RETURN OF THE FRIDGE
Fridgey made his first appearance of the season on Sunday dispelling all those rumours that he would not play this season. He of course will miss approximately 97% of the games due to weddings/concerts/training days/Bar Mitzvahs etc etc, but it was nice to see the oaf after a bit of a lay off. He dazzled with his spin, and then hit a fair few shots with the willow, not bad for a first net.
NETS IN EARNEST
Just a reminder that cricket nets have started and the numbers so far have been encouraging. Nets are every Sunday from 12pm-2pm if anyone wants to come along.
WEBMASTER AWAKENS FROM COMA....
Yes, it's all true, after months of hibernation the website will begin to be updated again and once again Hirwaun Cricket will rise to the top with its outstanding web-work. These are just some of the snippets from last seasons web magazines, of the work done by HirwaunCricket.4t.com -
Tinternet Magazine Yearly - 'Outstanding'
Cables, Wirelss Stuff, and PC's - 'Truly remarkable'
Bill Gates' representative 'Who the **** is hirwauncricket.4t.com'
With such high appraisal the website will strive to be even better in 2006, with such things like updating the site now and again, and putting the team sheet up on time. It's a big challenge, but the mighty Hirwaun think they can handle it. When put to the committee that that the web page will be even stronger in the New Year, here's what some of the responses were -
Mike Roberts (whilst picking his nose) 'Whatever'
Gareth Tay (farmer boy) 'We've got a web what? Does that come with hay?'
Jason Castaldi (resident fat boy slim) 'My head's going, get me a pint now!'
With such enthusiasm there is no way that the website will fail, and Hirwaun Cricket wishes everybody a Happy New Year, except for the people we don't like. Merry Christmas!
OLYMPICS COMING TO HIRWAUN
It's coming. The Olympic Games are coming to London, but Hirwaun has been chosen to host a number of events because of the 'speciality factor' said IOC secretary Jap Van der Van der Vand. 'When we choose events' he further added, 'it's important to take into consideration the relative strengths and weaknesses of the competing countries, and as more and more new events are entering the games it's only reasonable that the places that specialise in such competitions gets to host the game'. All well and good, but what exactly has Hirwaun got to offer the games. Here's a summary of what we are hosting -
1) The One Hundred Metres Dash from the Phone Box - This one is a true speciality. After making a prank phone call to the emergency services, and smashing the 'unbreakable glass' of the phone box, competitors are then in a race to get away from the local bobby, who may or may not, have a portion of chips and carton of gravy in his hand. If you succeed in escape, you automatically qualify for the next round. The next heats are then held in Merthyr, where the Police Constables are slightly quicker. Then onto Manchester where the PC's are armed with nightsticks and gas.
Olympic Quality Factor - 5 Chance of a medal - 8
2) Teenage dropping contest - Again, a main event for the locality. This particular event has been sponsored by Bacardi Breezer, helping a generation of teenage girls become mummies. The event is simple, but requires that medals be given out after a three year period. Teenagers from all over the world will come to party for a week, whilst drinking Bacardi Breezers, and the country with the most children at the end of it all will be crowned Olympic Pregnancy Champions. Kenya are probably favourites for this event, but a medal shout should not go unnoticed.
Olympic Quality Factor - 6 Chance of a medal - 9
3) The Currency Event - Competitors from around the globe will come together in a bid to secure as many pints as they can over a three day period. As prices for pints soar in every pub, making Hirwaun THE most expensive place to drink on the planet, it's important for the athletes to keep their eye on exchange rate factors and any world events as they are asked to get as many pints in as they can from 100 pounds each. This may be tricky...so shop around from the Glan to the Lamb, and from the Hungry Bear to the Cardiff Arms.
Olympic Quality Factor - 7 Chance of a medal - 5
4) My Dad's Goin to Cave Your Dad's 'Ed in - This event will focus on Father's having bragging rights on who's the toughest. A Russian amateur may hit a Chinese amateur in the face, starting a fight bringing their respective fathers to the event. Then it's a free for all as the two dad's slug it out to seize the day. In time honoured tradition, whoever dies, loses. Such father fights can be brought about by the son/daughter suggesting for example that their car is better, or that their family is richer. The event will run for three days, with points being awarded for victory, and style in which victory was attained.
Olympic Quality Factor - 6 Chance of a medal - 7
So there you have it, and with the Games still a long way away, Hirwaun look forward to hosting a number of other events to add to add to their enviable roster.
The Aberdare tournament went very well, with all teams enjoying the day. The weather wasn't scorching but it remained dry throughout which is always a help. We eventually lost to the hosts (The Salmon Heads), in a keenly fought contest. A lot of beer was drunk, and a good time was had by all. We thank Aberdare for the hospitality, and it was nice to see that the frictions of late have been sorted out and hopefully forgotten about.
EXPERIENCED PLAYERS AND YOUNGSTERS WELCOME AT HIRWAUN CRICKET CLUB
Just a quick reminder that any new players are welcome at Hirwaun Cricket Club. Whether you are an experienced player or a youth player, new recruits are always welcome. Also if ANY of our players want to watch cricket at ANY venue in Wales, Scotland, England or Ireland they are free to do so. And that includes the Ynys. Until a law comes in stopping people watching games of cricket at local venues then any one of our club players can watch any game they want to and at any time. The website may be wrong, but the last time we checked people were free to do what they wanted within the law.
BONDY SPOTTED AT 'THE WELF'
Ex-club DJ, 'Punk up yer-ass up Bitch Bond' aka 'The Rapmaster Smoothy' was seen frequenting the Welfare last week displaying the attributes that will make him a rugby league legend. Following in the footsteps of Jonathan Davies, Bondy said he was 'well up' for his rugby league tour and promises to wreak havoc. Sporting a new floppy haired look, Andrew said he was missing the rock and roll cricket lifestyle as he sent the boys some good mobile phone material for good measure. And young Mathew Flynn seems to have gotten over all his injuries that particularly plagued him through the 2005 play-offs campaign, with the local doctor eventually putting the injuries down to 'Footballitis'.
Hirwaun CC's website has achieved 5,000 hits. Thanks to everyone with a refresh button, the number has rocketed and we have overtaken such favourite web sites as Vonshmeitebleicharse.com, BigNibbles.com, and Frenchfurr.com.
TREMENDOUS PERFORMANCES FROM BOTH SIDES
Hirwaun recorded a brilliant double over Cimla. With the Firsts winning by six wickets, the Seconds followed suit chasing 200 plus off a Cimla declaration. Stephen Manning hit a hundred and was backed up by Colin Tay. Both teams need to continue with this form and keep competition for places open.
With the First Eleven fixture called off, it was up to the seconds boys to give us something to shout about. We batted first and amassed 107, with a special mention for Greg Manning, who fell just four runs short of a well deserved half century. Carmarthen chased it down with four wickets down to claim victory. Both the firsts and seconds need to pick their game up a bit to start competing in this division though.
LAST OVER DEFEAT
BS Port Talbot beat us by five wickets on the weekend. They comfortably got the six of the last over to win the game, in what turned out to be a frustrating affair. We'll probably be having a lot of these close games this season and it's imperative that we find the winning touch against those sides around us at the moment. Carmarthen next week, and a new look team.
PRIDE SLIGHTLY RESTORED IN MARGAM DEFEAT (PLUS A NOTE FOR THE FUTURE)
After the Baglan debacle, Hirwaun returned to something like some form against Margam even though a scratch team was put together for the cup encounter. Margam managed 158 off their allotted 45 overs, and it proved a few runs to much as Hirwaun lost by around 10 runs. Positives from the game - Castaldi taking four wickets and John Coles bowling very well. Negatives - some appalling fielding from one or two players who really didn't show any enthusiasm whatsoever. The cup games are sometimes a bit of a chore, but can I just take the opportunity to remind everybody that in a few weeks time we'll have a squad of 14 players to choose from and I will have no qualms with dropping anyone who shows little commitment over the next few weeks. It's as simple as that.
CONGRATS TO MORGAN AND CASTALDI
Special mentions to Reuben and Jason who have already made it to the honours board this season. Both taking 5 wickets in a match already, let's hope we can keep it up for the rest of the season.
FIRST GAME VICTORY AGAINST MAESTEG
The Firsts claimed 24 points from their opening encounter against Maesteg. Knocks from Tay and Thommo and a superb bowling display, especially from Reuben's ensured that Hirwaun climbed to second with a number of other games abandoned. The seconds game was called off, so they received the compulsory four points.
Cricket nets starting 27th February, 12pm - 2pm at the Rhigos Sports Hall. New players will be given a warm welcome. All players are urged to attend at least 6 net sessions before the start of the season.
PLEASE CHECK MESSAGEBOARD EVENTS SECTION
League Dinner News
TOUGH CALL ON POLL
The question was in relation to Wattsy and Ms. Havard and whether there's a future there. 17% said it would take two weeks for them to get together, 8% said it would take a month. A quarter of the poll said it would take two months, and 17% said it would take 3-5 months. However, and interestingly, 33% said that they would just be friends and that nothing would happen. We'll see how it pans out in the forthcoming months.
'WHEN YOU'RE AVERAGE, YOU'RE JUST AS CLOSE TO THE BOTTOM AS YOU ARE THE TOP.'
- ALFRED NORTH WHITEHEAD
And so it seems as our latest poll has drawn to a close. We asked 'With the team going up, the club are in a dilemma as to whether to strengthen the squad, or give the existing players first crack of Division Three?'.
6% reckoned Hirwaun would go up next season with the lads we have already. Jason, I told you not to vote after you've had a few whisky's, your hand slipped again did it? 19% thought we'd finish just outside the promotion places. Nobody thought we'd go down faster than Monica Lewinski, but 31% did reckon that we would have a tough fight to stay up next year, and that 2 or 3 players is what's needed. The popular vote was a mid table finish, if we had one or two new signings. 44% thought this is where we would end up.
The general concensus then, is a mid-table to bottom half finish. Stay tuned for the club's latest poll, as a little bit of gossip and sleaze will reveal itself. Barwick, I hope you haven't got internet access!
A new messageboard section has been implemented. Opinions and guests has been taken off so all issues or topics go to the new section. The new messageboard currently has General Discussion, Champion Tipster, and Events as sections. Anybody wishing to start an article or debate, or if anybody just wishes to air opinions please post it on the messageboard. The Champion Tipster section is a section which will prove who is the best tipster out of the elite betting panel. And Events will be updated as and when I hear important announcements. Please note that the messageboard can now be edited, so please restrict any bad language. Also any thread which is deemed too over the top will be edited.
You can all breath a sigh of relief, the Rams boys are back from tour without any injuries so we're okay for next season. Fridge went to Christian's last knees up thingy and had a good time. Steve Roberts' side Sonning won the league in Berkshire. Chris Watts is at last in the same house as the one and only Ms. Corinne Havard. Contrary to belief he does not have anything wrong with him! More to come on that one so to speak. Steve 'Tosswick, Barwick, Spinwick' Havard has left us for Stevenage to pursue a career in pumping animals full of drugs. A life is a life Steve, and a mouse is a mice! Dai Kemis and Neil played their party tricks on tour to great laughter from the Taunton locals, ooh aaargghh. And finally, Hirwaun have signed their first player for next season in a dramatic scoop. More to come.
A FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT, WELL DONE LADS
Match report will follow. Needless to say, the achievement this year has been fantastic. We were disappointed last year at missing out on Division Three, as we somewhat folded toward the end of the season. Lack of ambition, self belief and poor displays ensured we'd still be in four for the next season after starting the season so well. We targetted areas of improvement for this season, which included as a top priority, people putting in single match winning performances and contributions. We identified that to go up, it's not a case of having two or three star players, but that others would have to put in top performances under pressure and contribute throughout the team week in, week out. ONE OR TWO PLAYERS WILL NOT GET PROMOTION. PROMOTION WILL NOT BE REALISED IF YOU RELY ON A FEW CORE PLAYERS.
Every side has these such players, but the better sides contribute all the way down in whatever form. After our sticky patch toward the start, the team has adhered to these such principles and EVERYONE can take credit in giving something this year. EVERYONE at one point or another has contributed something valuable through the season, and we have gone up through posting decent scores almost every week. Hard work, coming through under pressure and identifying times in a game or a season when something important and crucial has to be done to get a positive result are the elements in our success this season. EVERYONE can refer to a game at a pivotal stage, when they contributed when the team needed them most.
Never in the history of the club, has the team achieved Division Three status. The standard generally is poorer, but you can only beat what's in front of you and the team can hold it's head high that this bunch of boys has taken us to Three. Not even the superstars of the mid 90's could match it. Many said we'd never reach the Third, because of such and such. Many predicted we'd be years off the pace. Well we're ahead of schedule. The club can/will only improve if the ambition is still burning, and we need to take stock of our achievements and build from this point. This is where we wanted to be fella's, enjoy the moment and look forward to 2005! - YSBRYD CYD WEITHIO!!
2,500 PEOPLE HAVE DRIFTED TO THE SITE
That's right, thank God for the continentals who keep mis-spelling their web addresses and get directed to here instead. Duck race day is looming, I hope the effort has been made fella's!
The Poll was this - 'Just seen Natasha Bedingfield's video for 'These words..', and it was love at first sight!! But what do you think of her?'. And I can tell you I am not very impressed with the boy's tastes at the club. 'Natasha is gorgeous' raised 20% of the votes, and another 20% reckoned that she was in their top five of pop babes. 13.% said that she was okay, and an astounding 33% said that 'she was a BOBFOC - Body off Baywatch, Face off Crimewatch'. Unbelievable! and 13% said that she was 'a right munter'.
You boys should be ashamed of yourselves for dissing 'Our Nat'...but it's a democracy I suppose so the verdict is that she is just below passable. Honestly, there's no accounting for tastes.
SECONDS NEWS AND CORRECTION!!
Seconds boys played well I've heard, but don't know the actual scores so just waiting for the SWCA results to be updated. Mathematically Aberdare are not yet down, they are 19 points behind Porthcawl.
DUCK RACE COSTUMES SELECTED
All the costumes have been selected for next Monday's Duck Race event. Get your forms filled in and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to look for your outfit. Fridge has the paper with names and costumes on, if anyone's in doubt as to their outfit contact him as soon as possible.
Doesn't get much better ladies! Aberdare are down, and our shambles are two points off Margam, it's the BIG ONE next week. Until Friday, just chill out and reflect on a glorious performance, this is the one we've been eyeing all season. Boo-hoo to Aberdare and all that, especially as some of their lads thought they'd walk it this year...it's a learning curve for their youngsters. Arrogance is easy fella's, but the table doesn't lie!
Duck Race Day is around the corner, so we need to start preparing for it, starting with what we are going to wear this year. Last year was of course super-heroes, so what next people? The obvious chat like 'does my bum look big in this' will be heard at every fancy dress shop, as once again we treat ourselves to be as camp as Dale Winton. Ideas gentlemen!
CENTIPEDES TOO STRONG IN LOW SCORING THRILLER
The promotion push was back on track yesterday, with a thrilling win for the firsts. Hirwaun limped to 140/3 on a green pudding, only for us to hit back with early wickets and stall their progress throughout. They were bowled out for around 110ish sealing a vital win. Match report will follow, but a big pat on the back for the boys who bounced back after the South defeat.
SOUTH DENT PROMOTION PUSH, BUT STILL ALL TO PLAY FOR
It was more of the same on the weekend, as South Llanelli eased to a three wicket win. Scoring 188, it again wasn't enough to encourage 10 wickets from our bowlers as we seemingly need to score 220+ to have a chance of winning. Mike scored 99 before being run out, and Phil Wiliams scored 70 for them controlling the innings in front of an awestruck fielding side. Some of the time it was more like a friendly, and although we took all our catches, it is slightly worrying that we still can't put together 10 good bits of cricket week in week out, to skittle sides. Carmarthen, Aberdare and Landore are next.
Better news from the seconds, as we won by a massive margin against a seven-man attack. Darren Harries bowled well, and three or four chipped in with the bat including a new personal best for Greg Manning (45).
REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY IN MOTION AS LADS SAY 'NO' TO 1,000
Mike Roberts received a boost ahead of the remaining games, when the lads issued some reverse psychology to ensure he gets the 1,000 runs this season. 12% said 'of course he'd reach the landmark', whilst 19% said he'd 'just about make it'. But 44% said Robbo would fall 'just short of the mark' and 6% reckoned he'd reach about 870 runs.
Some cheeky chappies even said that Mike should take up weddings becaue of the confetti and chances connection, 19% in fact. Whilst analysts were left to look at the data, they concluded that the boys were just keeping expectations down so that he doesn't go back and play for Glamorgan...like when he was 16.
WINNING DRAW KEEPS UP PROMOTION PUSH
Hirwaun maintained their good form, but couldn't get maximum points against Llandysul. Hirwaun scored 235 whilst Llandysul were happy achieving only 132-7 in response. The next few weeks will decide whether Hirwaun can gain promotion or have to settle for a lesser place.
FIRSTS REMAIN FOURTH, BUT GAP IS SHORTENED
Victory on Saturday meant that the gap is tighter at the top, but Landore and Carmarthen continue to set the pace. With the toss won, we elected to field first with Margam getting bowled out for 159. We managed to knock that off with three wickets left. Our seconds were turned over though as their lads once again looked every bit the title favourites.
ROCKET ROBERTS READY TO WRECK RECORDS
Try saying that after a few pints! Steve Roberts is ready to shatter some records going into the final third of the season. At least that's what the umpires and officials think who confuse the brothers. But it is of course Mike Roberts who has his eyes set on some landmarks. Mike currently has 748 season runs to his name, 571 being league runs. Whilst it remains extremely difficult to get 1,000 'league' runs in a season (completed only once by a Welshman in 21 years, Alun Evans 2002), Roberts has already past the previous highest runs in a season for Hirwaun, 684 set by himself in 2002, and is heading towards 1,000 runs for the season landmark. But will he reach this feat? The poll on the home page will be the judge!
WINNING DRAW, AS CHANCES GO DOWN AGAIN
If ever the adage that 'catches win matches' was true, it has been reflected in the last few weeks. Drefach held on with eight men down, nowhere near the target of 215 set by Hirwaun. But it was a case of deja-vu, as chances were spilled and not enough balls in the right areas. 19 points were claimed though, with a match report to follow.
MAIDEN CENTURY FOR TEA-TOTAL TAY
Gareth 'The Toy' Tay, aka 'Leadboots', hit an excellent century to secure a winning draw for Hirwaun at the Welfare. With a few early wickets going around him, Tay stuck to his guns before amassing a career best 100. The moment must have been too much for him as he was out a few balls later, dead on the century mark. For those that remember, Tay came agonisingly close to the mark against Llandysul two years ago, where he was dismissed for 99. Ouch! But he made no mistake this time, driving one through the covers to reach the milestone. Top knock! Have a tonic water with a slice of lemon on me.
TEAM v DREFACH
N Thomas (c)
GOOD WIN FOR FIRSTS, WITH THE SECONDS BATTLING WELL
Hirwaun came out on top in the first team fixture winning comfortably enough despite a last ditch effort by the Porthcawl batsmen. The seconds lost, but there were some encouraging scores and some good improvements. First team report will follow
The reports are a bit behind, but the last three games or so will be put up on the site within the next few days. Definately.
AND IN FIRST PLACE...
The latest poll has finally closed. 5% of our dear surfers thought that Fridgey was a bit injury prone and the same percentage thought that he just had bad luck. And although 9% thought that he was made of steel (Richard and family members), there was resounding affirmation that he is a little prone to the odd niggle. 36% thought that he made Darren Anderton look like a permenant fixture, whilst the winner was - 'If he was a Marvel Action Hero he would be Glassman', with a whopping 45%.
A source close to Mr.Williams urged people 'to keep buying the fitness packs', that have gone on sale recently. 'The Fridge Factor' packs had been endorsed by Chuck Norris and Steve Roberts, but studies show that there are serious injury side-affects. Mr.Williams was unavailable for questioning.
LANDORE RAINED OFF, AND YNYSTAWE LOSS
The trip to Landore was to no avail as the weather ensured a day of frustration. To compound that, Wales were awful against the South Africans, and so it was the inevitable drowning of sorrows that followed in the traditional pub crawl way.
The trip to Ynystawe promised to be an exciting day out as a yardtsick as to what top flight cricket is all about. It was a little disappointing from the off, as we could only muster 10 players for this cup clash, something that will have to be looked it in the future. A full report may follow, but needless to say we batted quite well against some good fast and spin bowling, but let ourselves down a bit in the field. With our full strength side, and a better fielding display a better game could have been made of it. But in the end they ran out easy victors, chasing our 111 off 42 overs, in only (cough) overs.
REQUEST FOR PROFILES
Stevie 'Tosswick' Havard, has requested to be included in the profiles, and so it is necessary to put some others in there who I didn't know would be playing regularly at the start of the season. So there's a few more new ones in there as a result.
TO WEAR, OR NOT TO WEAR - THAT IS THE QUESTION
This Sunday Hirwaun will be playing Ynystawe. After the shock defeat of Llangennech in the last round, many players and spectators are wondering if the lads have bitten off more than they can chew in this latest fixture. Many years ago, players of all ilk wandered to the wicket not wearing much equipment at all, until the 'Health and Safety' governors got in on the act. So will the boys follow suit on Sunday, and give in to the Helmet. The 'Helmet' Explained -
May save your head from being knocked off by their brilliant overseas player who regularly extracts vicious bounce from the surface
You'll be taken seriously by the opposition. 'Ooh, look. He's got a helmet. He must be good' they'll say. Or something like that.
Some of the Rams boys may need a helmet to play their full strokes, after some of them shit- out to the raw pace of some farmer boy sending them down off three paces.
Let's face it, you'll look like a gimp to your team-mates. You may escape injury by wearing a helmet but the bloke who is lying in hospital with a ball up his nose will always look braver than YOU!
Unless you want to look like the offspring of Steve Manning, you may want to steer clear of the helmet. You'll look like a smurf...but with a blue hat instead.
Helmets are for Yamaha riders and stunt men! These are the only two people that can get away with it, and the only two people that can look cool in the process.
---- There's the synopsis...judge for yourself gentlemen whether the Helmet will reign supreme this Sunday!
HIRWAUN SNUB ASCOT FOR DERBY SUCCESS
A win at last for Hirwaun at the Welfare ensured that Division Four cricket is again an attainable goal. Batting first Hirwaun amassed 244-6. Match reports may follow to confirm the details. In reply, Aberdare were bowled out for 173 with Jordan Coles making a well made 56.
The seconds had to settle for a losing draw. Aberdare batted first and scored 279 and Hirwaun hit back with 213/6 in a high scoring affair. Tahir scored an impressive 155 for Aberdare.
Hirwaun have been drawn to play away against First Division side Ynystawe in the Third Round of the Andrew James Knox KO Cup
SOUTH HIT BACK IN STYLE AT THE WELFARE
After getting thier first five batsmen out for just 70 odd, South Llanelli blitzed back in superb fashion to defeat as at home. The story was similar as South compiled a very good total on a track which deteriorated as the game progressed. Match Report up soon for full details.
The seconds also lost even after posting a 200 plus effort. Gareth Howells was again in the runs in a very good batting effort, but the boys just couldn't contain South's scoring in reply.
SCRIPT TORN, AS THE 'WAUN MAKE UP FOR SATURDAY
After settling for a losing draw against Llandysul's 249-7 total on the Saturday, it was down to the lads to make an immediate statement in the cup game at Llangennech. And with the sun out and a perfect batting strip Hirwaun had no doubt to bat first. Full reports will follow, but needless to say we played out best cricket of the season to stun the Division 3 leaders who were unbeaten. Scoring 243-4, we bowled them out in reply for just 86. A tremendous all round effort, especially to the bowlers who bowled beautifully on what was a batsmens paradise. And to our doubters (especially arrogant over-rated youngsters), Fridgey wasn't even playing. No doubt you'll unveil a certain player when our sides meet next though aye!
POLL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HOMEPAGE
There's a poll at the bottom of the homepage. For years now we've given the man of glass the benefit of the doubt...but we now need to officially find out if Fridgey is the biggest wimp you've ever seen. From thigh problems, to ankle problems, groin disasters to arm pain, is there any injury this man has avoided over the years. Costing the taxpayer millions of pounds, this NHS bed blocker must be put in his place. So read the poll, and make your own mind up.
FIRST LOSS OF THE SEASON
Margam inflicted the first loss of the season at the Welfare, as we were bundled out for 117 after being asked to bat on another dull wicket. Missing our three strike bowlers and middle order batsmen - Fridgey, Flynney and Hawksey - there was nothing really offered when we bowled. Although a few decisions went against us we need to dig a bit deeper in the coming weeks and value our wickets more. The seconds lost away, with one of theirs getting 179, so it was back to earth with a bump! The only consolation was that almost every result went for us, with some strange wins for the underdogs. This suggests that there are a lot of goodish teams this year with no-one really standing out like last years promotion teams, so it's vital we get back to winning ways quickly.
APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE TO 2NDS
With the new results service for seconds cricket, it seems that the tables and scores are taking longer to process this year. Therefore the seconds table may not be updated until later on the week. We try and get everything up to date as soon as possible, but at the moment we are at the whim of the SWCA and can only show your tables when it's on their web site.
Every week the first team report is posted on the website, either on the Sunday or the Monday. If anybody from the seconds wants to start writing their reports on the games then they can do so if they wish. Reports to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wins for both the firsts and seconds ensured that Hirwaun completed a double on the weekend. The firsts started the ball rolling with a one wicket win over Drefach which should never have gotten that close. Loose shots, and poor fielding meant we made it difficult for ourselves. But we managed to dig ourselves out of the hole for the win and head the table for the first time. And to cap it off the seconds won in convincing fashion. Drefach scored 125-6 off their 50 overs, and the lads knocked it off with five wickets down off only 37 overs. This result should give a huge boost for the rest of the season.
EARLY SEASON PROGRESS
A winning draw and a win has ensured that we have got off to a good start so far this season. Even taking into consideration two lost tosses, the team seems to be finding a good rhythm going into week three. Landore are the pace setters, who came down from division three.
SECONDS CAUGHT OUT WHILST PLAYING AWAY!
Not so good for our seconds this week unfortunately, who lost their away game to Porthcawl. With team selection issues coming to the fore with the first team, it is essential that the youngsters make an impression this year and put themselves in contention for first team cricket in the future. In the past we have seen good single performances, but this year we are hoping for a combined team effort in all aspects of the game to enable a good league standing. It is vital that both sides progress and to do that competition for places must be top of our list.
STEADY START TO NEW SEASON
The season started with a winning draw, against Hills Plymouth. Not a bad result as Fridgey was away on rugby business (lost again by the way!), and it was the first time many had bowled since last season.
And yes, the website has had 1,000 hits. Roughly 0.13% of those hits have actually been from the club though, as instead we have probably been visited by Belgians, Dutch and Germans all totally lost on the Internet and somehow have been directed to our site. As I understand it, HirwaunCricket roughly translates to 'Latex Lady' in the Euro zone, which is why the site is seemingly doing so well!
Just a further notice for those interested that nets will start on Sunday 14th March at Rhigos Sports Hall, from 12pm to 2pm. Club News will become dormant from today also. Opinions and Guests will remain active for those wishing to air any opinions!
I have been told by some senior players that Season Tickets are now on sale at the club. After the scheme fell flat last season, some believe that our new initiative will boost attendence. There are three passes available. The first is the 'Regular Ticket' which entitles the holder access to the railings where he/she can view the days cricket. The second is the Premier Pass, which entitles the holder access to the railings and any area surrounding the pitch. The holder will also be entitled to one piece of cake during tea time. And the Gold Pass entitles the holder to full access of the surroundings plus the usage of the Stadium View, which has been described by Backdrops Monthly as 'a splendid mix of beauty and ease on the eye, combined with an intoxicating freshness and air of tranquility'. On top of this, the holder has voting rights on whether or not they should be allowed to vote. And of course they can help themselves to a mug of squash, and any other two items of food. It's a superb offer, that should be taken advantage of now. Anyone interested, must state their preference in the 'opinions and guests' link. Terms and conditions apply, and prices may vary.
The website has been given an official warning under 'guests and opinions' from the No. 1 Player in the Club. Indeed, the star has even gone so far as to suggest that if anymore abuse is levelled at him, he will leave in a fit of rage and sign for our nearest and dearest, Aberdare. However, many are intrigued as to who this person is? There are numerous rankings lists to go by, which compounds the problem.
On the Jocky Wilson Index, Jason Castaldi is the clubs number one, whilst on the William Hill/Jack Brown Performance Chart Mike Roberts is leading. Nicky Thomas has a claim for being the clubs number one on the Peters Pies Opta-Stats Table, whilst Richard Williams is way out in front on the Claims Direct Rankings. And of course Bondy is at the top of the Flex -ur-Pex Monthly o'Meter, whilst Hawskey and Andrew are joint top of The Butchers Tourny Rankings.
And Paul Parkman is the Mature Tymes number one all-rounder (which includes knitting and vegetable design as well as cricket). How do we know who you are mystery number one, with so many indicators? Would the real number one, please stand up, please stand up, please stand up?
DICK'S UP FOR PRACTICE
Richard 'The Human Refrigerator' Williams, has officially, yes you heard it, officially given the go ahead for nets. Nets will start on the 7th of March, at Rhigos Sports Centre, from 12pm-2pm. Anyone interested go along. You can get the hook shot out for a few weeks and get used to hard, fast and bouncy tracks, only to look silly when you get bowled middle stump to a ball which hits an eighth of the way up on the traditional green, slow and low pitches when the season actually starts.
'THE INSIDER' STRIKES AGAIN
'The Insider' has once again aired his controversial views under the guests and opinions page. However, he is factually incorrect jeer, jeer. Nicky Thomas is the one true Lord of the Cricket Bat, although Shopland did state he was tempted by 'my precious'. In the end it is Thomas who has the power to lead the fellowship to the Pitch of Doom at the Welfare. Thomas is the steady choice, because as it was pointed out, a captain needs to be present for every game this season.
THOMMO IN 'V-SIGN' GESTURE (victory that is)
It was confirmed last night (at about 10pm in The Bute), that Nicky Thomas is to be this years First's Captain. Spoken by the man himself, buoyed possibly by Wales' 6 Nations display, or perhaps more likely 12 pints of Stella, Thommo gave a little dance of jubilation and said that he is the man for the job. Speaking over 'Come on Eileen', he declared an intent to lead the side into battle with renewed ambition and aggression. Thommo has led the side in the past to the Bupabowl, the Morgan-Taylor/Stanley-Winston Cup, the Alan the Glan Shield, and the Chaminda Vaas!
I'M A NON-ENTITY, GET ME OUT OF HERE
It seems some of the Cricket boys are putting themselves up for the Hirwaun version of 'I'm a Celebrity', which starts in the summer. A few people have been interested in appearing on the show which is shown live through TVHirwaun, including Fridgey who once went just under two hours without food, Greg Griffiths because of his gift of sneaking up behind the wild jungle animals, American IT girl Mollie Marie because a female presence is required and Andrew Bond because the show wanted a Peter Andre wannabe. Other contenders will be announced in due time, but for now the bookmakers are firmly behind Mollie (hmm), with their only doubts in her Amercian ways putting off the others.
Things like 'oh my god' and 'forget you', could get on the Wauners nerves, but the bookies are sticking to their guns because she has good oral skills. Such challenges include, playing bowls with Jeff Carter for 3 hours, trying to keep your wicket in tact on the Welfare track, turning up on the exact time so as you don't get fined for being late/early, and fielding at silly point when Nicky's bowling. I think you'll agree that these challenges are the toughest yet.
The league has found a new sponsor in Andrew James Knox from Insurance and Risk Management Consultants. Also a new sponsorship deal has been struck with Readers to supply the cricket balls. Lets hope our strike bowlers can do something with this cricket ball. Last seasons cricket ball had the ability to bamboozle us when batting, only to see it do nothing when we bowled. Must be in the grip lads.
INFO ON NETS
I have been led to believe that nets will start on the first Sunday in March at Rhigos Sports Centre. As of yet times etc are unclear, but towards the end of February full information will be posted for those wishing to go.
WE ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE
After speaking briefly to Leighton the Welfare groundsmen a few days ago, it seems likely that the cricket season could be cancelled. Yes it's a very sad state of affairs as the entire pitch was submerged with water last week as the heavens opened for hours on end. The start of the season may see very low scores if ever the season gets underway. Some of the team have already starting thinking of different hobbies in place of cricket this summer; Bondy has a part in a low budget gangster film as a struggling basketball player in the Bronx who makes it big after a lottery win, Gareth Howells is preparing for the next installment of Star Wars as C3PO's friend RUNOUT2, Jason Castaldi is currently thinking over a role as host of a new Darts game based in Glyn-Neath but has to put on a few pounds before being accepted and Fridgey has started taking up saxaphone lessons after he sealed his own slot in this years Brecon Jazz. What a multi-talented side.
QUIZZED ON NETS
Some people have asked when nets are starting up, but there has been no date or notice to indicate the starting date. I'll post any nets information as soon as I get it for those who want to go.
JUST A NOTICE
The website seems to be doing okay with some new visitors on board. Just a note that shortly there will be a change of webmaster if anyone wants the site to continue, due to circumstances. If anyone takes it up I'll e-mail them the admin stuff, if not the site will remain dormant.
GARETH HOWELLS BIDDING FOR THE FIRSTS
Gareth Howells has taken his fitness regime up a notch these past few weeks in a bid for inclusion in the first team. Howells knows he needs to improve his waddling between the wickets this year and so spent some time on the treadmill. Scanning through hill, manual, fitness test and others, Howells eventually settled on the robot setting. Apparently his circuitry has been improved this year more in line with Star Wars' C3PO, so he should be a little quicker on those singles. Good stuff Howsa.
TAY SWEEPS THE BOARD
Yes Tay is an awesome cricketer. No, not Gareth Tay, the other more gifted brother. Colin Tay swept the awards last night at a glitzy cricket ceremony, akin to the Golden Globe Awards. The Cricketing Affiliation Body of Cricketing Excellence awarded the Lewis-Holden/Dunney-Clyde Captain Birdseye Bowl to Colin Tay for a terrific last season. He made the averages for both bowling and batting proving that he is ambidextrous, or ambiguous...well whatever. Seen shedding a tear, Colin couldn't contain his love for the team, especially the captain who gives him 15 overs every week and bats him high up the order. Colin began working on his farm in Ystradfellte 15 years ago and knew he had a gift for cricket. The layout of his backyard however, meant that Colin had to bat left handed and start his run up, when bowling, from deep extra cover. Colin, we salute you, an outstanding achievement.
THE NAMES BOND....
Andrew Bond took time from his studies recently and was doing some post Christmas training. Bondy is in the middle of a break, and was seen frequenting the Sobell Sports Centre, in a bid to regain full fitness. Bondy said he was fine but the pressure of his Sports Sciences course meant that he had to get to the gym to let off some steam. All the best Andy. Also, the Fridge seems to be working very loose hours these days, as he too has been spotted trying to lose his man boobs. In the words of Diana Ross, lets get physical.
Contrary to belief, the league averages have been posted on the SWCA website (http://swca.co.uk/lavs03.htm). I was led to believe that the averages would be printed when the booklets came out, however it seems that all teams have complied with sending in their averages, and so they have been printed now.
THIS IS GETTING SERIOUS...ARE YOU THINKING BOUT YOU OR US
The American IT girl Mollie Marie, and the Cynon Terrace lover Stephen 'Spinwick' Havard, have been spotted at the exclusive Debenhams in Swansea. A shopping assistant told my informers that they were in deep discussion over a three-piece suite and matching curtains. Spinwick apparently preferred the Arabic blue with the reddish curtains, whilst our zany American friend wanted a cool green sofa with summer pale orange curtains. There was friction...and for a brief moment the couple were gesturing toward each other about the finer arts of home-making. At one point Mollie even said 'talk to the hand, cos the ears ain't listening!' However, with the dispute settled the couple headed to the nearest French Ristorante, where Mollie ordered a cwoifee. Steve had a milk-shake and a ginger bread man.
COMMISERATIONS TO VINCE'S FAMILY
Some people at the club may already know, but for those who don't, Vince the Glan regular passed away last week. Always quick with a joke and friendly banter, our condolences go out to the family. The burial took place today, and was really well attended. Fridge has asked me to contact those close to the family in order to give a donation of some sort on behalf of the club.
TON OF PEOPLE VISITED THE SITE
100 people have visited the site. As no-one from the club has actually bothered to visit it I can only assume that the words hirwaun and cricket mean something else in another language. Norwegians and Germans maybe, visiting our site after a mis-spelt phrase, or is it bored office workers clicking on the link from the SWCA website, to get a glimpse of the new affiliate. Whatever it is, it's a mystery to me.
CLUB INFORMATION STILL BLANK
And yes, the Club Information is still blank. Who are we, what do people do, what positions do people hold. Still unknown. The website can only assume that the Treasurer, Chairman, Club Captain, Fixture Secretary etc will be a democratic one this year with everybody having a say in every post because of no meetings and communication. Bucking the trend of every other club in the league, it will no doubt be interesting to turn up for the first game of the season with nobody having a clue what's going on.
FOR ANYONE INTERESTED
Brian Crockett sent me an e-mail, replying to when the 2004 averages would be posted on the SWCA website. It looks as if the averages will come out when the year book is released and not before as promised. This is probably because some sides took ages to hand in their season averages, and therefore the complete stats couldn't be posted.
MERRY XMAS FROM ALL AT HIRWAUN
Merry XMAS from the firsts and the seconds to all sides in the SWCA. Especially to Pwll, Pontyberem and South Llanelli who had their presents off us early this year during the last few weeks of the season. We we were very giving and generous during that time. Enjoy your celebrations, and remember.... a dog isn't just for Christmas!
SRI LANKA PRESS HOME ADVANTAGE AS BOWLERS WILT
Englands bowlers were made to toil on the second day of the final test in Colombo. Englands effort of 265 in the first innings was matched by Sri Lanka's 264/2 as the hosts look to push their score by batting out all of day three. James Anderson looked unfit and struggled with his bowling whilst Englands spinners toiled away with no real success. Trescothick dropped two chances as Jayawardene (60no) and Samaraweera (68) cruised to put Sri Lanka in a strong position to post a big score.
BIG OAF SEEN OUTSIDE TRAVEL AGENTS
The Fridge was spotted in Aberdare, and the recent reports of weight problems have been right. Fridge said 'Christopher' and I said 'Richard' as we both carried on with our journey, such is the love in the club. But I can confirm that Williams was looking chubby around the chops, and may consider treatment from Aberdare Hospital for his wild Autumn sessions.
ENGLAND SCRAPE DRAW IN GALLE THRILLER
England escaped with a draw as bad light forced the players off, before rain eventually ensured England go into the next Test level. Muttiah Muralitharan was again the driving force behind Sri Lanka's push for victory, claiming 11 wickets in the match. However, as England entered the final three hours of play, Ashley Giles' superb vigil of occupying the crease for 111 balls, along with resistence from Batty, Johnson and Hoggard brought frustration to Sri Lanka. With the umpires taking several readings in the final hour, eventually umpire Venkat offered the light to the batsmen who took it without hesitation, as the Barmy Army and the England dressing room burst into celebration. In fairness, Sri Lanka played the better cricket throughout the match, but it was day fours slow progress which may have cost them dearly in the end.
HO-HO-HOPE YOU HAVE A NICE XMAS, 'I LOVE THE CLUB'
This is the message from club legend Jason Castaldi. He expressed a deep admiration for the club and wishes all the players well for the future adding that he has enjoyed the season and loves the boys who play alongside him. 'We always have a good laugh and it's always a pleasure to play cricket for them' he said. The Ystradfellte Rams boys feel the same Jason, Sundays were geat. He also wished the Saturday team 'well', through his PR manager.
CROFT CONSIDERED FOR NEXT TEST, BUT ENGLAND NEED BIG TOTAL
England have it all to do in the First Test against Sri Lanka. Ashley Giles and Gareth Batty contributed again as the day four pitch looked a spinners paradise. This may be taken into consideration for the Second Test as Robert Croft looks to cement a place. Set 323 runs to win, England will find it tough going against the spitting turn of Muralitharan.
FRIDGE HITTING THE ROCKS AS HE BATTLES WEIGHT PROBLEM
Richard Williams has been seen in Aberdare, looking overweight and disorderly. A source close to the club said that he 'looked like Freddie'. Fred Flintstone that is. The news comes as a shock to the club who have tried to help him through the Autumn months on a new fitness programme designed to get him bowling fast again. In a move to shed the pounds, the 'Fridge' has had pre-arranged fitness days at Sophia Gardens. But this latest setback means Hirwaun may consider ditching him for the coming season, if he continues to show drunken and disorderly behaviour every Sunday in the Boot Hotel. The club refused to comment last night on why Williams would shun the programme for a lifestyle of lager and keebabs.
21st November, Friday