As we all know, the cricket season is all too short while the winter is all too long. The world has changed quite significantly since we last bowled or faced a cricket ball, so let's remind ourselves of these global events.

• The Queen died a mere week after the end of the 2022 season (unrelated), and as a new cricket season upon us, King Charles is about to be coronated (also unrelated)

• The worlds population surpassed 8 billion people (half of whom seem to go to the Two Sisters pub on Fridays)

• 2022 brought record breaking heat waves (the hot air from Munster fans doesn't help - think of the environment lads for crying out loud!).

• The UK went through more PMs than the number of sausages I consumed on my final morning on the Isle of Wight - personally I'd vote for the sausage.

• Back home Enoch Burke took umbrage to using they for he and them for her - and for his troubles Enoch is looking at a legal bill bigger than Mike Gatting's belly after an "all you can eat" pork pie buffet

However some things don't change - The Walnut Taverners starting the season with a bit of a shocker!

Bowling first the home side totalled the daunting score of 148. Although Gerry took two sublime boundary catches and Brian troubled their batters with a good exhibition of seam bowling.

In reply we struggled....ever so slightly.

The good news: Frank gloriously struck his first ball of the summer to the fence for a sumptuous 4 that would have graced Lords or the MCG.

The bad news: We were 9-6 at the time. Yes 6 wickets down for 9 runs.

Stoical batting from Colin (14 not out), Frank (11) and a courageous 1 not out by Cyril ensured the Walnuts were not bowled out and ended on 40-9. If it was a first class game, we could claim a draw. But if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a wonderful Christmas. 

Huge credit to Chapelizod who produced a sublime exhibition of tenacious batting and bowling, as well as very precise and determined fielding.

Afterwards we retired to the Villager pub (rumour has it some of us are still looking for parking) and the Chapelizod lads provided much needed nourishment in the form of very welcome pizzas. We stared at those pizzas like teenage boys staring at a Page 3 model. For the young folk out there a Page 3 model was nothing to do with the third page of Airfix Weekly magazine.

All jokes aside for a moment,  I want to express my gratitude to our hosts,  Chapelizod, who truly embodied the spirit of the game and made the evening very enjoyable for all of us

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to a book a table in the Two Sisters.....I fancy some sausages and pork pies.

Walnuts Win under the Tree.

Chapelizod @ Castleknock College April 28th 2023