Penned by Nigel Payne, GCC official war poet, this is a gripping acount of the league decider in 2006

In the annals of sport there is many a story,
Of deeds of defiance but defeat close to glory,
This was the prospect for Grittleton cricket,
As the toss against Hawkesbury took place at the wicket.

The first Captain Webb, and this is no flannel,
Was a Victorian chap, who first swam the Channel,
So we have a leader, who is famous of name,
Despite losing the toss, he thought we'd win the game.

Prospects were grim as we lost Chris, our star,
Bowled by a yorker as fast as Viv's car,
Steady progress was halted when Mark was out too,
But George B and Hughie both made quite a few.

An unfortunate run out as wickets kept falling,
It was nothing to do with Huw's lack of calling,
Wayne played some fine shots, including a six,
But then missed a slow one to stir up the mix.

Micky got a shooter; Nigel drove a straight six,
The Hawkesbury spinners tried all sorts of tricks,
Quick singles were scampered, the scoreboard ticked up,
But was it enough to win us the cup ?

Al tickled, Lurch slogged as to a target we inch,
Not enough and Hawkesbury the title could pinch,
Despite Brian's best efforts our innings was done,
No quarter was given in this duel in the sun !

The tea was delicious but few could still eat,
The tough nuts of Hawkesbury still had to be beat,
Resuming the field, Captain Mark spoke out well,
When bowling or fielding give these fellows, hell !

Their openers were solid if lacking in flair,
So Chris pounded in and gave both a stare,
Time after time they failed to connect,
As Dunny bowled well, just as you'd expect.

George stormed in again and got the break through,
Chris caught a skier as Wayne made it two,
One batter kept scoring; we kept dropping his catches,
Five times we forgot that catches win matches.

Their score was increasing; the pressure was rising,
With the league up for grabs this was hardly surprising,
Occasional fours and occasional wickets,
The crowd got so large that we should have sold tickets !

Enter a hero as Huw started bowling,
Just like a magician as per J K Rowling,
Six wickets later their batting was shattered,
Just as their eardrums by Mickey were battered !

But the game was not over as one batsman stayed,
Could we still lose it now despite how well we'd played ?
Seven runs to win and one wicket remaining,
Surely now was the payoff for all our hard training.

A loud snick to the keeper; Mark dives down to take,
But their "blind and deaf" umpires no signal would make !
The tension is now quite unbearably high,
Last over begins with a lucky leg bye.

With three needed to win, the ball is hit high,
Could be six or a four as it falls from the sky,
Eyes turn to see who is under the catch,
George pouches it calmly and we've won the match !

Cue Mickey to scream at the departing bat,
"Are you effing sure that you effing hit that ?"
Next off to the Neeld to empty a barrel,
Toasting the health of a hedgehog named Darrel !

In the annals of sport there is many a story,
Of deeds of brave play and skill bringing glory,
All are untrue of the team aptly called Gritt,
But as we're the champions we don't give a …. damn.

NAP - August 2006.