On the evening of Monday 13th June the 2nd Test Match between England (World Cup winners or whatever) and New Zealand (World Test Cup champions, or whatever) was heading towards a dull draw.

A nice lady from Notts CCC came on Radio 5 Sports Extra and told us entry to the 5th day, normally about the price of a schooner of DIPA in Shoreditch £80 would be FREE (zero, 0) on Tuesday.

Well, why not. The only test match I’d ever been to was while I working in Zimbabwe 24 years ago, when the home team stunned India, Sachin Tendulkar and all, with a 61 run win. But the highlight was the close shave with Mugabe’s presidential guard, bayonet and all, as I took a wrong turn due to left/right confusion.

No such confusion finding Trent Bridge, 15 minutes south of Nottingham station.

The train from Sheffield was heaving, mainly blokes with sunglasses on their heads from local cricket clubs, lured by “FREE”.

Hall & Woodhouse Blandford Fly the train beer of choice, for the first time ever.

If I was a proper vlogger like BRAPA or Blackpool Jane or Walsall Evo I’d tell you here about my troubles buying deodorant for £1.99 instead of £2.99 in Boots, or about the seven (7) minute wait for the loo at the station. What do people DO in toilet cubicles. Answers from men only, please.

I remembered the deodorant, but forgot the sun tan lotion, as the clouds cleared, the temperature hot 24, and I took my UNCOVERED seat in the Radcliffe End. I also learnt that wearing a hat isn’t as stupid as I tell you.

For FREE, not a bad view. In fact, far better than watching it on the telly, you get a far better perspective of the whole ground.

And you get a FREE cliche service from the Notts lady behind me. “Bit of chin music”, “stick of rhubarb”, “they all count”, “one for the over” etc etc

She did recommend the chippy over the road though.

Best chippy in Notts, she said. It wasn’t. I should have stayed in the ground at half-time and had a curry.

The beer choice in the Larwood Voce behind the singing stand didn’t appeal either.

Back at the cricket, Joe Root came and went for 3, and the Kiwis seemed set to claim victory.

But then something happened. Something ginger.

One of the more extraordinary afternoons of sport, as Johnny whacked everything.

Ben nearly killed me with his six into the top tier, and victory was improbably secures in time for a post-match pint at the Art Deco Test Match Hotel, just too far away to be too busy.

Not a GBG pub, since it’s owned by nasty Greene Kings (boo ! says all of Kimberley), but the pub is cosy and warm,

the seating options unmatched,

the TV switched to post-match interviews,

and the pint of Abbeydale Moonshine a foamy 3.5.

Come on you pies !” shouts someone. Why, I’ll never know.

8 thoughts on “AT THE TEST MATCH

  1. I would have enjoyed this too -an exciting finish is always appreciated -my husband used to go to Headligley a lot to watch Mr Boycott -(I wasn’t invited in those days ) -watching him at the crease was not for me although the hundredth hundred may have been slightly interesting

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  2. What a great day’s cricket to watch. Bairstow was magnificent.

    The only time I have been to Trent Bridge was after a conference at Nottingham University in 1987 (the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing). I walked over to the ground and Nottinghamshire were playing the last game of the season. Hadlee took some wickets and Notts were crowned County Champions. It was Hadlee’s last match for the county he finished the season with 97 wickets at an average of 11.89.

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  3. Ive been to Trent Bridge loads of times over the years for the cricket, the weird thing is I dont think Ive ever been in the Larwood & Voce though, we always end up in the Trent Bridge Inn for beers, or post match at the Trent Navigation, and certainly never been to the Test Match hotel but as you are starting to wander off towards West Bridgford at that point instead of back to the city centre thats maybe more understandable, though Ive been to the Poppy & Pint which is just as far from the ground in the “wrong” direction.

    as for the pies song, its a Notts County thing as in Mag…pies, but as the football season only started this week they probably just spotted that Forest scarf from the playoff final hanging up by the bar.


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