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This well established group of 22 former players made its annual trip into Europe from May 30th to June 2nd. This was the tenth successive year following on in previous years from Pezenas, Toulouse, Gibraltar, Bordeaux, Nice, Milan, Malta, Alicante and Porto. The purpose of the trip is to play a local cricket XI, play some golf, enjoy a boat trip, practice our singing and participate in some serious bonding with associated consequences.

Despite some punishing pre tour training sessions and the welcome addition of tourists from USA and Australia the outcome was inevitable. Once again the promise by the hosts to field similarly “experienced” teams saw them turn up with at least half of the team being young lads all with the south east asian skills of a Sri Lankan “B” international. Needless to say we were blown away by pacy bowling which even our most talented batsmen could not cope with.

For the records we played two 20/20 matches; the first on Saturday with a 4.00 pm start:

Corfu 181 for 8, BFCVCC 98 for 4. Breaking all convention, we played a second game on Sunday morning with an 1100 start…yes! Result: Corfu 141 all out in 19.2 overs; was this our big chance?….yes, did we take it! BFCVCC 37 for 7 in 20 overs. As a result all committee positions will be up for a “no holds barred” root and branch review for which everyone is entitled to express their opinions though they may not be listened to and equally any suggestions may well be ignored. 

It should be noted that the group is always seeking to bring culture to the proceedings and indeed did so with the second game being played on a World Heritage Site in the middle of Corfu old town.

The visit had started well with a relaxing boat trip along the north Corfu coast punctuated with dips in the sea and cans of Amstel. 

As one might expect, lunches and dinners were highly enjoyable with a single long table for every evening meal. This allowed for meaningful, sentimental and emotional speeches to be delivered not only to the group but to the whole restaurant.

The recce party had “discovered” a small, characterful bar which was positioned half way between the hotel and the restaurants and proved to be a huge hit for the revellers in the group. The bar owner has subsequently bought a new yacht on the proceeds of our visit. 

In summary, Laurie Cokell, over from Australia and enjoying every minute, said he was overwhelmed by the fact that this sort of event could take place because there is nothing like it in Australia – it just wouldn’t happen. 

Touring Party: Acott, Birrell, Cokell, Crust, Diamond, Evans, Fenby, Fuller, Kibble, Legge, Matthews, Purchase, Rutter, Shepherd, Slater D, Slater J, Vaughan D, Vaughan P, Wells, Williamson, Wishart, Wolstenholme.

Des Diamond 06.06.2019

Tim Brindle

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