Wednesday saw a long awaited event at Heckmondwike. 18 players from each club played in a triples competition based on the Mansfield formula where 4 rounds were played but the first 3 were a standard snake but the 4th round was seeded on the results of the previous 3 games. This meant that in the last round the top home team played the top away team so everyone played a team their own level at the end.
Here’s the team photo. Numerate readers will count 16 players. Two were missing at this stage – one arrived but another was unwell so one of our triples was a double.The most eagerly anticipated item on the day was the free lunch and with an 11 o’clock start this was expected after the first game at about noon. But as experienced players know only too well some games were over quite soon and some took a long time. Some teams started their second game. Lunch started about 1230 and went on for a while. Some teams had played one; some had played two. Lunch was great although the wine that was rumoured turned out to be Cotes de Nowhere.
First round was 3-3; second round was 4-2 to Huddersfield; 3rd round was 3-3. That meant Heckmondwike had to win 4-2 to draw. It went down to the last wicket partnership between Ralph, Kath and Roger Farrar and a close game which ended with the win they needed. So it was 12-12 draw but to determine the winner we looked at points scored and it was Heckmondwike 233 to Huddersfield 215. The Ashes returned to Heckmondwike.
In the crowded clubhouse there was a thank you speech by Gordon (Heckmondwike Chair) who thanked the caterers and then Clive (Heckmondwike Secretary) told us the story of the Ashes and presented the trophy to himself and stated provocatively that the trophy would never leave Heckmondwike. Paul (Huddersfield Chair) proposed rematch in summer 2018 and everyone agreed to that. Here’s the little Urn.
Clive was obviously worried that the trophy would be snatched by Huddersfield so had hired a mafia hitman as bodyguard for the day.The history of the Kirklees Ashes is on the wall in Heckmondwike clubhouse if anyone wants to read the full story. From memory the home team wins and there have been 3 such fixtures in 3 years.
Huddersfield’s best team was Brendan, Roy & Sue who won all their first 3 games.