African Night


Our final jaunt around the globe for the 2002 season took us to deepest Africa as Lymington Cricket Club paid homage to Zimbabweans Dan Peacock and David Heppenstall.

Lew Gregory's organ once again provided plenty of light relief for the gathered audience, although some questioned the extent of Lew's repertoire of African songs, not least after he launched into rousing renditions of Waltzing Matilda and Molly Malone!

With proceedings organised with military precision by Brigadier Heppenstall-lookalike Trevor 'have you seen the size of my elephant gun' Phillips, things were always likely to get out of hand. And so it proved in the Tarzan impersonating competition where Mark Gannaway, clad only in skimpy shorts, climbed up onto the bell and gave the unfortunate members in that corner of the clubhouse a rare glimpse of his hidden talent. Although none of the Tarzan impersonators managed to lure any passing lions to the Sports Ground, Chris Hunt's high-pitched Tarzan-style scream did attract two poodles and a whippet.

With the club unable to reach an agreement with Marwell Zoo on the hire of elephants, tigers and rhinosauruses, the Big Game Hunting took the form of contestants in shopping trolleys lobbing tennis balls at cardboard cut-outs of wild animals (you had to be there!). Against all the odds, Damian Jayasinghe managed to knock over two wild animals, which made one or two Fourth XI regulars wonder if Damo's fielding might significantly improve if we could afford the luxury of having him pushed around the outfield in a Safeway shopping trolley!

The Thirds and Fourths triumphed in the wibbly-wobbly game, while Dan Peacock predictably came up trumps in the Billtong Eating Challenge. Unfortunately, Danny's prowess at consuming Southern Africa's favourite snack food wasn't matched by his geographical knowledge of his native continent as he failed miserably in the 'Name That Country' game. Seemingly unable to tell his Angolas from his Algerias, Dan's team came a poor second to Mssrs Iles and Gannaway, although the First XI skipper later claimed that since he had left Africa many of the countries had moved due to plate-tectonics and civil war, etc. Perhaps a more telling reason was the dozen or so empty bottles of Castle lager sitting on Dan's table.

For many the highlight of the evening came with the arrival of Zulu Chief Wobbly Wharton in full tribal dress. There were those present, however, who claimed that Wobbly looked rather less like a tribal warrior and more like a bizarre cross between Kevin Keegan and Stig of the Dump.

The evening was rounded off by Danny's fine rendition of the Zimbabwean national anthem, follwed by a rather less fine rendition by Trev and Meg of that traditional African classic 'The Harare Ferry'.

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