The World’s favourite band, XI 2nds of Summer, rise to #3 with their Smash-hit, Boulevard of Broken Cheams.

Date: 22/05/2021
Opposition: Epsom CC
Venue: HWRCC HQ
Man of the match: Henry Wright
Prat of the match: Ian Collier

After the disappointment of last week’s final over Thriller, the all-conquering Wick 2nd XI were looking to get Off the Wall this week and return to Dangerous ways, with a chart-topping Cheam the task at hand on the glorious studio that is Wick HQ. In order to do so, we would have to Come Together, and ensure that when all was said and done, we were the ones who would Remember the Time we smashed the team from Cheam.

Before we could get recording, we had to overcome a few obstacles thrown our way in the lead-up to this one. The first disappointment was the abandonment of training on Tuesday, it was a crying shame. To compound that, there was the news that Captain Linter would be forced to sit out another week with his injury. My tears did not dry own their own over this one. Finally there was the news of popular newspaper Tthe Mogul Dynasty going bankrupt, owing to running out of ink such was the popularity of their Monday special report that confirmed Brits prefer Hellmann’s over Heinz, Water does indeed not make for a good drying agent, and Peng should indeed be outlawed from the English language. Once your 2nd XI members had conquered those obstacles, we were ready to rock and roll. The band was assembled, instruments at hand, we were ready to play.

The A-Side

Song #1: I Don’t Give a Toss – The Replacements

For the third week in a row, the 2nd XI were sent in having lost the toss. After a breakout 2019 where Captain Linter went platinum with 18 from 18 in tosses (always been a good tosser), the 0 from 3 start for season 2021 from The Replacements members Boom-Boom and Blobz left the rest of the band a little bemused. But, ever the professionals, the ciggies and coffees were put down at about 11:55am and it would be the pop duo of Collier and Blanchard into the studio first, who were sent-in by the Cheam skipper, unsurprising given the week had been Wet Wet Wet.

Song #2: Tracks of my Tears – The Slownas Brothers

Collier and Blanchard are not your quintessential rockstars, however that is not to say they do not bring plenty to the band (Collier’s catching, for instance). It is fair to say that they are both better suited to radio than television, and that is not the only shared similarity, with both band members liking to take things at a more relaxed pace when in the studio. But, even though the studio experienced several moisture-related difficulties throughout the week, the Slownas Brothers just couldn’t quite get into rhythm early, and it wasn’t long before one of them was kicked out of the studio, much to the disgust of Blanchard, who had momentarily dropped his instrument and Cheam capitalised on the opportunity to strike the pad, and umpire Riley had no hesitation in sticking up the digit.

Song #3: In the Middle – Run Direction

After the early setback, we needed to change tune. After his recent promotion back to the almighty 2nd XI band, Higgo was pretty quiet on the drums for Run Direction on this occasion, selflessly ignoring a straight one and therefore allowing the real Rockstars of your 2nd XI to take centre stage. I think Higgo was still a tad shaken by launching a boundary flag at a car in an act that had him as early favourite for DoD, but I digress. All that was required was for the final Slownas Brother to leave the studio, and it would take a reasonable catch at mid-wicket to end his time. With 3 band members back in the green room, and not much progress being made on the album, the band needed a lead singer to get this one back on track. In strode Clemmo to join Kenners and the two went to work bringing this masterpiece together. They played glorious note after glorious note, and despite the studio audience making life difficult for the rockstars at times, these two good-looking roosters combined to swing the momentum back to the good guys. With the score well over 100, the lead-singers in Kenners and Clemmo decided to pursue solo careers (65 and 42 respectively), and hand the microphone over to the next band members to conclude the A-side of this impressive album.

Song #4: Jindal Bells – St Nicholas (Browning)

With the departure of the headline acts, it was left to the newly-promoted Jindal and young star Browning to close out the A-side with an upbeat, fast-moving cameo, and they finished in some style. There was no shortage of energy in this one, particularly by Jindal who was in a particularly aggressive mood. The two lads were destroying the Cheam attack, making them look anything but massive, and they closed out the A-side with the score reading 190 for 7 for the XI 2nds of Summer.

The No-Side (Bonus Edition)

Song #1: I Got Around – The Preach Boys

What has become commonplace at HQ in recent times is The Preach Boys setting up their own studio, formerly on the left hand side balcony in pre-covid times, but they’ve now made themselves present in the mosh pit at ground level. They’ve also added a few new members to the ever-growing list of ex-band members, namely Charlie Browning and the particularly rowdy Richard Cole, who was quick to remind everyone within earshot of how he would have knocked triple figures in record time on this pitch. Unfortunately for the rest of us, it is the same tune they play each week, monotone lines and unimaginative lyrics such as:

“I’d have run three there and I’m 60 years old and 6 pints down”
“What’s wrong with him, is he injured or just slow?”
“He should be playing on King’s Field” (an absolute classic)
or “Teflon Collier” (Actually I do rather like that one).

To be fair, they did record some bangers back in the day, even combining with some of your current day 2nd XI heroes in past smash-hits, but it is also fair to say that they are the vinyl of the Wick - Great in their day, but now just a little scratchy.

The B-Side

Song #1: Satisfaction – The Bowling Stones

With the quality A-side complete, and a BYO lunch break taken (Hoisin Duck Wrap & Millionaire’s Shortbread, M&S of course), it was time for the bowlers to take centre stage and headline the B-side of this album. On the 2 prior albums, it has been B-side song #1 where we have produced some top quality work, lead by Browning and Wright, and this week would be no different. The heavy-metal in-your-face approach of Browning, coupled by the easy-listening, almost stoner vibes of Wright went together perfectly once again and before long, Cheam found themselves with 2 back in the green room, the 2nd of which was assisted by a very sharp Nugget snaffle. Once again, Wright played 2nd fiddle to Browning early, but was soon rewarded for his work, and by the time he was through his 10 overs (on the bounce), he had delivered satisfaction to his band members, with the figures of 2 for 27, and unlucky not to have 3 or 4 more to his name. By the time the Bowling Stones were strutting off the stage, Cheams had turned to Nightmares for the visitors, and the Wick band was marching to a glorious tune.

Song #2: Two Princes – The Spin Doctors

With the visitors struggling to get anything going, the skipper then turned to the covers (yes Clemmo) and introduced Two Princes into the studio, Tong and Blanchard, and what a belter of a piece they compiled. Even though we were only 2 songs into the B-side, they were both absolute bangers, and before long, things could only get better for C:Heam (peng lolz, even better this Clemmo). The scoreboard (finally working) read 50 for 9, and despite the simplest of chances being grassed by Collier at cover, the home side was very close to releasing a smash-hit album and celebrating accordingly. I should mention, another basically-impossible chance went down earlier, but it would have been a worldie, and the fielder saved four with his efforts, well done said fielder, heroic. On this day however, the XI 2nds of Summer would be made to wait a fraction before shutting the door on the studio.

Song #3: Stuck in the Middle, and we can’t get out – Us 2

With the sun setting and the Moretti ready, the band was eager to get out of the studio and start the wrap-party. But just as it looked imminent, we would be made to stay in the studio and clean up for ourselves, a process that took some time. For whatever reason, Cheam decided to save their rockstar until #11, and he came out and was hell-bent on producing a record of his own. Made even more frustrating was the fact that his sidekick was also keen to dig-in, basically playing triangle whilst the #11 rocked the show, and all of a sudden, there was just the slightest bit of panic setting in. However, with the score reading 114, The Bowling Stones combined once again to end how they began, finally ending the 64-run stand when MoM Henners took a great low-down catch at mid-wicket off the bowling of his band-mate Browning and allow the wrap party to kick-off for the Bowling Stones and the rest of the Band.

We are well and truly iN-Sync at the moment, but it is bye bye bye for now. With an away trip to Egham the next to play, do stay tuned, because the XI 2nds of Summer will be soaring to #1 in the coming weeks, mark my words.

Seriously, how good are the twos!

158*