After an alcohol free evening we finished off the night with some competitive BlackJack- Kips was fleeced by Waitrose, Waitrose was then fleeced by Messiah & Mellons by some underhand dealing before Mellons cleared us all out!
We woke up on Friday with the sun cracking the flags (or promenade) it was going to be a perfect day for a T20! We spent most of the day composing new songs whilst relaxing on the pier in the glorious sun. When the time came to head off, we passed a group of buskers…..well you can guess what happened next:
We got to the ground in the plenty of time gaining an extra army member in Megan, after queuing for what seemed like an age Kips & Waitrose shot off to get the seats. Luckily we managed to get right next to the dugout, but the 1st row had been “saved” which we weren’t impressed with! We wondered if the Germans mistook Hove for Hurghada & the seats for sun loungers, but as it turned out it was actually the Sky Sports production crew! It didn’t take long for us to work our infectious enthusiasm on them, they were soon converted to the way of the Didsbury Barmy Army….when the “impartial” producer joined in the fun with Lanky!
As the girls warmed up we warmed up our vocals, much to some of their amusement! Clare Connor also spotted us again and stopped for chat, thanking us for our continued support.
The match couldn’t have started any better with Lottie winning the toss and putting the Aussies into bat. The scene was set, the ground was full and we were loud and full of confidence that the girls could beat the Aussies again! We were in full voice with Lottie egging us on to be louder from the outfield as the girls produced a great innings to keep the Aussies to 107, a total we felt was more than achievable.
As Lottie & Moose headed out to open, we couldn’t imagine the roller coaster of emotions we were about to face. Lottie started quickly hitting 8 before chopping on with an edge, leaving us 9-1. As squirt came in, our #Yorksheeer Moose was caught as she just failed to middle a lofted drive to Mid off. Our hearts were beginning to sink as Nat was bowled by an absolute beauty by Perry, 3-10 quickly became 5-28 when Squirt & Trev fell to the Aussies classy bowling. We needed a partnership to steady the ship, in came Nunny & Lydia. Nunny wasn’t going down without a fight, hitting an impassioned 20 from 29 before falling to Schutt leaving us on 53-6. Our hearts sank & tears welled as Nunny, our hero walked off, head & crest fallen with her emotions clear for everyone to see. Wag was next in to join Lydia, she was angry and took the fight to the Aussies making 7 of 3 balls. Our hope was renewed, our voices raised, could Lydia & Wag pull us through…. What happened next we couldn’t believe. Wag was run out as she backed up- Lydia played the drive which Farrell managed to get a finger tip to on to the the stumps. As they waited for the 3rd Umpire to make the call, our producer buddy broke the news to us before the big screen did. Wag, walked off in disbelief. We felt this was the catalyst of the innings, and even now still believe she & Lydia would’ve brought us through to victory. Sadly, we were all out for 87 meaning the Aussies regained the Ashes. Seeing the girls walk off & congratulate the Aussies will stay with us for along time. The disappointment, pain & emotion was etched on everyone & clear to see. But, we’ve got to give credit to the Aussies & the way they’ve played throughout- results don’t lie.
We debated on whether to stay at the end of the match to see the girls, given the circumstances. But, even with a 6 hour drive home looming we hung around to thank the girls (and give Moose her doughnuts!) Despite the somber mood, the girls as usual came out to thank the fans. Moose, Nunny & Nat asked us to hang around to get a team photo with the girls, as a thanks for our support…a gesture which blew us away. (It had nothing to do with the doughnuts honestly!) But we will be keeping Moose and Nunny to our drinks promise in the near future…. Get practising girls!
Finally, before we left an emotional Lottie came down to thank us for all our support with hugs & a few tears all round. It’s not how we envisaged our tour to end, but we still enjoyed it despite the outcome. We hope we’ve given the girls a few laughs along the way, and hope they’ll look forward to the Didsbury Barmy Army going on tour again (and maybe we’ll get an invite to the knees up!)
As we near the end, we had to mention the negative press Lottie & the team have received. By questioning things we seek improvement, and there should be questions about the loss. But, Lottie has brought the team back from defeats before & she’ll do it again. Shes determined to improve herself and the team which is a sign of a truly great captain, a captain who we need to support!
Finally, as the bails come down on our epic edition of the blog we just had to say, huge thanks to Lottie & all the girls for being so nice to us. It’s been a privilege to support you all, it’s been 1560 miles of laughs and memories. (And those that have forgotten to follow us on Twitter……you won’t get a special song until you do!) 😉