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A Grounded View from Durham

from Uxbridge to Durham

By Vic
November 5 2018

Vic Demain our old friend from his Uxbridge days gives his perspective of our final match of the season from his role as Durham groundsman. Many thanks for sharing. 

Durham v Middlesex is always a greatly anticipated fixture for myself as Head Groundsman at Durham CCC and a supporter of Middlesex CCC. However as time passes and team make ups change, the balance changes. Gone are old favourites Compton, Morgan and Simpson replaced by Bamber, Fuller and White.
Also gone is Richard Scott the coach. Back in December 2017 shortly after the fixtures were announced, Richard emailed to ask if it would be possible for the squad to train on the Sunday before the game. This is something that normally happens a couple of days prior to the fixture. Scott was organised and made sure all of the bases were covered. But then, some of the old faithfuls are still there - Gus, Jonno, Don, along with Murts, Dawid and Ollie.
This game had an added bonus as it was to see the end of a wonderful career, that of the Durham captain Paul Collingwood. One first met Paul at Uxbridge in 2008, shortly after he had been dropped from the England test side. He returned to the ranks to play a 50 overs game. We were somewhat concerned that he might be a little grumpy, but the truth is, he was charming and joked about looking for the short boundary on the athletics track side. MCCC got a below average score against a strong attack and sure enough Colly landed a few balls in the car park as he and Chanderpaul chased the total down.
Colly epitomises the NE spirt, he is determined and passionate about his trade. He represented two clubs, Shotley Bridge and Durham CCC, his cricketing hero was his elder brother and of course he represented his Country with honour. He will be missed next March, but will not be away for too long.
Pitches at The Riverside this season have supported the bowlers. This one was dry, white and cracked. No green at all. That said a 10.30 start in September in the NE pointed to another insertion. Dawid surprised all when asking for a toss, so much so that a coin needed to be called for. Having been bowled out for two scores of sixty in the last game at Leics, many considered that DCCC might have been bowled out before lunch.
Sure enough Middx struggled against fine bowling from Salisbury. Durham went in and Harte for the second time this season scored a hundred at home, no mean feat. Starting their second innings Middx pair of Gubbins and Eskinasi did what was needed and formed a partnership. Batting looks so much easier at Durham when two batsmen get set. Leaving Durham a target of 167 in the fourth innings proved too many and Middlesex ran out comfortable winners.
When the game was in the balance with Durham five down in the second innings, Gubbins fielding at deep point turned to the groundsman and said "great cricket wicket", this after taking a horrible blow on the shoulder early on day 1.
Of course the match is secondary to renewing old friendships with mates not seen for a while. Those that had managed to make the trip were rewarded with lovely weather and a very good game of cricket, despite the result!! Sadly one was missing although his wife and daughter made a great effort to drive up and back on day 2. The Diamond Ruled would have been well proud of their commitment.

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A Grounded View from Durham
Discussion started by Middlesex till we die , 05/11/2018 09:10
Middlesex till we die
05/11/2018 09:10
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:12:03:09:28:26 by BarmierKev.

05/11/2018 13:36
Thanks for a lovely article, Vic. I'm sure Paul Collingwood still has plenty to offer Durham and cricket in general.

05/11/2018 14:44
Thanks for this Vic,a good read from a different perspective.
Nice comment by Gubbo as well.

It's always good to catch up with you when the chance arises,and a big THANKS for what you did for us during our stay.

Winter Well my friend,and look forward to meeting up again next season. 🍻🏏🍻🏏

Mike TA1
05/11/2018 17:43
Strangely enough Somerset's previous Head Groundsman Phil Frost told me today that Vic was Head Groundsman at Durham.

Good luck for the future Vic.

06/11/2018 13:20
Thanks for taking the time to do this report Vic and share your thoughts.

Much appreciated. As you say, Paul Collingwood a decent down to earth bloke, always ready to chat with supporters.

Best of luck for the future to both of you.

dingy bags
06/11/2018 18:20
Thanks from me, as well. This was a memorable trip and nice to have the reminders from 'the ground'.

06/11/2018 20:12
Ditto thanks for your generous hospitality Vic. A wonderful 'view from the boundary'.

06/11/2018 20:15
I'm really grateful to Vic for sharing this memorable occasion. I really wish I could have been there

Barmy Kev
I'm only here for the tele

08/11/2018 12:20
From Vic who is unable to register. He is glad to be of service and says hi to all out there.

Hayling Panther
22/11/2018 14:14
Nice one Vic. Thanks for your hospitality up there. It made a good trip a memorable one

Money on Durham away in early April when the fixtures are out next week

Cover those knees up and have a good winter


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