If July 2006 goes down in Romsey history as our greatest ever month -- after our initial failed defense with just eight players, we managed four euphoric wins on the trot and played in mostly glorious conditions -- then August 2006 can't be far off our worst. Two of our three scheduled games have been washed out (including today's against Great Chisill, in case you haven't cottoned on), and the one we did play saw a Romsey run-fest turn into a grey and miserable loss in the blinking of an eye (well, a drinks break to be more accurate). All in all it feels like summer has ended a month early.
In terms of the league standings, today's wash-out has guaranteed Great Chisill what is probably a most deserved top spot -- if the reports I've heard of 300+ scores are correct, it sounds like a remarkable season for them. And, for a change, the rain has aided our cause too: whereas our previous wash-outs have all been against the other sides battling against each other to avoid relegation, this time we've been saved from a probable loss (with attendant reduction of league average).
Of course we'd also been ``saved'' from playing a game of cricket, and personally I'd much rather get out there on the field than spend an afternoon watching Aliens on DVD any day. And especially today, since it turns out the other four matches in our league (and presumably games in lots of other leagues) went ahead. Most interesting of these was Haslingfield vs. Bassingbourn: the latter won (despite, apparently, losing all ten wickets in their successful chase), making them safe; but the former can still go down if they lose next week and both Romsey and Hardwick/Shepreth both pull off upset wins. Realistically, though, it's all down to us versus Hardreth and, fortunately for us, they also lost today, lowering their league average to 10.23 as compared to our 11.36. That means the equation is now very simple: the only way that Hardwick/Shepreth can overtake us is if they beat NCI next week and we get fewer than seven points against Ashwell. So, bizarrely, we finish our season with exactly the same mission as we had going into last year's final match: score 150 runs and take four wickets against Ashwell to be safe in Junior 2 for another year.
Our place in the league is not the only prize up for grabs next week, as our personal performances will also decide who gets the batting and bowling awards. The former, as is traditional, is wide-open, with Tony Desimone currently on top of the pile with 188 runs at 37.60 but six other players just one big innings away from going past him if we play the final match. The bowling isn't quite as interesting: Andy Owen is way out in front with 21 wickets at 17.10 and only Rog Shelley (8 wickets at 21.50) is even in touch. The standings could change if Rog gets a few cheap wickets and Andy gets hit about; otherwise the bowling award will once again head off to Chez Owen.
Anyway, with all those possibilities to mull over at least there's something to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon . . .