Rounders. Being hockey players this was not our first choice of sport, but being Leatherhead Hockey Club players, you had better believe that we were not going to let the opportunity to join in pass us!
Moments after the annual charity rounders tournament was announced, a few hands shot up almost immediately – mine included – indicating that amongst our teams were a couple of eager batsman! Over the following weeks we pulled together a team of enthusiastic, skilled (at fluking magnificent shots) and sociable types and entered the first ever LHC rounders team: the LHC Monkees – after our team member ‘Monk’.
We all arrived on the day armed with picnic goodies, a cricket bat and a well-needed marquee - perfectly equipped for a day of ball games and miniature food. After a few rounds of testing that we all knew how to catch a ball – a test that didn’t fill anyone with huge amounts of confidence – we decided that the constant niggling drizzle was on its way to turning our lovingly made lunches into soggy sandwiches and washed out cookies. Deciding it best to save our lunches, we assembled the marquee in record time and sat under the white canvas shelter until we were called up for our first game.
Now, not wishing to boast, but this was by far the best game to have kick started the day with! As announced at the beginning of the day, points were only scored for every rounder achieved – this meant no half-rounders for any efforts made to beat the ball to 2nd or 3rd post. We managed 8 in our 10 minute batting window. 8! Not bad for a group of rounder amateurs! And we even fielded incredibly well, catching / stumping out our opponents before their 10 minutes were up. With the final score 8-1, we were feeling pretty chuffed.
Needless to say, the rest of the games didn’t follow suit as we had hoped. Boy did we try, but with our next opponent’s baller armed with a glove and a baller speed even Sonic couldn’t outrun, most our best batters were caught out by the ball spinning off the bat straight into the backstop’s open greedy palms. Bugger. This team were also incredibly good at “not-umpiring” and shouting extremely unhelpful words and deeming all our balls as inadequate for their team of one-hand gloved semi-professionals. Half-rounders would have been bloody handy in this match! Deciding to swallow our sarcastic instincts, we shook hands and withdrew to our tent, tutting as we scrambled through our bags to find our sandwiches.
We did manage to pull it back in the next games – after conveniently stealing the host of the event to help us get a few rounders under our belts – but it sadly wasn’t enough to make the semi-final rounds. With so much of the day left and everyone feeling in high spirits, the only logical way to continue was to host our very own mini-sports day; including football, French cricket, handstands and the classic - wheelbarrow racing! After almost 6 hours of British summer games we left the playing fields exhausted, a tad bit riled up at parts, but all-in-all, having genuinely enjoyed our day and ready to sign up to next year!
The whole day itself was a triumph and this was purely down to the work of our very own James Hackett and his wonderful family who I believed raised close to £3,000 for their two charities: St.Catherine's Hospice in Sussex and Chestnut Tree House. Although the event is over for another year, should you wish to donate to Hackett’s cause, you can do so here.
Thank you also to Jules for organising our team ahead of the day and to everyone who made it for being such brilliant sports and teaching me the new game of French cricket! Special mention to Robert for still joining us even though he had a migraine and for Shaun for being the first person caught out two games in a row and then ditching us for a round of golf post-lunch – some people ;-)
Roll on LHC Monkees 2018!
All photos from the event have been popped on Facebook.