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I was there

Yes we did win

By London Leprecahaun
January 8 2017

Just in case that Championship win has begun to fade, London Leprechaun gives another perspective on that final day with some reminders of previous Championship wins many years ago, which show just how special it was to win at our own home. Read on and enjoy the memories again.

Cricket matches and seasons produce many “I was there moments.” They are the days, sessions, moments even that linger in the memory long after the details of the game itself have slid into dusty archives. In the build up to the Yorkshire match at Lord’s many of us delved deep into the ghosts of our own memory to remember where we were on those all too distant days when Championship wins were, if not routine, a little more frequent. We remembered a long ago time at Blackpool huddled round a radio waiting for news from Kent that would confirm whether we were joint or outright Champions. The drama made all the more intense without mobile phones or instant commentary. There was frustration at Hove when Kepler Wessels single handedly denied us the win and made us go to Glamorgan to clinch the title. There was Wayne Daniel taking a steepling catch under a bright Worcester sky, with Mike Brearley hitting the winning runs to sign off his career on a mist laden autumn morning. And there was the Oval with a winning bonus point, cake from a long-standing supporter, an extended tea break followed by frolicking batting from happy Middlesex batsmen.

But never had we been able to say: “I was at Lord’s.”  To witness a match of unrelenting tension, drama; of moments within moments. To see a match so perfectly timed, on such, almost perfect, September days. A match going within four overs of the end of the season. We will remember the drama of having to be aware of what was going on in Taunton and the sudden importance of one bonus point for Yorkshire. And the tension of whether they would get there in time. A tension made greater by the arrival of rain; our faithful companion all season. A tension made greater because we could not make up our minds if it was good or bad for us for Yorkshire to get the point. We will remember the drama of the start to our second innings: 1/1; 2 /2 and the superstitious desire to get past three runs without losing more wickets.

And then there was that last day. Full of those "I was there moments." The solidity of the batting before lunch; disappointment for Nick Gubbins but the knowledge of seeing a star in the making. The waiting game for the hour after lunch, with the entertainment of seeing Andrew Gale toing and froing during negotiations with James Franklin worthy of post referendum talks. The rumours of the deals that were being negotiated; the half hour of nonsense bowling that polarised opinion; the declaration that many people felt over generous; the curious end to the innings with Franklin giving his wicket away because he would not feel comfortable being not out in the circumstances.

And then two hours of mesmerising drama – the kind where you can't move from where you are; where almost every over the match tipped to one team; the deep breaths with every steepling catch calmly caught by wakeful outfielders; the solidity and resilience of Tim Bresnan and the collective drawing of breath as the lbw appeal was upheld. The only lbw of the innings and possibly the turning point of the innings as the outstanding bowling of Steve Finn and Toby Roland Jones demolished any last hope Yorkshire had, and led to the final rush to the title. Four wickets in three overs and in the mayhem of the final wicket the realisation we had actually seen a hat trick. Memories made to last while watching the aftermath of all that drama; players rushing all over the place, interviews by the dozen, and the sight of a golden cup glistening in the autumn sun.

A few weeks earlier, as supporters began to feel that we could realistically talk about the possibility of winning the Championship, we discussed whether it would be best for the Championship to be won before the final game, whether it would be safer to just need a few points at Lords, or if we could stand the tension of needing the win.  I had opted for the lets have a few points needed so we can finally win at home.  But what could have been more perfect then to win the trophy in the dying moments of the season; and for that wondrous hat trick to trigger that joyous celebration. Memories made that will not end up in dusty archives of any kind and a challenge to 2017. Can it get any better cricket wise?

Remember that huddle?

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I was there
Middlesex till we die (IP Logged)
08/01/2017 17:50
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:02:05:16:35:18 by BarmierKev.

Re: I was there
Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
08/01/2017 18:28
I was hopeful that a DVD would be released of the match so that supporters can relive the match and see how Sky covered it. However, the fact more than three months have passed and I am the only person to have mentioned this suggests that it is unlikely to happen.

Re: I was there
BarmierKev (IP Logged)
08/01/2017 22:12
I'm grateful for any reminder of that momentus day. The extra bonus point to Yorkshire moment is one for the oxymoron thread because I was willing Yorkshire there,which seemed to confuse many people around me.

I agree Jonathan it would be great to have a video of that last day.

Re: I was there
BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
09/01/2017 09:14
That last day,still have the whole 4th day on my sky+ box to enjoy sometime on a cold winters day!
The day is still fresh,and reading all the postings is another way of reliving our day.
I find its great to see how people differently remember it.

Re: I was there
Leprechaun (IP Logged)
09/01/2017 12:13
i have all four days in all their glory recorded. If anyone wants a copy of the match or any of the days you are welcome for the price of the DVDs and postage if necessary. PM me if interested.

Re: I was there
rod/ed (IP Logged)
10/01/2017 15:21
Brief mention there of being huddled round a radio and days before mobile phones and internet. I think the world is too instant now. Remember the joy of finding out the Test score from some far off venue.
In my early days of following the Middle often the only way to find out the result of a John Player League match was to tune in to Radio 2 (if that's what is was then) at 7pm straight after the Top 40 on Radio 1.
Similarly I had to wait until the end of the Nine O'Clock News to hear that the Championship had been shared in 1977.

And yes I still play my vinyl albums but I believe they're on the way back!

Sorry to be a luddite

Re: I was there
dingy bags (IP Logged)
10/01/2017 19:37
This article is so well written.


Re: I was there
Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
12/01/2017 08:46
Winning at Lord's was special, but so much more special for me was to be able to witness this amazing day alongside people who cared about Middlesex C.C.C. as much - or more - than I do.

The celebrations that night were epic.

"Have you ever seen Gubbo down a pint........?"

Re: I was there
Shots1992 (IP Logged)
12/01/2017 20:05
That one moment in time, to beat the champions a massive county Yorkshire on our own hallowed turf of Lord's to become once again Middlesex CCC County Champions is what sport cricket is all about. It has been widely acknowledged as one of the best first class competitions ever, sharing with Kent in late seventies was also good battle. The most pleasing thing is to see the bond between players staff Executive committee and members(and those who are fans but foolish enough not to be members given the price). I have nothing put praise for all our players for their first class skill and absolute determination to win and never be beaten. Winners just like the great Don Bennet instilled into Middlesex players Radley Gatting Emburey and many more. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever give in, as Sir Winston Churchill KG once remarked in The Palace of Westminster. Magnificent. Must keep improving getting youngsters in. And Ravi!

Re: I was there
Jameslawler (IP Logged)
14/01/2017 08:26
I was sitting in the pavilion for all 4 days. Those 4 days will never be forgotten. A DVD of that game wil be great

Re: I was there
BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
31/01/2017 12:48
At this moment,I am sitting in The Tavern.
That day,that evening all comes rushing back to me.
'Our area' by the tele where we were dancing,singing,drinking from the cup.
The place where Ollie did his 'Have you ever seen ...... drink a pint'
All the spilt drinks on the floor.
Stewards enjoying the night..honest!
The party atmosphere.
And,everyone with a huge smile on their face.

I don't think the memories will ever go away.

Re: I was there
middle_luke (IP Logged)
02/06/2017 14:01
Has there been any sign of a DVD? I was working during this match and it was horrible to miss it. Would love to be able to watch it over the summer holidays!

Re: I was there
Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
02/06/2017 19:24
I think the club have decided that selling a DVD would not be financially viable, probably because they doubt whether the revenue it would generate would cover the various costs which would come with getting it produced.

Re: I was there
Leprechaun (IP Logged)
02/06/2017 20:37
Has there been any sign of a DVD? I was working during this match and it was horrible to miss it. Would love to be able to watch it over the summer holidays!

I still have the recording of the four days and my offer still holds. If anyone wants the full match on DVD let me know and its yours for the cost of the DVDs and postage if needed.(Sm128)

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