LV= County Championship Division Two, Colchester (close, day one), Essex 323-7: Browne 116, Pettini 107; Ansari 3-80, Surrey: Yet to bat
To Castle Park! …on Friday morning for day 1 of the ‘rrey away against Essex in Sunny Colch.
This fixture has been ring-fenced in the diary with a BIG RED BOOZE circle ever since the ECB decided to treat me with a very long lost weekend in Colchester.
But it almost didn’t happen.
A major cock up in the pharmacy early on Friday morning almost led me to throwing a cricketing hissy fit and sulking for the rest of the weekend.
Tip: Never mix your drugs with your cricket, you bloody fool.
Aldi however is perfectly acceptable.
Given that the food choice at Castle Park was medium burgers, large burgers and burnt burgers, I filled up my food bag with a range from the Aldi delicatessen aisle.
On the piss with the ‘rrey and eating King size pasties.
What a time to be alive.
And so having walked halfway around Sunny Colch, I finally arrived at Castle Park with the home team having won the toss, and batting on 11-1.
Sam Curran was making the most of his school summer holiday with Surrey. Whilst other 17 year-olds around the ground were nervously eyeing up some of the Essex girls, young Sam was playing first class County cricket.
LIVE THE DREAM, etc.
Betcha he does rather well with the Essex girls come stumps as well.
Keeping in the grand tradition of a Crap Match Report and I haven’t got a chuffing clue who was playing for Essex.
Monty was surprisingly in the team – his first appearance since April. I hope he doesn’t make the trip to Walton pier whilst on the Essex riviera.
I had some cake delivery duties to perform before the BOOZE kicked in. I’d promised something a little special for Churchy, the Surrey man behind the mic.
I hope that he appreciated the Aldi £1.89 effort.
And then finally I had to go through some silly stretches ahead of hitting the alcohol. None of this would have been necessary if it wasn’t for the pharmacy fuck up.
Also joining me for a stretch on the boundary was Jade Dernbach. I think I shined on the achilles tendon stretches, although I was no match for Jade’s tattoos.
Or his bowling.
It was good to see him back in the four day format of the game. Five maiden overs was a tidy return.
The unfamiliar surroundings of Castle Park took me some time to adjust to. A boundary stroll located the beer tent, the toilets and Jack Russell sitting in a tent.
That’s something that you don’t find very often back at The Oval.
The morning session favoured Surrey. Luncheon was taken with Essex tucking into the sarnies on 96-3.
Spectators were encouraged to invade the wicket during the break. Random games of cricket broke out. I threw a cricket ball for the first time in almost a decade, and then fell over just backwards of square.
I settled down for the afternoon session feeling slightly tired and emotional. An old fella firing up the lawnmower in the adjacent garden kept me awake.
A fine century from Nick Brown steadied the Essex innings.
A slight Colchester chill swept around Castle Park late afternoon. I reached for my trackie top, tucked away in my cooler bag. It was warmer without it to be honest.
Four days spent on the piss at Castle Park is all about pacing yourself. I became slightly lost in all of the cricket and so decided to simply snap away instead.
I’m on the early Aldi run again tomorrow.
C’mon the ‘rrey!