Coming into today's game all the talk had been about our tricky task of getting seven league points to make ourselves invulnerable to a resurgent Hardwick/Shepreth II. The plan was to field first and bowl ultra-aggressively: we were in the weird situation where it would be preferable to concede 332/4 than 181/3, for instance, as in the former case 150 runs would get us the seven points, whereas in the latter we'd need to win outright. It's certainly not the sort of thing to delight the cricketing purist, but that was the deal.
Complicating all this was the possibility of a wash-out -- the chances of an uninterrupted match were slim at best, but even though there was rain overnight and clouds this morning, it seemed we would at least get one last chance to play cricket before winter closed in. Or not: as is now becoming a very familiar routine, Andy got a call a bit before midday to the effect that the pitch was too wet to play and that was that. Thus our season sort of faded out, with three ``no results'' from our last four matches (not to mention the fact that the one completed match was played in worse conditions than at least two of the wash-outs). Today's cancellation was doubly frustrating given that more than half of today's CCA games went ahead, although there was at least the consolation that, by retaining our league average of 11.36, we couldn't be caught by Hardwick/Shepreth even if they did manage to pull off a big upset against third-placed NCI. Which, it turns out, is exactly what they did, albeit with both runs and wickets from a couple of players who, according to the the club's own Play Cricket web-site, had played exclusively for their first XI prior to today.
The wash-out also means that the players' averages stay as they were last week, and two of our three end-of-season awards now have winners. Congratulations first to Tony Desimone, who topped the batting with 188 runs at 37.60, a mere 1.10 ahead of Andy Owen in second place (and just 6.85 ahead of fifth). Don't get too sympathetic for Andy, though: he won the bowling by a country mile with 21 wickets at 17.10, so congratulations to him too. As for the coveted ``players' player of the year award'', you'll just have to come along to the annual dinner -- time and place to be decided soon. Until then, we'll just have to adjust to life without Saturday cricket . . . except for the fact that we've been going without for a month already, so most of us have gotten used to the idea that Saturday afternoons are free for expiditions to B&Q and Ikea.