Snatching Victory from the Jaws of DefeatThere's a lot more to rounders than you might think. Having spent my entire life dismissing it as a mere 'girls' game somewhere between hopscotch and netball, I was surpised at the intensity and naked competitiveness that surfaced at the 2010 staff v students rounders match. It was supposed to be a mere formality. 11 teachers, all old hands at this playing field standby of every school in England, we even had a county champion in the shape of Nicky. Complacency was evident as we swaggered down to the freshly chalked pitch and precisely arranged bases. A brief bout of catching to warm up and we were ready to dispatch the student team in short order and be home for an early night. Big mistake. Sloppy fielding, shocking catching and a lack of attention resulted in a comedy of errors. Younger, fitter and faster, the opposition rattled off seven rounders before we knew what was happening. Time to regroup. A brief exchange of motivational shouting and a blistering rebuke from Dave at batstop, we settled down and soon demolished their middle order. A late recovery from their tail end saw them all out for 9. In we went. Facing a field of 25 there were very few spaces on the pitch not covered by a fielder intent on dismissing their teacher. Thankfully, our batting was better than our fielding and we soon matched their total but complacency set in again and we were unable to add any more rounders and ended the first inning all square. On a personal note, I was caught sensationally by Emile in the deep field after I had lashed the ball away for what I thought would be a guaranteed rounder.
As the second innings began, the crowd became restless, demanding victory for the student team. Perhaps the pressure got to them, perhaps the fading light hampered their batting but the second innings saw a distinct slump in their form and we were able to get them all out for a modest 8 rounders. This was accomplished in large part by a match-winning performance from Tom. Fielding at whatever is square leg in rounders, he snatched catch after catch from the air with consumate ease and set us up for a comfortable win. Everyone on both teams played really well and although the staff came away with the laurels, the student team really made us work for it. Congratulations one and all.