My first act as Vice Captain was to captain our team for the friendly match against Ponteland at Ponteland. We lost – and badly: one group won, one drew and six lost. It also rained. I noted in my speech that it was the taking part that counted, not winning, and that the art of good captaincy was mainly about selecting a good team and being lucky with the weather. But the weather this year could be put down to John Taylor.
Come Spring, we had the return match at home. I had to go to a family wedding in Edinburgh on the Saturday, and left there early on Sunday morning in torrential rain. I phoned the club to see if people wanted to cancel, but no-one believed me: it was nice at Bamburgh and nicer still at Ponteland. Slowly the rain came – but this time there was a crucial difference: our teams were winning, and my game in particular got better the wetter it was. Three teams went for an “honourable” draw, but Bamburgh won four of the five others. The weather, I hope, can still be put down to John taylor.
I played (with David Chrimes) against the Chairman and Vice Chairman (as their Captain/Vice Captain were competing in a tournament in the dryer South); it was the 30th anniversary of the Vice Chairman, Chris Forster’s, first appearance in this match, and his family had donated the cup we play for in these matches. Which we won back.