A fine selection of Knockers toured in 2016.
Now found hanging in various Oxfordshire pavilions.
Knockers ventured to Oxford for this year’s tour with trips out of town for matches at Tiddington CC, Oxford Downs CC and Bledlow Village CC. Kuts blew the budget, Calver just about survived an experience on the dancefloor where he wouldn’t got away with intercrural love had it gone on much longer and Guido drove for three hours to get bowled first ball. We were pretty convincing losers at Tiddington, could have won against Oxford Downs and were dominant in a win for our final game against Bledlow Village.
The Duke and Calver formed an early party at the Fox and Goat, soon to be joined by Gerald, Ed and Lando in the beer garden. Just as Charles and Rich were demonstrating a new word Calver had picked up: ‘intercrural’, Lynden turned up wondering how many beers we had already got through that Greek love was already on the agenda.
We stumbled on to the tidy Tiddington ground and made use of their nets. As each Tiddington player arrived the fear that our long hops and spooned drives must have induced must have brought out their A game as the score possibly flattered us in our opening defeat.
Tiddington put on a BBQ and Knockers gathered their thoughts ahead of a night out in Oxford while taking in a game of Aunt Sally. The social set up at the club appeared healthy and although we didn’t quite mix following the game, we were made welcome. Despite a plethora of options, we began our evening in Wetherspoons. Kuts instantly attracted the attentions of a buxom cougar, TJ out prettied his girlfriend and Lynden handed out £113 in fines.
Duke and Lynden out-out.
The Duke and Freddie comedy act.
A long night took its toll.
Lando’s research took us to the Cellar. A grotty little underground club sparsely populated and instead of leaving immediately, we doubled the numbers, brought various rounds, danced badly (Ed worked on his groove too) and watched Calver’s gaydar fail badly. Challenged to a dance off, Richard stepped up to the plate. By round three his opponent drew out the imaginary lasso, dragged a willing Calver across the dancefloor and then whipped down his shorts to reveal a pair of pants with a Welsh dragon emblazoned across the front. Now aware of his situation, Calver began sweating about the next lizard the clearly excited young man might produce while his fellow Knockers fell apart laughing.
Sore heads gathered at the impressive Oxford Downs ground and the home team immediately knew what it was all about and made every effort, asides from beating us, to make us have an enjoyable visit. The cavernous pavilion was lined with caps and memorabilia to which the Knockers pennant was happily added. Guido, Sayem and Hector joined us for the match with Guido’s journey being especially worthwhile. The tea was extensive and delicious and despite the heat and hangovers (Freddie curled up in a ball in the changing facilities) we gave them a good game.
Night number 2 begins.
At the Duke's place.
Knockers slowly made their way back to Oxford. Some more slowly than others as Gerald negotiated a speed bump a little too fast for his car and snapped his gear-box mount. The lads eventually gathered in the Duke of Cambridge and a scene of such civility on a Knockers tour could not be believed; a few bottles of decent red wine were on the go and we weren’t the loudest in there. Guido regaled us with further tales of his 64 conquests and Kuts picked up the tab which after staying at the Randolph, having a morning massage and keeping a thirsty Porsche happy was well on the way to outspending the rest of us put together. Cabs took us on to Thirst where a monosyllabic doorman refused Lando entry:
I’m 40 years old, is the need for ID for age?’
‘Can I come in?’
‘Do you say anything other than no?’
Lando hobbled off leaving Duke, Calver, Freddie, Kuts and Guido to the delights of not getting anywhere with some young ladies despite buying them champagne. A fairly quiet second night might just have been the tonic Knockers needed to get a tour win in.
The following day we gathered once more at the compact Bledlow Village ground and met a team with an equally mixed bag of players. Charlie and Hector’s brother, Ed, strengthened our ranks. A serious track was being marked out and lips were licked until the groundsman laughed and said ‘no chance, that’s for Saturday.’ The wicket we got was fine and we used it to win including, unless you are extremely harsh, no dropped chances.
It rounded off a nice little tour despite TJ’s girlfriend calling it a ‘silly little game’ to a heartbroken Duke who had taken four wickets for five runs, a happy bunch of Knockers said farewell in the July sun.
Calver, Duke and Justin bask in the glory.