Tilford is so quintessentially picturesque that it attracts many cyclists, walkers, families and motorheads on a lazy Sunday afternoon. According to Debbie the current land lady of the Barley Mow, (an enterprise inns pub (they suffocate tenants with higher rents if they show any sign of enterprise)) - it is always a busy village (and thus pub) on the weekends.... a pity dear Debbie couldn't rope in another pair of hands to man the pumps as the hoards of coffee drinking, lager swilling oiks kept most of the team a good 4 meters away from the ale selection before the game, meaning that despite the rather slow traffic ridden drive  for the Peckers in the Hearse (my delicious long & black Ford Mondeo Estate...) the team were both parched and sober before the game... Luckily Texas Ranger was committed to beat the lunch + latte seeking, proper pub blaspheming queue of latex/lycra lathered losers and on arrival secured a few pints of really delicious Hogs Back Bitter (3.7% abv) which was lighter in colour than the well balanced more malty and thus traditional bitter than it's more famous sister - TEA which wasn't on offer (Traditional English Ale).

*The difficulty sourcing a pint before the game is thought to be a genuine under staffing of the Barley Mow having held a wedding the night before... however conspiracy theorists are claiming that POBS had called the pub and asked for Sunday's lunch service to be especially slow in order for the team to be held back from lashings of Ale before the game. Combination of cous being 45 minutes late on the pickup and traffic meant one quick pint Theory thought not to be true, mainly as Windy wasn't on the team sheet, and thus pre game drunken threat level was reduced to a mere 4/5 ... 


Pobs lost the toss and we were put into bat on a wicket that was pretty true and actually a fair bit better than it looked and that we have had in other recent games... Myself and Cannon were given the mandate to build a strong and stable innings - which after one look and solid block at the first ball that traveled with less gusto than one of Barons slower deliveries I couldn't help but ignore the manifesto I had been handed and proceeded to make swift reforms for the good of the crowded pub and surrounding spectators... they certainly got entertainment as the second ball of the game was destined to be swiped at... at the time I thought I had got away with a mishit and cleared mid on, but the Tilford skipper (Cookie) took a brilliant catch whilst running backwards and looking back at the ball that should have beaten him... with real focus he held the early opportunity which left me heading back to the smirking tables of pecker bats elect. 


Cuddy and Cannon assumed the roles of openers and proceeded to give the bowlers a much more appropriate response - which would result in 7 x 6's between them... Cannon scoring a highest Pecker PB of 21 before being bowled... 

SP joined Cuddy hitting 1 boundary before being run out - (Can't remember this one?!) 

Dicky was next to join Cuddy (with cheers from Parker, Wyatt and Gower Peckerinos who were enjoying a brilliant treehouse in the rafters of some sort of Japanese minivan, as well as sausage dog balloons and swords courtesy of Louise Scovell who used a bike pump to inflate and I gladly shaped... unfortunately disappointing the P'rinos when I failed to produce a shark... a shark!?!) 


Dicky enjoyed a delicious 4 and a 6 before getting caught off Tommo the local Tilford legend that started playing club cricket in 1956... he is currently 75 and enjoys a sing song, with a riveting rendition of the unofficial anthem of Yorkshire - On Ilkla Moor bar t'at... 

Next to face Tommo was a debutante Pecker - Neil Wyatt.... He must have impressed in the changing room as Neil was quickly crowned 'Nellie the Elephant' and all day whenever he had any sort of action (on the field of play) whistles and chants of the famous rhyme could be heard around the parish green (who offer Tilford CC little support for keeping the centre of the village so beautiful and well looked after). Nellie held up the other end stoically for a good half an hour whilst Cuddy continued to practice his craft the other end against Tommo and Ramekin. After two large sixes though Cuddy went for another large one, but was caught well away from his crease and was stumped for 62... Cuddy's average must be well over 50 now?! 

Texas Ranger / Big Merve was next up against the Jug thirsty Tommo - sporting his trademark Bjorn Borg headband and facial hair - having snuck back to the Barley Mow to help me carry a jug of the Surry Hill's Ranmore Bitter which beat the already more than satisfactory Hogs Back Bitter (3.8%) ... probably one of the beer's of the summer. I would point out also that the smaller and local breweries will produce on the whole the superior pints - they are mostly delivered direct from the brewery and in such small batches that they do not sit around... unlike the DEATHSTAR DOOMBAR which is mostly produced under contract by Thomas Hardy up north (not in Cornwall) in bulk ... 

Bjorg supported Nellie, who was another victim of Tommo for a respectable 9 (having not played for several years) via the Leg Before Wicket amendment - something later we would utilise ourselves to excess... more whistles were in unison as the Elephant marched back to the team... crossing paths with a slightly tired but in season Greaseman...

Greasy was one of the peckers in the Hearse who I collected off Battersea bridge earlier in the day - I was running late, so didn't have a chance to check out his houseboat which he resides in over the summer on Cadogan Pier... a good thing probably as the neighbours were probably fed up of all the recent unexpected guests of the last 12 hours... What a stroke of luck for Greasy that Embargos the infamous Chelsea hangout is a mere 300m from his front ... porthole?! So lucky was the star who famously scored with Sandy at the end of high school in 1959 - he 'kept up' his record with the American ladies - luckily who couldn't join the other Peckerettes of the day (Taramasalata Tamsin, Contessa Sophie and Susie (name needed)) as they were reportedly yanks of the moaning variety... such negativity would not have been welcome...

Greasy is certainly on a bit of a roll (Richard Branson lived on a houseboat once and didn't do too badly) as like a peacock he proceeded to continue his confident display of masculinity by whacking 7 boundaries (4 of which were 6's) to make 41 before being spayed by the safe hands of Ramekin off Bussell. Let's hope the damage isn't permanent and Embargos will see him drop £50 every Saturday on Jaegarbombs and continue this lengthy spring period of procreation that results in such sprightly performances.


Texas Ranger was swift to follow Greasy back becoming the 3rd victim of Captain Cookie's Claws who would be the final victim of Tommo who was quite clearly attempting to avoid giving the Barley Mow a good chunk of business in the form of buying jugs... Tommo bowled 10 overs straight which is truly commendable.

The tail end waggled well though with POBs and Horse striking more conservative 4's than 6's as the order above had got away with... POBs was keen to see the total hit over 200 before tea - and with Horse made good partnership putting on around 40... 

Horse (a tad lame) was keen to make the most of the opportunities handed to him, and struck a lovely cover drive whilst on 20 straight to ... the covers... However in the hope of some kind of misfield, Horse declined to 'neigh' to POBs and called a run.

 Etiquette / laws of cricket dictate that if the batsman hits the ball in front of him, and within his field of view it is his run to call - however POBs being a man who know's a lot about horse racing and has half an ounce of common sense - sensed that this run was only going to end either him or the rather lame Horse heading for the glue factory... and so he ignored etiquette, and Horse is now found on the shelves of the post office in the form of a Pritstick. RIP horse - 20 runs on a not so sticky wicket, but at least 200 envelopes now very sticky...

Potter playing for his average watched POBs have Max Beard take him out swiftly after #horsegate (bowled) and did not face a ball... POBs finished on 26. 

Peckers all out before tea for 222.


Proper match teas require printed menus... 

POBS!!! I’ve just had a word with the tea lady, and the reason the brownies were so good is because they had peanut butter in them!!!
— Guess who?!

Tea was superb. In a childrens party format, we sat apart from the opposition and enjoyed a spread of bacon and egg sandwiches, ciabatta with pate, brownies made with peanut butter (not so good for the nut allergic peckerinos) and selections of fruit (Blueberrys and Pineapple I pointed out to Greasy were particularly good for certain areas of the male anatomy... not that he had any issues ... link here in case some of the other peckers who are showing signs of turning Bearon need some help: https://www.eatsomethingsexy.com/aphrodisiac-foods/pineapple/ )


A printed menu brought the overall tea rating from 8/10 to 8.5/10... 

After tea the opening duo of Cuddy and SP (with cameos from LP and Jim) saw LBW become the most fashionable form of dismissal with the second LBW appeal from Texas Ranger (WK) and Canon (2nd slip) see Stones (golden duck) head back though bowler Cuddy and myslef (first slip) not appealing... The team nonetheless celebrated and probably any doubters to the 'plumness' of the wicket thought that  the laws of karma will intervene on future appeals.

The fact is that the following LBW appeal for Sprittles was indeed plum - and left us having 3 LBW wickets in the bag... suddenly POBs looked like he had received a letter from HMRC giving him a large rebate that he knew he wasn't entitled to... as he couldn't call back a plum LBW...  #awkward and #whitewash on the cards... Tilford had gone from 39-0 to 39-3 and then 44-4 when SP bowled Thurso for 1. 

In an effort to avoid loosing one of the more prestigious pecker fixtures through an LBW genocide -  POBs relieved Cuddy and SP who were bowling too good a line - any more LBW's would be catastrophic! 


Dickie Parker came on with the Horse, and Dickie claimed the threatening looking Adams who was bowled for 38... 

Horse continuing with the LBW trend taking Captain Cookie for 8 #LBWGATE continued...

Good bowling from the nag and Dickie, meant after another catch going to ?? Tilford were 119-6... and likely to now aim for the draw.

Patrick therefore let Greasy, Canon and then myself turn our arms - with Greasy bowling well, but replaced by self with some debut lofted leg spin which actually spun the other way... not sure how that happened - but it seemed to work ish... I was determined to have a go with usual seam bowling, which POBs agreed I could do as we only had a few overs left and I felt more confident to get a wicket with a seam ball than the lofty dross... Instead of a wicket I went for 16 in the final 3 balls of the over - and probably a few more the following - Max Beard slapping me around the park like Pukey with his dongle in the Old Rectory swimming gala a fortnight earlier... 

Canon was given a token over - which went for 1 run... #canongate 4 was potentially on the cards when Cuddy came back on to try and wrap the game up - luckily the lovely Contessa saw this from a distance and somehow telepathically calmed him down whilst I warned POB that he wasn't amused ... Cuddy took out Tommo with a catch to ??? 

Dickie returned to dismiss Max Beard for 47 (jug avoidance?!) with assist from Horse who had been put out to pasture with the girls at cow corner - taking a splendid boundary catch.

Ramekin came out and we thought that Tilford might waggle it's tail for a cheeky shot at winning, but we only saw no's 9&10 block out for their averages and a draw.

Tilford 155-8.

The Barley Mow had quietened down by the time we had all showered and had a breather on the way over the green... Only for jugs, speeches and songs to wake the bar girls up again who had had an 18 hour day on Saturday... I think they were happy to see us depart !!


I can only apologise to Andy Stewart for my appalling rendition.

Bjorn Borg winning Wimbledon and again at Tilford playing for the Woodpeckers  


Peckerettes and small mammal... 


Thinking about a move to Cadogan Pier... 


Man of the match sponsored by Veet