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Tour 2014

Annual piligimage to the Isle of Wight gets results back to where we expect them.

A sort of Tour Diary, written from the outside.

Quarter to nine, they said, quarter to nine. Baby Baller the impatient assumed that there would be huge amounts of traffic, which would make us late for breakfast, and we couldn't have that, what with him being on a diet for his wedding and all that. I had been entrusted with the serious job of putting the rubbish out, and I became flustered. I might have mixed up the recycling or anything.

So, a short drive later and the auxiliary group met with the main chaps at the Arches, where a good breakfast awaited, and t-shirts handed out. A good way to start tour. The four of us, Baller, Baby Baller, Nave and me, set off for the south coast by car, seemingly cutting it fine by only leaving 4 hours to cover the 40 odd miles to Southampton. Not much to report on the way down, except for not seeing a garden centre.

Of course, we reached Southampton far too early, and were sent round the corner. The American football came out, and various splinter groups trundled off for cups of tea, or a pint, or whatever. I always like the ferry ride. My tip for travellers is don't worry about getting your cup of tea straight away, there is plenty of time, and the queue dies down.

A bit of excitement at the far end, when a) Baller seemed to get lost on his way back to the car, leaving Baby Baller and me worrying about holding the world up, and b) the minibus setting off without Gez. I guess there is a universe somewhere where such things are taken seriously, but a couple of huffs ensued, then blew over.

On arrival at out good friends' hotel, the Cliff Hall, we found we were a bit early, so a trundle off down to The Steamer was in order, for a bit of refreshment. This was to be the place to return to for a bit of a tour meal later. I was impressed to see some chaps taking wholesome liver and bacon on board. Personally, I had the nachos for two! I, as ever, missed later events after strolling back to the hotel with Eddie. I will add more if I find out there is more to add.

I like breakfasts, although it is odd how we are allocated tables, but never mind, the breakfasts are great. I trundled into town to get the paper and sat with Gez looking at the crossword. A stroll later saw Jonty's fabulous t-shirt, before settling down to think about the game ahead.

The game itself was great fun. I bagged a duck, but the major event was Robby scoring a century. We don't remember a century before, but there was something about Eric in the dim and distant past. We must look it up. Anyway, we played a timed game, and we were about 100 runs ahead at the cut off, but still needed one wicket, courtesy of a defensive masterclass from N Wiltshire Esq. There were rumours of a wake at the Three Bishops, meaning we were not welcome after the game, but that come to nothing, and a good bite to eat was had there. On returning to the hotel, we seemed to cover every inch of the islands three by seven miles (thanks Matt), and I was not really up for more drink after being wobbled about.

Sunday morning was quiet time. Breakfast was again good, then a bit of personal time was allowed before meeting for the second game of the tour at Westover Park. I thought we were in with a shout, despite one of their batsmen scoring 50. We chipped away and bowled them out for 134 or so. As it turned out, it was enough. We were a bit disappointing with the bat and fell short. Then it was tea, and time for a couple of drinks before the last lap home. Thanks to everyone who had a hand in organising the event.

If anyone has pictures, I would be delighted to create a gallery as previously.