Greeting to my fellow Larks!

Well what an amazing summer it's been for cricket: England win the Ashes, Hampshire win the C&G Trophy and Lymington Fourth XI win a match! (only the one, mind you). As the photo shows, I winged it up to Lords the other week to see Hampshire win the C&G B&H Nat West Gillette Cup (or whatever it's called nowadays). And it was a jolly good job I was there because that poor excuse for a mascot Harry the Hawk couldn't be bothered to turn up. Mind you, at three quid for a can of beer it's lucky that Hampshire only get to Lords once every 13 years. If they make a habit of reaching cup finals, Meg Gannaway might have to sell his house!

Back at Lymo the First XI managed to avoid relegation by the skin of Adie Hunt's jockstrap, mainly because Sparsholt played an illegitimate player, apparently. Actually, it was a great achievement by the Firsts to stay up despite being written off by that Mike Tampony fellow, not to mention our very own 'dressing room insider'. I couldn't believe my ears (actually, I haven't got any ears cos I'm a bird) when I heard all the terrible things the mystery insider had said about the team. This sort of thing is bang out of order, and as the official Lymington mascot, you will never, ever, find me publicly or privately criticizing the team in any way, shape or form. As you know, I never give less than 100% total backing for Adie's brave lads. Which is bloody difficult bearing in mind how staggeringly useless they all are.

Anyroadup, the club has issued a photofit image of the person they would like to interview in connection with these terrible comments. Ring any bells?

Do you know this man?

I actually managed to grab a secret interview with the mystery insider recently (obviously, I'm not allowed to reveal his true identity for fear of reprisals):

Larry: So TONY WHARTON, why did you say those things about the First XI?
Insider: Because they're rubbish. All of them. Totally useless. Every last one of them.

Larry: Isn't that a bit harsh?
Mystery Insider: No, there's no commitment from any of them. Not one of them.

Larry: But most of the First XI have been practicing quite hard this season.
Mystery Insider: Rubbish! I was up here the other night and not one of them was practicing. Granted, there was fork lightening streaking down from the sky, hailstones the size of cricket balls falling all around and three foot of flood water across the pitch, but that's not the point. All they had to do was swim over to the nets, attach a davy lamp, snorkel and lightening conductor to their helmets, and they could have had a perfectly good practice session.

Larry: Surely some of the team have got work and family commitments?
Mystery insider: That's rubbish. None of the First XI want to play Sunday cricket cos they're all lazy and lacking commitment. Only last Sunday I asked several players to play in a game I was organising and every single one of them said 'no'. Admittedly, it was an Under 11 match, but that's not the point. When I was in my prime I used to play every hour of every day. I'd spend days at a time at the cricket club. That's why I've been divorced twenty-nine times.

Larry: So do you regret saying those things to the paper?
Mystery Insider: I must admit that I was hugely disappointed when I read the article - Mike Vimpany didn't even mention my name!

Actually, my dressing room insider friend has informed me that all the First XI players are fined a quid if they get a duck, drop a catch or generally do something stupid, and by the end of the season they'd collected enough money to go on a boozey camping weekend in the Isle of Wight. Apparently the Fourth XI have tried the same thing and will be spending a fortnight at the Chewton Glen. Followed by a world cruise on the QE2. Followed by a trip on the Space Shuttle!

Hey presto: one flat cricket pitch!!!

At this point I should like to pass on my congratulations to Ventnor for winning the league - and in particular to their rather partizan lady scorer who, when she heard official confirmation that Ventnor had secured the title, danced around the Sports Ground scorebox making the very loud shrieking noises.

We haven't heard anything like that at Lymington since tea lady Trish accidentally sat on the dishwasher when it was on a fast spin. Sadly, Ventnor can't go up to Division One due to the bizarre bowl-shape of the ground, but I think this is very harsh. Why should a team be penalised by the league just because you need grappling irons, crampons, six packmules and a team of sherpas to field a ball? Now I've heard people put forward various solutions to solve Ventnor's ground dilemma, and most of them are rubbish. There's even talk that they may have to find an alternative flatter site. But I've come up with a much cheaper solution, and as you can see from the lovely diagram, it's an idea that might just work. You see, one of my distant relatives in Australia - Kevin the Kookaburra - gave me a bell recently and told me that the Aussies are getting really fed up with Ayres Rock. I mean, apart from changing colour in the morning and evening, what does it actually do? It doesn't drink and it can't play cricket - two of the most fundamental requirements of a decent Australian. So my plan is to use helicopters to airlift Ayres Rock to the nearest port in Australia and tow the whole bleedin lot around the world to Ventnor. Now here's the clever part: Ayres Rock is then lifted up the cliff and tipped upside down using some sort of hoisting device and simply dropped into the gaping hole that is Ventnor Cricket Ground. Hey presto: one flat cricket pitch!!!














Finally, I heard some terrible news recently. Apparently Bob Iles forgot to properly secure the boot of his car after a shopping trip to Tesco, and the photo shows the tragic consequences....


Bob's unlocked boot , the consequences

Anyroadup, it's time for me to get back on the nest!


Larry the Lark

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