The Poem

The end of season cricket poem of legend

Written by Darren Grayer

2005

So many things can happen in a year that passes by
Like England could win the ashes, and pigs might learn to fly
But it really did happen, a small miracle took place
As Freddie took on the Aussies and sunk them without trace
Always believe in the unusual and the element of surprise
Perhaps next year Chris will turn up early if he really really tries!
I'm not saying he’s always late, but he’s never there first
Take the game at Fawley, going out to field, he’s still driving through Ashurst
More often than not though, he’s worth waiting for
Because when he gets his pads on , many runs does he score
And with a new bat he acquired from some bloke called the judge
Teams bowling at him found him very difficult to budge!
But there's one thing I will say before next season does commence
Just get there on time, because we’d like some help with the fence
Now back in May we had one of our usual slow starts
At Fareham we scored enough runs but then fielded like tarts
And that game at Sarisbury would’ve made many teams buckle
It’s only looking back now you can have a little chuckle
Catches went down just about all over the place
And the ball cleared the boundary disappearing without trace
For one man in particular it seemed to follow him around
In the end you knew if it went to him it would end up on the ground
What words can describe the performance of Richie White?
His batting was ok but his fielding was shocking!
Afterwards he sped off to hear Elton John do some singing
He was the only person to arrive with his ears already ringing!
In the same game poor old Wardy also blew a fuse
As the ball followed him around his temper he did lose
ARE YOU WATCHING SKIPPER? Came a very angry shout
As for the third ball on the trot he was made to run about
Then a few games later came a bad injury blow
As he tried to stop the ball somewhere near his big toe
It hurtled towards him and caught him right on the boot
He was down for so long we thought he’d taken root
Thank God our other veteran Pete Loader was still going strong
And bowling against Michelmersh he could do nothing wrong
As he trundled up the hill he started taking wickets for fun
He got up to four without even conceding a run
But just when you thought he could get eight or nine
He got carried away and completely lost his line
This summer saw Raffles come back for a game
A Nomansland team without him just isn’t the same
His excuse for not playing had been a complete lack of sleep
But he’s O.K. now he’s taught the kids to count sheep
It was business as usual for Leroy this year
Stacks of runs and big sixes oh and one or two beers
Both Waterlooville and Pompey dropped him early on
And twenty overs later their chances of winning had gone
Now I can’t go without mentioning the experienced Simon Smith
Talk of him as being an all rounder isn’t just a myth
His cheerful approach always comes to the forth
They say it’s what thee get when thee come from up North
Finally let’s have a few thoughts for someone not here
His comments and indeed criticism have been missed all year
Ernie was a great one for making the green turn blue
Mainly because he was never short of a swear word or two
Personally I miss him, well more than a bit
Because it’s now become my job to clean up the shit!

2006

There are some here tonight , who will have never heard my verse,
Well for one or two in particular, the night’s about to get worse
You see some things happen in summer I never fail to remember
It’s amazing what can happen between the months of may and September
We’ve had excitement, disappointment and games full of tension
And one or two injuries almost too painful to mention
Take poor Gary Loveless, who suffered a season full of pain
In fact after the first couple of matches we hardly saw him again
First he missed three games , as he struggled with his back
Then when he finally returned three ribs he did crack
If There's a lesson to learn and prevent injuries like that
It would have to be this, always try and use the thing called a bat
Now not everyone will agree that this advice is good
But if Simon Smith is one of them then he bloody well should
Smudge tried to use his head and took a very nasty blow
He went down sporting a lump that did very soon grow
Luckily for him a nurse was on hand stood watching the match
As she led him off the field he said ’eh up love tis only a scratch’
And without Smudge at the crease wickets started to fall
With runs still required he bravely answered our call
He trudged back out to the crease and won us the game
Ending up with a six and an unbeaten fifty to his name
Other run scoring this year has been a tale of two Chris’s
One who often hits slow bowling and one who often misses
Whilst Chris Garrett scores fours and sixes almost for fun
He has been a bit suspect against the very very slow one
He can t seem to make his mind up as to where it should be hit
Will it be the one stop , the road, the trees or Oh shit
You see too much time to think can be a very bad thing
And with Chris you can see it clearly affects his bat swing
Our other Chris , Mr. Walton remained as reliable as ever
His technique was first class but his catching none too clever
So I’m going to remind him about our trip to the Isle of Wight
When he turned up at our meeting point he just didn’t look right
At first I felt sorry for him, and thought poor old Chris
Until I found out he’d just spent all night on the piss
Apparently he spent the ferry trip with his head hung over the side
Trying to do something that would ended up floating in on the tide
And then Wardy even had to stop the car on the way
With one or two starting to think will he see out the day
To be fair though when it mattered he gave a sound start
In a game that roller coasted with everyone playing a part
We looked destined to lose at one point with everything going wrong
They were getting the runs easily til Stewie Lee came along
Options were running out so i chucked him the ball
He then won us the match with his first four wicket haul
You know what your gonna get with Stewie he plays hard but fair
And the shattering of stumps is followed by a ’get in there’
And his fielding this summer has been of the very highest kind
He s got the safest pair of hands your ever likely to find
Other things worth a mention include young Terry’s first six
And Pete Loaders delivery that left Leeroy in a fix
An old face returning it has to be Phil Baker
And Richie Whites attempts to become a true wicket taker
But the highest praise has to be for a man who travels far
Our number one bowler, our very own Glen Mcgrath
His commitment never wavers, he’s every skippers dream
A bloke bowls straight and keeps hitting the seam
I’ll end up thanking John again for doing the wicket
And the man many years ago who invented good old cricket!

2008

I’VE BEEN PLAYING CRICKET ON THE GREEN NOW FOR 25 YEARS,
SOME THINGS I’VE SEEN HAVE MADE ME LAUGH, SOME REDUCED ME TO TEARS,
I’VE SEEN KEV HAYWARD HIT A LAST BALL SIX TO WIN US A MATCH,
I’VE SEEN GARY LOVELESS SCORE A TON AND DROP A CATCH
I’VE EVEN SEEN THE WAR MEMORIAL COST US VICTORY ONE DAY
WHEN THE BALL LEFT WARDY’S BAT IT LOOKED A FOUR ALL THE WAY
I’VE SEEN US BE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS AND WIN THE ODD CUP
I’VE SEEN CHRIS WALTON ARRIVE LATE AND PHIL BAKER NOT EVEN TURN UP
I’VE SEEN OUR OLDER SUPPORTERS PASS ON ONE BY ONE
I KNOW THEY USE TO MOAN AT US BUT IT WAS BLOODY GOOD FUN
THEY’D HAVE DESCRIBED THIS SEASON AS A REAL UP AND DOWNER
LIKE THE GREAT VICTORY AT CHANDLERS FORD TO THE THRASHING AT ROWNER
ACTUALLY MR BAKER YOU COULD HAVE MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE THAT DAY
BUT IT WOULD HAVE ONLY BEEN HAD YOU PICKED UP FIVE MORE PLAYERS ON YOUR WAY
WE WERE NEARLY AS BAD WHEN WE PLAYED THAT INDIAN SIDE
ON THAT BIG PITCH BY THE AIRPORT THERE WAS NO PLACE TO HIDE
THERE WAS ONE BLOKE WHO BATTED I THINK HIS NAME WAS SINGH
HE DIDN’T LOOK MUCH OF A BAT BUT HE KNEW HOW TO USE THE BLOODY THING.
ONE SIX HE HIT WAS JUST ABOUT THE BIGGEST I’VE EVER SEEN
IN FACT I’M SURE IT SHOWED UP ON THE AIRPORTS INCOMING FLIGHT SCREEN
AT LEAST AFTER TEA I THOUGHT WE’LL DO ALRIGHT WITH THE BAT
BUT SOON WITH THE SCORE AT 11 FOR 5 THAT WAS THE END OF THAT
THIS CARRIED ON FOR THE FIRST TWO MONTHS LOSS AFTER LOSS
AND YOU KNOW ME WITH A COIN SO WE DIDN’T EVEN WIN THE TOSS
AS CATCHES WENT DOWN IT WAS DIFFICULT NOT TO GET UPSET
AND IN WALTS CASE AT BOURNEMOUTH AS CROSS AS I’VE EVER SEEN HIM GET.
AS HE SPILT A CATCH BEHIND HE THREW HIS GLOVES TO THE FLOOR
RIGHT THAT’S IT SKIPPER I’M NOT DOING THIS FLIPPIN JOB ANYMORE
AT THIS POINT I FELT WE NEEDED SOMEONE ON WHOM YOU COULD RELY
SOMEONE WHO YOU KNEW WOULD GO OUT AND GIVE IT A REAL TRY
THAT MAN WAS PINKY AND GRADUALLY HE GOT US BACK ON TRACK
SCORING VALUABLE RUNS LIKE A WHITE INZANAM AL HUQ
WINNING AT CURDRIDGE I FELT A TURNING POINT HAD BEEN REACHED
AND AS FOR MUDEFORD WHO FOLLOWED THEY SHOULD HAVE STAYED ON THEIR BEACH
THEY HAD NO ANSWER TO MR GARRETT WHO BOWLED AN IMMACULATE LINE
HE ENDED UP WITH SUPERB FIGURES OF12 OVERS 3 FOR NINE
WHILST ON THE SUBJECT OF CHRIS AND RUNS HARD TO COME BY
HE HAD THE SORT OF SEASON THAT WOULD MAKE SOME MEN CRY
A FEW WEEKS AGO YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED A SCARECROW ON THE GREEN
A CRICKETER IN WHITE ONE OF THE BIGGEST I’VE EVER SEEN
I’LL LET YOU INTO A SECRET SOMEBODY ACTUALLY SAID THIS TELL YOU WHAT MATE FROM A DISTANCE HE LOOKS JUST LIKE CHRIS WELL I HAD TO PUT THEM RIGHT HAVE YOU EVER SEEN HIM PLAY CRICKET IT CERTAINLY CAN’T BE GARRETT HE’S BEEN TOO LONG AT THE WICKET OUR BIGGEST LOSS THIS YEAR WAS THAT OF CLUB PRESIDENT LEN AFTER BEING WITH US FOR SO LONG WE’LL NOT SEE HIM AGAIN AFTER 94 YEARS HIS EXPERIENCE WAS PLAINLY THERE TO SEE ESPECIALLY WITH THE URN AND BREWING UP THE TEA HIS PLACE IN THE KITCHEN WAS FILLED THOUGH IF YOU HADN’T HEARD BY A NEW APPRENTICE TEA MAKER OUR CLUB PRESIDENT MR GURD I THINK IT’S FAIR TO SAY HE FOUND IT A NEW EXPERIENCE IN LIFE ANYBODY KNOW HOW TO WORK THE DISHWASHER I’LL HAVE TO PHONE THE WIFE WELL THAT’S JUST ABOUT IT FROM ME SO I’LL END MY POEM THERE IF I’VE CAUSED ANY OFFENCE OR EMBARRESSMENT I DON’T BLOODY CARE AS FOR NEXT YEAR I EXPECT WE’LL HAVE MORE OF THE SAME SO YOU’D BETTER WATCH OUT IF YOUR NOT ON YOUR GAME

2009

I SAT FOR A FULL 20 MINUTES WITH A PEN IN MY HAND
THEN MY DAUGHTER LOOKED AT ME AND SAID DAD I DON’T UNDERSTAND
WRITING A POEM ABOUT CRICKET CANT BE THAT HARD
TO DO I LOOKED UP AND LAUGHED IF ONLY THAT WERE TRUE I THOUGHT THIS IS THE UMPTEENTH TIME I’VE HAD TO DO THIS THERE’S ONLY SO MUCH YOU CAN WRITE AND KEEP TAKING THE PISS SO THEN I WENT THROUGH THE FIXTURE CARD GAME BY GAME IT MADE ME REMEMBER WHO I SHOULD PRAISE AND WHO I SHOULD SHAME OUR FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON PROVED TO BE A REAL NAIL BITER TO LOOSE BY 1 RUN IT DOESN’T GET ANY TIGHTER IT WAS MORE LIKE BRETT LEE THAN STEWIE, WITH A FINE SPELL OF PACE AIDED BY A BLINDING CATCH , THE BALL DISAPPEARING INTO PETES HAND WITHOUT TRACE IN FACT LOADUPS CATCH WAS BREATHTAKING AND IT JUST WENT TO PROVE THAT HE CAN CATCH ALMOST ANYTHING AS LONG AS HE HASN’T GOT TOO FAR TO MOVE AND WITH RAFFLES AND THE SKIP KNOCKING EM OFF WE WERE IN WITH A SHOUT UNTIL A LACK OF COMMUNICATION ENDED WITH A DISASTEROUS RUN OUT AS WHITER TRUDGED OFF HE LOOKED LIKE HE’D BEEN BATTING WITH OWAIS SHAH THE ONLY WAY HE’D HAVE GOT IN WOULD ‘VE BEEN IN A FAST CAR I’M SURE AS A NEUTRAL A FINE SPECTACLE THE GAME DID MAKE BUT TO LOSE BY 1 RUN IS JUST SO HARD TO TAKE THEN OUR FIRST GAME ON THE GREEN WAS NOT SUCH A CLOSE AFFAIR AS WE WERE THRASHED BY 10 WICKETS AND 30 OVERS TO SPARE BUT THEN OUR LUCK CHANGED AS WE BEAT PORTSMOUTH AWAY THERE AGAIN EVERYBODY LEAVES POMPEY WITH POINTS NOWADAYS THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY MORE WINS AGAINST CALMORE AND HYDE AND ALL BATTING SECOND VERY UNUSUAL FOR OUR SIDE OUR WIN AT CALMOREWAS SET UP BY OUR WICKYS VERY FINE CATCH ITS FAIR TO SAY MATTS FULL LENGTH EFFORT CHANGED THE COURSE OF THE MATCH AND AS THE GAME WENT ON IT BECAME SLIGHTLY HEATED THERE WERE EVEN COMPLAINTS THAT SOMEONE HAD CHEATED LIKE A RED RAG TO A BULL THIS SPURRED MATT ON EVEN MORE AS HE HIT THE WINNING RUNS THE OPPOSITION WERE TOLD TO LOOK AT THE SCORE INCREDIBLY THE NEXT WEEK THERE FOLLOWED ANOTHER 1 RUN DEFEAT AND THEN AN INNINGS BY THE SKIPPER THAT DOMINATED THE SCORE SHEET IN FACT HE PRODUCED A TEAM SCORE ALMOST SINGLE HANDED UNTIL HE RAN OUT OF PARTNERS AND BECAME SOMEWHAT STRANDED IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS WE BEGAN TO SLIDE DOWN THE TABLE ESPECIALLY AT MUDEFORD WHERE WE WERE WILLING BUT NOT VERY ABLE THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE US WAS A SLIGHTLY PATCHED UP SIDE AND I’M AFRAID WE BECAME THE VICTIMS OF A MASSIVE RUN TIDE ITS BEST TO SAY THE BOWLING FIGURES RESEMBLED A LOTTERY COUNT NOT SO MUCH THE WINNING NUMBERS AS THE JACKPOT AMOUNT SEVERAL BIG HITS HEADED DOWN TO TOWARDS MUDEFORD QUAY I’VE NEVER SEEN A CRICKET BALL RETREIVED FROM THE SEA SOON AFTER THIS THOUGH IMPROVEMENTS WERE MADE AS KEY PLAYERS RETURNED AND EVEN CHRIS GARRETT PLAYED A VICTORY AT BRANSGORE WAS FOLLOWED BY OUR ANNUAL HOME BANKER NONE OTHER THAN IBM AND THEIR CAPTAIN PHILLIP THE GREAT BIG TALL CHAP I THINK HE’S FINALLY LEARNED THAT IF YOU COME HERE AND YAK YOU END UP GETTING STUFFED AND HAVE A LONG JOURNEY BACK I MUST TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE END TO THIS GAME A SIX FROM AN OLD VETERAN TUBBY TIM PENNEL HIS NAME WITH WICKET FALLING AND AN AIR OF TENSION ALL AROUND HE TOYED WITH THEIR BOWLER THEN HIT HIM OUT THE GROUND AND SO OUR SEASON ENDED ON A HIGH NOTE FOR SURE A FINAL DAY VICTORY OVER WOODGREEN FOLLOWED BY A FEW BEERS NEXT DOOR A MATCH PLAYED IN THE RIGHT SPIRIT THE WAY CRICKET SHOULD BE NO VERBALS OR BAD FEELINGS AND NO CHEATING FRENCHMAN CALLED THIERY HENRI

2010

I’LL START MY POEM BY CONGRATULATING THE SKIP AND HIS WIFE
FOR BRINGING INTO THE WORLD ANOTHER TINY NEW LIFE
I’M SURE YOU ALL REMEMBER BEING STUCK IN THE JANUARY SNOW
IF YOU WANDERED WHAT SKIP WAS DOING WELL NOW YOU ALL KNOW
WINTER DRAGGED ON FOREVER AND TOOK AGES TO PASS
BUT SPRING DID EVENTUALLY ARRIVE AND THE SMELL OF FRESHLY CUT GRASS
AND ONCE AGAIN WE ALL RESCUED OUR WHITES FROM THE TRUNK
AND IN PINKY’S CASE FOUND FOR THE 10TH YEAR RUNNING THEY HAD ONCE AGAIN SHRUNK
OUR FIRST GAME WAS INCREDIBLE LIKE A CRICKET VERSION OF MONOPOLY
AND SURELY THE CHANCE CARD WE PICKED WAS GET OUT OF JAIL FREE
A TIDY PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD ENSURED WE DIDN’T CHASE MUCH
BUT AT 10 FOR 3 WE WERE IN TROUBLE, WALT, PINKY & RAFFLES ALL BACK IN THE HUTCH
WITH YOURS TRULY STOOD BEMUSED LOOKING ON FROM ONE END
THINKING SURELY THERE MUST BE SOMEONE LEFT WHO CAN AT LEAST DEFEND
UP STEPPED OUR WICKY MATT AND TOGETHER WE BUILT A CENTURY STAND
LEADING TO A MOST UNLIKELY VICTORY WITH TWO WICKETS IN HAND
I COULDN’T REMEMBER OPENING DAY VICTORY,
IT WAS EVEN NEW TO ME BUT REMARKABLY
IT DIDN’T STOP THERE BECAUSE ONE BECAME THREE FOR ONE
MAN DURING THIS TIME IT WASN’T ALL THAT MUCH FUN
CAUSE FOR POOR OLD WALT WELL
HE COULDN’T BUY A RUN THERE IS A SAYING IN SPORT , THAT CLASS WILL ALWAYS TELL
AND SURE ENOUGH WITH PERSEVERANCE HE SOON ENDED THE SPELL
AFTER A FIRST DEFEAT AT BURLEY A TRIP TO BRANSGORE SAW US RIGHT
WITH A FINE PERFORMANCE BY OUR SKIPPER YOUNG DICKY WIGHT
ALSO STARRING THAT DAY WAS FIVE WICKET HERO KEVIN HAYWARD
A MAN WHOSE BOWLING IS STILL SUPERB, BUT SELF CONFIDENCE STILL WAYWARD
YOU WOULD THINK THAT TAKING FIVE WICKETS WOULD MAKE ANYONE GLAD
BUT I CAN’T REMEMBER WATCHING SOMEONE WALK OFF LOOKING SO SAD
IT WAS ALL DOWN TO A MISFIELD AS THE BALL BOBBLED IN THE GRASS
POOR OLD KEV ENDED UP IN A&E TO HAVE HIS HEAD REMOVED FROM HIS ASS
NEXT A PERFORMANCE OF NOTE FROM THE CHAIRMANS SON MATTHEW GURD
A FINE ALLROUNDER BUT DOES DISAPPEAR OFF TO AIRSHOWS IF YOU HADN’T HEARD
AGAINST LANGLEY MANOR HE TOOK WICKETS FOLLOWED BY A FIFTY RUN SPREE
WITH PROUD FATHER LOOKING ON, ITS ALL INHERITED FROM ME
THERE THEN FOLLOWED WHAT CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A MID SEASON SLUMP
WE LOST FIVE OR SIX ON THE TROT AND GAVE SKIPPER THE HUMP
AGAINST SWAY WE SUFFERED AT THE HANDS OF THEIR LITTLE SRI LANKAN CHAP
ATTAPATU WAS HIS NAME AND DIDN’T WE EVER BOWL HIM SOME CRAP
IN FACT AFTER THE UMPTEENTH FULL BUNGER IT BEGAN TO WEAR A BIT THIN
AND ALTHOUGH HE KEPT CLEARING THE BOUNDARY HE DIDN’T GET BY JASONS SHIN
THE SIZE OF THE LUMP THAT APPEARED WOULD’VE MADE MOST GROWN MEN CRY
AND ALTHOUGH JASON LET OUT A YELL OF ANGUISH HE STILL GAVE HIM THE EYE
MORE DEFEATS CAME ALONG AT HOME AGAINST CALMORE AND HYDE
WE NEEDED TO PRODUCE SOMETHING SPECIAL TO TRY AND STEM THE TIDE
ANOTHER LOSS AT HAMBLE, DESPITE WICKETS FROM OUR RISING YOUNG STAR
CARL ALWAYS PLAYS WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE AND HAS COOL MUSIC IN HIS CAR
THEN AT LAST A WIN AT TROJANS IN ANOTHER ABSOLUTE THRILLER
AFTER POSTING 248 TO HAVE LOST WOULD’VE BEEN A TERRIBLE KILLER
TO WIN BY ONE RUN IN NEAR DARKNESS WAS TOO CLOSE TO CALL
BUT MR GARRETT HELD HIS NERVE TO DELIVER THE PERFECT DOT BALL
ONE OF THEIR BATSMEN GOT A NICK AND WAS WELL CAUGHT BEHIND
BUT HE DECIDED NOT TO WALK AND WAS DULY GIVEN A PIECE OF MATTS MIND
IN FACT OUR WICKY SHOWED HIS USE OF SWEAR WORDS TO BE WELL AND TRULY MASTERED
THE FIRST BIT OF WHAT HE SAID I CAN’T REPEAT, BUT THE SECOND ENDED IN CHEATING BASTARD
OUR LAST GAME ENDED WITH OUR BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
WITH MESSRS WALTON AND GARRETT CRANKING THINGS UP ANOTHER GEAR
ESPCIALLY MR GARRETTS INNINGS WHICH CONTAINED BOUNDARIES GALORE
WE ALL WATCHED FROM THE PAVILLION WISHING HE WOULD PLAY A BIT MORE
ONE SIX HE HIT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST YOU COULD EVER WISH TO SEE
I THINK THE BALL WOULD STILL BE TRAVELLING NOW HAD IT NOT HIT A TREE
I’LL END BY THANKING RUSS AND JB FOR THEIR EFFORTS WITH THE WICKET
WITHOUT THEM THERE WOULD BE NO POEM, NO DINNER AND CERTAINLY NO CRICKET