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Ruskin Drive…….a.k.a. The Oval

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Anything the England Test Cricket Team can do, members of St Helens WFC can do better; as Ruskin Drive on Monday saw a collapse of MCC like proportions.

And it all started so well! As coach John D and Secretary Michaylo put prospective new club member Anita through her paces behind the far goal, the two teams got their morning match under way lining up as follows:-

Bibs: Tony Snakehips, Tom ‘Stretch’ Parr, One More John, Dave Seagull, Nigel, Mark, Geoff P, Mike, the late Colin Williams

Non-Bibs: Joe the Ghost, Donal, Andy Capt, Steve Honey Monster, Steve Goldie, Lord Rainford, Jeff B, Wayne, Les.

Bibs? Non-bibs? What’s all this then? Well despite our best efforts quite a few of our tops appear to have gone walkies; and as – despite the weather – there was a reluctance to relive our schooldays by playing skins v shirts we did green bibs v others…which didn’t help at least two of our number who are colour blind! But all is not lost and we soon hope to announce the acquisition of more bibs under an exciting new sponsorship deal with a local hostelry…….

Under the benign but firm guidance of Ref Foxy the first of our 3 sessions (regular water breaks the order of the day) was played in a competitive but sporting spirit but with no goals and hardly a shot to trouble the regularly changed keepers.

The 2nd period of the game looked to be going the same way until just near the end when, after a fine block by Donal in the non-bibs goal; a horrendous mix up between he and a defender (I shall not name them to spare their blushes) gave Mark the chance to nip in to put the Bibs 1-0 up just before our 2nd water break.

And so, just as a mad run out before lunch on the final day of the Oval test heralded an England collapse; the defensive debacle from the non-bibs heralded something similar in the 3rd playing session. After a brief period where the non-bibs looked as though they’d make a game of it, Seagull Dave – having donated his Albion top to Lord Rainford in the cause of being able to tell different colours apart - coolly slotted a 2nd home despite being under considerable pressure from defenders. Then a wickedly spinning ball (I think there was a bit of rough just outside off stump...) completely bamboozled the non –bib defenders but not Tom ‘Stretch’ Parr who gleefully made it 3-0. Andy took over in the non-bib goal to try and stop the rot but despite one great fingertip save at full stretch he could do nothing to stop a fierce shot from John ’One More’ Bone to make it 4-0 and cap a fine display of finishing.

So, a game that looked even on paper - and was until one embarrassing blunder - ended up as a comprehensive victory. If keeper and defender had communicated better…who knows? It’s a funny old game, Saint.

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