Didsbury Barmy Army #didsburydarlings #Yorksheeer #Funpolice #Lottieisthecaptainofourship

unnamed (11)If our epic Canterbury Ashes adventure wasn’t enough, we decided to make the journey to Chelmsford for a cheeky T20 overnight trip! Four of the original Didsbury Barmy Army made the 240 mile journey, Maj aka Carly, who is now known as “Waitrose” joined Messsiah, Kips and our skipper Mellons & not forgetting Lanky Giraffe (who has taken a shine to Nunny- which will be explained later…)

The five hour journey wasn’t as painful or tedious as it’s predecessor, we managed to keep ourselves entertained by once again sledging Waitrose for most of the journey on her appalling musical knowledge!

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Having made it to Chelmsford, we had to sneak Waitrose in to our hotel – seemingly they only had triple rooms! After our Stealth  like manoeuvre, we headed out to Frankie & Bennys for a quick bite to eat before the big game. When we eventually got served, and after Kips nearly choked on a chicken bone in her boneless chicken sandwich, it was time to head off to the County Ground.

 

 Buoyed by exhaustion, we got to the ground in good time to see the teams warm up. Having been lucky enough to get last minute tickets through a friend, we found ourselves sat in the members area undercover & near the dugout. With pints in hand, we took our seats, sipped the local watered down cider & settled in ready to be loud and proud for our girls.

unnamed (2)After the Captain of our ship Lottie had won the toss & put the Aussies into bat, the scene was set for a fantastic England performance.  The girls, who always give 100% looked even more determined to prove a point after their Test disappointment.  And what a start it was, Anya & Nat taking the Aussie openers Villani & Perry paving the way for some outstanding fielding by Gunn, Nunny & Anya which saw 3 more Aussies run out!  As you can imagine, our spirits and vocal chords were high as we sang to the falling Southern Stars.

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So, we were a bit shocked when an elderly steward (Victor Meldrew) told us we had to stop singing, as football style chants were not allowed! Waitrose, our resident Lawyer asked him to define “football style chants” which he failed to do & made him a bit more grumpy!  Kips was lucky not to choke again, but this time on the watered down cider as she tried to comprehend the farcical comment, luckily we didn’t listen. Instead we tweeted Essex Cricket & several other social media giants on the women’s cricket scene to voice (not sing) our outrage! After a few minutes, Essex cricket replied much to our delight & the bemusement of the grumpy steward!
As we sang our new song in delight “we’re not allowed to sing in the stand, oh we’re not allowed to sing in the stand” are infectious enthusiasm spread to the rows in front and behind as the southerners joined in with our Northern banter!
When our girls got into bat, you could feel their determination as they exuded confidence, passion & pride. Lottie was at the helm hitting 39 & Moose was unlucky to fall for 1 before Squirt came in and hit her 50. Nat & Nunny saw us home comfortably with 7 wickets to spare.
Before heading off back to our hotel, we waited to try & catch a quick picture & chat with girls. Unsurprisingly, yet again they were all absolutely fantastic and happily stayed for a chat & pic. To their credit, it never seems too much trouble they’re genuinely lovely girls with no inflated egos (unlike our Lanky).
Speaking of Lanky, he took a bit of a shine to Nunny at Canterbury. So when he saw his chance, he was straight over there & to our surprise when Nunny saw him there was definitely a glint in her eye too. So much so, after Nunny somehow challenged Kips to down a pint in 8 seconds (which she failed miserably) she invited Lanky into the locker room! He literally came back with an extra smile on his face….& several autographs some in areas we can’t mention (Jenny Gunn!) Despite trying to get him to tell us what happened in the locker room, Lanky just reminds us “what happens on tour stays on tour”!
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unnamed (9)We managed to collar Lottie, who thanked us for coming and being loud (again!) She also asked if we were coming to Hove, when we said that we couldn’t because of work, she said it would be good if we could! So, not needing much convincing, we decided to stay an extra night and go to Hove! Thanks Lottie!

We we’re surprised when our Princess Perry came over and agreed to have a pic with us, & said “your the lot that’s been bagging me”! She was a good sport!

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Being hardcore northerners, we headed to the nearest bar for a night cap…..there’s not much more to say as we can’t really remember what happened! Maybe some of these pics will tell the tail…..!

Having managed to get the day off work, a hotel & tickets we set off to Brighton after making pit stop at Primark to pick up some clothes for our extra day! We stopped off on the way as Kips, Waitrose, Messiah & Mellons were feeling the effects of their bender & picked up some Reeses doughnuts to help ease the hangover ( & some extra for Moose) Our hotel was right on the seafront, so we dropped our bags off and headed down the famous Brighton Pier.

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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!

 

unnamed (13)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.
unnamed (4)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!
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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!) 😉

 

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One response to “Didsbury Barmy Army #didsburydarlings #Yorksheeer #Funpolice #Lottieisthecaptainofourship

  1. Pingback: The CRICKETher Awards 2015 | CRICKETher·

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