|Scholes Cricket Club|
They came clad in padded jackets, wore hats and gloves, and had blankets draped over their knees for the start of our summer sport.
But I've got a soft-spot for cricket, particularly in this neck of the woods as I owe it a real ale debt.
A long walk on sultry day in Slaithwaite in May 2005 led me into the pavilion in search of refreshment. There I found a good ale on the bar and I have been coming back to the Drakes League every year since.
So on Saturday I took in two games on opening day, plus a few pints.
Now conditions at the home of champions Shepley CC were far from summery. The opening paragraph of my post isn't exaggerated but true.
I cut across the square before a ball was bowled and headed for the glazed clubhouse where I hoped they would be serving Elland. Had weather forecasting been an exact science I think the Shepley steward put on a nine of warming 1872 Porter.
|Shepley CC and its Elland connection|
But instead he opted for Elland's Bargee, a 3.8% session bitter.
Looking back at a Shepley post Will wrote on here five years ago, Bargee appears to be a popular choice in the club's now newly decorated bar.
I ordered a pint (£2.90) of this pleasing beer and whiled away an hour watching Shepley bat.
The bus timetable dictated I had to then catch a bus to New Mill for the short but steep walk up to Scholes Cricket Club.
Here, like last year, they had three handpulls on. I was directed by one of the helpful committee members to Scarborough Brewery's Chinook. This was only the second Scarborough beer I'd had and it was pure class in a glass. I might have to take myself off to Yorkshire County Cricket's August HQ in search of more of their beers and some of North Riding's!
Next I tried what will be the permanent house beer.
JW Lees MPA, 3.7%, was an easy sessioner but my palate was still singing with the chinook, which was likened to a Mallinsons beer.
I finished with with Grainstore's malty Triple B, which helped me brave the elements outside. All three beers were in good nick and a bargain at £2.50 a pint. Nearly as good value for money as the bakewell malteser cake also on sale in the clubhouse, which has something for everyone.
So ended a fine start to the season.
But I think I'll alter the format a bit this year by reviewing some of the pubs near to the grounds to see what they have to offer, and in the vain hope someone can simply explain the Duckworth-Lewis (rain- affected) method to me (whether sober or inebriated).