Last night coming home from work at 5pm I was looking for any hint of a glow of sunlight on the horizon heralding the return of summer and there was nothing as the sun had probably gone down at 4.15 or something - but at least there's hope and maybe next Friday there maybe?
After 3 or 4 weeks of trying to sort out a venue with nets it seems that H&S was the final nail in the coffin on that front and this ridiculous requirement for insurance despite the fact that there's 4 - 6 of just wanting to have a knock about and the requirements from the school just worked against us, so I've more or less given up. The situation was further complicated by the fact that it seemed like the school was going to need the money up front and it's not guaranteed that every week we'll be able to get the four of us there each time to cover the cost of hiring the hall. I'll go back to the bloke again and see what the arrangements are on a more 1 off situation and see if that works out easier?
Instead we're using sports halls as described in an earlier post. If there's only 4 or less of us we'll be restricted to using a badminton bay which is too short but will be okay just to have a muck about in and practice batting. So last night I booked the bay and called round everyone and it seems Badger, Alex and Simon will join me today between 1pm and 3pm which'll be good.
We had a letter today from Basildon & Pitsea CC confirming that Ben and Joe have secured places at the pratice sessions at Fitzwymarc school right through till April which is good. It works out reasonbly priced which is good and it'll be interesting to see which of the new kids are committed enough to turn up seeing as it's so far away? But then to be honest it's not just the kids it's the parents committment too that is required as it's so far away! I'm wondering myself how things will pan out in the summer if they make the grade to play in Basildon & Pitseas under 11's - when will they play e.g. will it clash with my games at G&CCC and how might we manage that? We'll have to see as it happens.
I've uploaded a video clip of Joe onto youtube so I can monitor his development over the coming months and get feedback from other people as to what I should be getting him to do. I reckon looking at it he's not doing too bad, I think he just needs to work on his follow through and the stepping over aspect of the leading leg. I'll have to show him the Beau casson vids and do the same exercise with him. We did it Monday, but I reckon it'll be useful if he sees the Beau Casson/David Freedman clip.
Yep today's knockabout went okay, everyone I expected there turned up and we had a couple of hours primarily bowling, but everyone got a chance to bat as well. I got all padded up and I snuck in 20 minutes or so facing real balls and that went okay, but given the short run up that we have it's not really that reflective of a real situation, but in my case any batting practice is good practice. Alex said of the three of us that were bowling at him mine was the most problematic and they all seemed to have trouble playing against a mixture if Googlies, Leg Breaks and Flippers. The Leg Breaks were interesting as this is the ball I have major problems with and not having bowled it for some time it wasn't working that well from my perspective. It was very inconsistent and hardly turning - but Alex was having problems with it edging it and almost every time hitting it badly out to cover where if there'd been a bloke there it'd been caught, but he was saying that the weak leg break although it wasn't turning much it was producing a lot more bounce than the flipper and bowled with the flipper and the Wrong he was saying it was difficult, so that sounds good. But then on the other hand he would be the first to concede that he's not that good at batting.
With it being a 2 hour session it panned out that we all had about 20 minutes batting (Alex quite a bit more) and the rest of the time we were all bowling so it was a rotation of three of us continuosly - so we're all a bit knackered and achey - my buttocks especially! So it looks like I need to start to work on my fitness carefully otherwise I may end up over-doing it.
Later on me Joe and Ben had a knock about indoors in a corridor at James Hornsby school and Ben is bowling well and his batting looked slightly more confident. Whilst at James Hornsby (Where Ben and Joe have swimming lessons) one of the other Dads invited me to a game of 6 aside football at the Laindon centre where we practiced cricket today in a couple of weeks time. So it's the same day Ben and Joe play at Fitzwymarc for the first time, so that's going to be a sporty day all round as Ben's also doing his first belt in Karate that day.
Going back to yesterdays comment regarding the light at 5pm, today coming out of swimming I noted that there was light in the sky although there was about 95% cloud cover. So it looks as though by next week we'll be coming out of swimming in the light!
Regarding the next practice for the MPA boys it looks as though they want it in a couple of weeks so I may try and get somewhere slightly bigger as Mark Soye and Nick Naughty are quite likely to turn up. Interestingly Simon, Badger and Alex were all talking about practicing on grass, so it sounds like they're up for this for a few months maybe more. So I reckon we could end up on the artificial wicket at Glouscester Park or maybe '5 Tree field' at Glouscester Park which in fact is a nice bit of field that I really like and is really flat and we may get the Asian blokes turn up who still practice over that way sometimes?