The 2009 Kerfuffle

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

The 2009 Fathers And Sons Cotswolds Kerfuffle was another triumphant tour for FAS, as we went through the week undefeated. It wasn't quite as glorious as last year's uninterrupted series of victories, but then we did manage to beat Remnants in our warm-up game this time around. Including that result, our final ledger was four wins and two draws, although we did have to concede defeat to the rain, with the final one-and-a-half fixtures washed out. It is presumably very gratifying for Baz in particular to see the club he created - and the players he nurtured - now reaching sufficient cricketing maturity that FAS has only lost once since 2006.

Needless to say there were plenty of fine individual performances, starting with Will Taunton-Burnet's 147 against Naunton (the second highest score in FAS history) that ended only when he took a full toss to the, er, upper thigh region and was promptly dismissed next ball. Even though it was Will's only innings on tour, he almost ended up with the highest aggregate (147 runs at, well, 147.00), but in the end was pipped by Jamie Houlder, whose 102* against The Bunnies before the rain came took his tally to the even more absurd 182 runs at, yawn, 182.00, and naturally he cantered to another batting award. With Harry Houlder (61 runs at, don't you know it, 61.00) and Cliff Dare (123 runs at 123.0- er, no, a mere 41.00) also scoring heavily, it's no surprise that teams were struggling to beat us.

But, as every schoolboy knows, it's bowlers wot win matches, and a look at the averages reveals that we struggled to dismiss opposition batsmen at times. Daniel Mortlock (3 wickets at 8.33) and Rowland Graham (3 wickets at 10.33) certainly got their wickets cheaply enough, but maybe more revealing is that only Harry Houlder (5 wickets at 25.20), Sasha Barras (6 wickets at 12.83) and, surprise surprise, Joe White (12 wickets at 13.00) even got half a team out all tour. That meant Joe rightly reclaimed the bowling award that's been his since pre-Wisden days, but the fact that Harry did enough to be mentioned in both the batting and bowling paragraphs naturally meant that he got the prize for best all-rounder.

Most of other tour awards were similarly predictable: Chris Barras wrapped his gloves around the 'keeping prize again; Cliff Dare demanded that he be given the captaincy award; Alex Stone cashed in years of solid investments to get his umpteenth "character of the tour" award; and Freddie Burnet utilised the fact that he was born more recently than any other tourist to be named "most improved young player" (although he at least had to win a three-horse race against Sasha Barras and perennial dark horse Geoff Hales). The one real surprise result was in that most open of competitions, that for "best fielder". Nobody picked year's winner, Tom Hiew, mainly because only a few of us had even met him before mid-July; but he impressed on his first tour and scored the only direct hit run out, which was probably what sealed the deal. As a result Australia was at least able to claim one cricketing victory for the 2009 summer.

FAS also had another victory in the "tour dinner entertainment" stakes, with last year's troubador Pete Watkins returning to lead a rousing sing-along that was every bit as enjoyable a second time around. The only thing that could possibly top it next year would be a surprise appearance by Tim Minchin introducing his interwebz-hit "Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger" by dedicating it to you know who . . .