.

Monday saw us take on Filleigh and notch a rare tour victory. Perhaps it was due to them having three young girls on their side (although two of those combined to bowl/catch Phil for 0), perhaps it was that we hadn’t yet abused our bodies with alcohol or vigorous exercise or perhaps it was due to their overseas player thinking we were a charity. Either way, tour wins are few and far between and we’ll take it! The opposition were a friendly bunch too and the scenic setting with green, rolling fields and a small river made this a pleasant addition to the fixture list.

On Tuesday the defeats began. We had another new fixture against Barnstaple CC, the side our hotel manager plays for. I’m not sure they entirely gauged the strength of our outfit and this may have contributed to our crushing defeat. Dan also lost a testicle whilst enjoying his premiere in the slips. However, it was another fun, friendly affair and, after beating us hollow, Barnstaple did lay on some cracking food free of charge. For this reason, I’ll give this game one more go next year.

Wednesday was our usual match in Hatherleigh and some eager, hungry bodies taking to the field with minds wandering towards delicious pasties, scones and cake. This game will always be remembered for Dave Lawn’s fifty not out as he was vehemently cheered on by the G&T club, dispatching their aging attack to all parts of the ground (although usually towards cow corner).

Our final fixture was against Westleigh – my personal favourite due to their good humour and spirit in which they play the game. Webber hit 60odd off 23 balls and we still lost, but it was a great game and without the World Cup on we should make more effort to stay for a beer with them next year. Another regular game and in my opinion a definite keeper for 2015 along with Hatherleigh.

This was the first tour I’ve been on where it didn’t rain…at all! Whilst we always pray for this, it meant we did every activity and played every game going, meaning there were a number of tired bodies and minds come the end of the 5 days. However, a great tour in my mind and not one I plan on changing too much for next year. If anyone has any input, I’m always interested to hear it.

By way of thanks – this goes to Dan & Webber for their roles as Sock & Captain respectively. Both require a lot of work throughout the week and both individuals deserve a lot of credit. Webber may want to consider sharing the role next year but we have plenty of time to make a decision on this. My second thanks are to Lawny and Senior for helping with the organising of events and running the book. The former takes a weight off my mind and the latter keeps us all interested in events on the field. Major – now I can finally admit I ran you out at Barnstaple because I had money on Webs…not just because your snoring was driving me to the verge of insanity.

I’d also like to thank everybody who came, though. Without you, there wouldn’t be a tour. Everyone contributes to the week so thanks to all who put their time and money into going. It was a great laugh and seems to have had a fantastic effect on the club over the last four years.

Next year will be the fifth tour I’ve organised and I would now like to focus more attention on other areas of the club, so if there is a volunteer to ‘shadow’ the organisation of fixtures/hotel this year with a view to taking over after the next tour I would be very grateful. Maybe you can even bring some brighter, new ideas to the table. Please speak to me if this is of any interest to you.

All is booked for 2015 – Monday 15th-Friday 19th June – we even got the same rate as last year with the hotel, so cost should yet again be under £200 for a room share. What a bloody bargain! Get that annual leave request in early chaps!

Over, but not quite out.

Dave Symons
Tour Secretary