I know how much you like seeing pictures of maps of the A514 so, particularly for Russ’ benefit, here you go…
It forks to the right here and heads on towards Chellaston, Allenton before hitting downtown Derby. This road is responsible for a fair few posts on the blog and runs from at least Swadlincote to Derby with plenty of boozers en route.
So, any chance I get to add to the list will not only keep my Canadian readers happy (Russ), but also build on the urban myth over the past 21 months of this blog.
Of course, the full title of this blog claims to be “drinking in pubs and clubs in the Midlands” and there have been a smattering of cricket clubs thus far. Whist Duncan lords it at The Grange for big games between Scotland and Afghanistan, I am setting my sights a little lower at more modest surroundings.
399 – Swarkestone Cricket Club DE73 7GR play in the Beechwood Mazda Derbyshire County Cricket League Premier Division (which just rolls off the tongue) and are one of the division’s big hitters.
They were champions in 2016 and visitors Sandiacre were champions in 2017 so this was a real heavyweight clash.
Knowle & Dorridge CC definitely win the award for the cricket club with the best bar so far, but I’ve also tried my luck at West Bromwich Dartmouth CC, Hampton & Solihull CC and Swarkestone’s local rivals Ticknall CC as well.
Anyway, my drinking buddy/West Brom fan/three stag parties newlywed and I had an hour to kill so we decided to hit the A514 in search of good quality cricket.
(cricket covers = needed most days)
The first couple of overs saw a delightful catch at deep square leg and then stumps flying in the following over which was the cue for some top class sledging from Sandiacre’s wicketkeeper.
(24-2…167 looks a long way off from here)
The covers had already been in use when we arrived and one of the anomalies of a rain affected match is the D/L method, which somehow meant Swarkestone were chasing 15 more runs than Sandiacre actually scored due to convoluted mathematics (keep up Russ, Dick and Dave).
(start of the collapse – wicket number 2)
The outfield was as slow as any I’d seen and a home win looked unlikely as we left with two down… but we didn’t foresee a Warwickshiresque collapse in the offing as they eventually bit the dust for just 58…maybe they wanted to get back for Derby’s first leg play off against Leeds.
Anyway they were friendly enough in the bar and it was bottles only, but the barman said the GK IPA and Pedigree were still room temp as they’d just gone in the fridge.
It’s 2019 and no one drinks room temperature beer anymore so it was a no brainer and a £3 can of cold, strong Polish lager (Tyskie) was the only answer!
A sparse crowd, primarily of partners, and committee members were in, although there were plenty of walkers passing by the midwicket/cover boundary throughout the hour we were there.
(press cuttings in the clubhouse)
However, despite the alternatives, local league cricket is still alive and kicking with enough youngsters provide to sacrifice a Saturday for it to continue a while longer yet. And when retirement finally arrives I intend to spend most of the summer watching it!!