T' ANNUAL CRICKETING MATCH
by
Alan Lavercombe - 1981
'T were t' day of our annual cricketing match
When the Lord of the Manor an' is staff
Took on t' lads of our team from our village,
We'd bin doin' it for years, just for t' laugh.

Now, 'is Lordship, 'e fancied 'imself as a batsman,
An' t' were all s'posed to be good clean fun,
But, some'ow, 'e always scored century, like
An' 'im an' 'is team always won.

Well, as usual, the Vicar an' Curate were t' umpires,
Tossed up quick as a flash, just like that
An' before 'is 'alf crown 'ad even come down
'Is Lordship says 'Right then, we'll bat.'

T ' village team's openin' bowler were t' blacksmith'syoung striker,
'Is name it were Sam Postlethwaite.
Now, this lad, 'e were built like a brick chicken-'ouse
An' 'is bowlin' were deadly, an' straight.

Well, Sam comes running up wi' 'is very first ball,
Lordship swung an' just gave it a clip
An' the ball, more than slightly deflected,
Were easily caught at third slip.

'Owzat?' shouts the team from the village.
T ' Vicar turns their appeal down, dead flat,
Wi' 'is 'ands firmly clasped be'ind backside,
'E says 'Nay, lads, 'e never touched that!'

On t' second deliv'ry 'is Lordship steps forward
An' were out of 'is crease by a mile.
When t' keeper whips t' bails off an' t' team shouts 'Owzat?'
T ' square-leg umpire says 'Nay.' ..... Wi' a smile.

When t' third ball come down, 'e stood back in 'is crease
An' took a big swing wi' 'is bat,
Which knocked all 'is wickets clean out of the ground
An' ev'ryone shouted 'Owzat?'

'Is Lorship, 'e 's looked 'daggers drawn' at the vicar,
Which made 'im feel ever so small.
T ' were time for some very quick thinkin'.
Then, belatedly, like, calls out 'No ball!'

Now, 'is Lordship, 'e 's really 'it t' next 'un,
But knocked the ball up in the air.
T ' chap at silly mid on 'ad to dive 'is full length
An' just caught 'im out, fair an' square.

Course, ev'ryone there shous out 'Owzat?',
Looks at t' Vicar, and then feared the worst,
'Cos 'is 'ands were still clasped be'ind backside
An' says 'Nay, lads. That 'it the ground first.'

Now, the next ball, 'e's missed it completely,
It went straight between bat and pad,
An' when t' team saw one of 'is bails fall to t'ground,
Well, it looked like the best chance they'd 'ad.

They all screamed 'Owzat?' an' jumped up in the air,
What could t' Vicar do? What could 'e say?
'E'd almost unclasped 'ands be'ind backside,
When 'is Lordship says 'Windy today.'

By this time, our Sam 'e were gettin' upset
An' so were all t' rest of 'is lads.
'E's let t' next ball fly goin' straight for 'is stumps,
Til it turned when it 'it t' Lordship's pads.

Well, they shouted 'Owzat?' as a matter of course,
Knowin' t' umpires were not on their side.
T'Vicar signalled to t' fella on t' scoreboard
To put up one run for a 'wide'.

Wot wi' t' no-ball, that meant there'd be one more deliv'ry.
Sam Postlethwaite paced out 'is run.
'E comes gallopin' up an' 'e's let go that ball
Like summat come out of a gun.

Sam bowled that last ball at 'is Lordship wi' vengeance,
Sent 'is middle stump flyin' for yards.
THIS time e'd go back to t' pavilion .....
Well..... it looked very much on the cards.

Lordship glared down the wicket at Sam Postlethwaite
As though 'e'd committed some crime.
Then, Seein' t' Vicar's 'ands still be'ind backside,
Sam says 'Nearly 'ad 'im that time!'
The end