Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
Trip End Sep 19, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Friday, August 25, 2006

I am done for the tour now, sitting out the final game at the Birdlip & Brimpsfield Cricket Club. We duck in for a quick lunch in the large gardens of the Royal George pub then roll up in a leisurely fashion to the ground. It is set atop a hill with a wooden fence encircling the boundary and a surprisingly flat outfield. The pavilion is a good siye and includes a sunnz verandah with cushy chairs.

The home team doesn't realise that we are an American team, so they are surprised when one of our Americans starts talking. They had figured from our 'British Officers' name tag that we were some sort of travelling military types, who would sooner be playing village cricket teams than engaging in pressing military missions such as the Middle East crisis.

The game progresses while I, as a non-player, am resigned to an unfamiliar observational role that involves sitting with the opposing team while their innings unfolds. It doesn't unfold all that well as they are reduce to 78/7 by Mike Thomas' gravity-defying left-arm slow bowling. With a late innings recoverz, they push on to a respectable 171. This is never enough as Jon Kennon blasts his way to a boundary-laden 111 not out off 78 balls and we canter home with 5 wickets to spare.

After the game, we share a couple of drinks with the locals. One of them makes the bold but impassioned claim that the Birdlip Cricket Club serves the best Guinness outside of Ireland. He proceeds to back up his claim with a thorough explanation of the brewing and pouring process. I have to say that it is rather good Guinness, so I have quite a few of them before leaving time.

Leaving time shunts us a few yards down the road, back to the Royal George, now full of Friday night regulars and one large party of cricketers.
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