In the Hylands

PUBLISHED: 14:30 21 April 2015

Hornchurch Athletic's clubhouse in Hylands Park

Hornchurch Athletic's clubhouse in Hylands Park


Nathaniel Bastin is writing a blog from Hornchurch Athletic CC in 2015

So then, 2015. Clocks set forward, light piercing through the cloud, winter finally over.

Instinctively, like the weirdest nature documentary you’ve ever seen, a selection of Havering’s most questionable characters begin to migrate from various directions towards the three gates of Hylands Park.

In high definition they enter – Lawrence in his sleeveless jumper, Coatesy and Hutch with the two newest tribe members, Ross revealing (without shame) his recently purchased pink spikes.

From behind the bar, John Crane begins to hurl unprovoked abuse at various cowering individuals. The cricket season is underway.

After much debate, it was decided that the annual curtain-raiser against Gorsebrook should be canned in favour of a club day where members of all skill levels were invited to prepare and contribute collectively.

The long discussion leading to this outcome can be summarised in one simple question - on an April green top, would you rather face Gorsebrook’s pace attack or Paul Jones’s rusty moonballs?

The answer is straightforward – neither!

That’s to take nothing away from Paul, whose bowling, much like the medieval catapult it resembles, doesn’t always land where intended but has the potential to ruin your entire day when it does.

Regrettably, many batsmen were spared this humiliation by his non-attendance. But I digress.

In the glorious spring sunshine, some 50 or more people turned out to support the club in different capacities.

The scrupulous task of weeding the net was prioritised as JT critiqued the current state of the weed killing industry – ‘[ha!] you just can’t get the good stuff anymore!’

The second assignment was painting over artwork on the sight screens by have-a-go-hoodlum ‘Aggro’ as well as fitting both with new wheels, provided by Steve Cheeseman.

And on a day when clichés about the club being the only winner cannot be avoided, the result of the inter-club game hardly seems worth mentioning.

A lively evening was concluded with the first in an occasional series called ‘Ask Shunty’.

This week, Shunty was asked to name one rule or law he would apply if he ran the world.

He pondered for some time before declaring that there needs to be more cycle paths.

With an election looming, at least one man knows what he stand for!

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