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The end of an era…

June 19, 2011

Hi there – I am reappearing into the peg world – I hope you have missed me 😉

I wish to, like my gorgeous RayPeg, focus on reminiscing this week – the reason for this is that my 5 years playing for the University of Birmingham women’s cricket club (UBWCC) are at an end – I officially played my last game this wednesday just gone – the end of an era indeed.

I have spent a huge majority of my university life involved in cricket and sport in general really, I genuinely cannot think of how my university life would have panned out without this! I believe that it has played a huge part in shaping me as a person, and I know that the maturity I gained  lives on inside of me as I advance into my working life.

I therefore wish to dedicate this PEG to just a few memories over the last 5 years, ending with a brief account of my final ubwcc day – playing our semi final against Durham AWAY which culminated in the four leaving members getting ‘terminated’! One of those terms that I believe to be  banned in the press (alongside ‘FRESHER INIATIATIONS’ and will never neglect to remain etched in my memory for ever more – the photos further down this page will go SOME WAY in illustrating why!

Ok, I am going to do this year by year! Everyone – get ready to set foot on the CRICKET BANDWAGON – I want some serious ‘groupie behaviour’ here to achieve the full effect of my tales 😀

Year One:

I entered life as a fresher and momentarily my life was consumed with pizza and chugging pints. I believe this to be the sole reason as to why I reappeared home for the christmas holidays with an additional stone of ‘personal baggage’. When I came home my mother, not at all subtly, said ‘ooooo rach, you’ve been ‘enjoying’ yourself havnt you?’. I then on VOWED to re-enter my cricketing career!

I contacted ubwcc and began to attend summer training – admittedly I hardly said a word as my brain could hardly function to string a sentence together.  At the time all i wanted to do was to join my  fellow fresher flatmates and go skinny dipping in the local pond – oh how I cringe at the memories…At least i can say one thing, that is all they are – extremely distant memories of nakedness and pond fish!

Year Two:

This year was the real start of my sporting commitments! I made a promise to myself that i was going to seriously commit to the university cricket team – revisiting my cricket skills developed over the last ten years. Unfortunately I had hidden these away since the age of 17 whilst i discovered alcohol, fun and the SUGARMILL (a grimy but brilliant  *at the time*  club that only  my peglets can truly relate to)!

Anyway, I joined as planned, scared half to death if my memory serves me correctly! But it was without doubt the best thing I did throughout my whole university life. I met some amazing people that year and made a special friend for life 🙂 Yes Laura Pierce, that is you! Furthermore, I managed to accidentally create quite a name for myself on the very first sports social by knocking my self out, cutting my head open and spending the entire night in A&E – oh how i cringe – Mr Bump stuck with me for quite a while…

Year Three and Four:

So, these two years were even more challenging due to the fact that I was made captain! Now, little did i know how much work this involved (oh how i learntt….): being involved in the cricket committee went along way in maturing me as a person. I had quite a reputation of being a bit of a LADDD and rather spontaneous/careless (“toooo lost in youuuuuu”…? anyone..?) – Ha onwards and upwards!

Being thrown into the deep end as captain and being involved in such a role of responsibility worked wonders in allowing  me to grow from a insolent teenager into a WOMAN (well, maybe not a woman quite yet, but well on my way!)

Over these 2 years I have many amazing memories, met some brilliant people and know I have made a handful of friends for life.

I watched the club grow in many ways – especially where the quality of players was concerned. Several county players from all over the country joined Birmingham University and this allowed the club to focus more on the coaching aspect of things rather than the social side of things (something we did not have much choice of before).  Due to this, we managed to make it into the 2009-10 Indoor Championship Finals at no other place than LORDS.  This was a huge achievement and I remember back at the time never feeling so proud 😀

Additionally to this, we had MUCH success in the Outdoor League – finishing top of our regional league, reaching the University league knockout finals – only to go on to win the whole thing and achieve a place in the cricket Premier League!

Again, memories like this do not come often and i believe them to be etched into my mind for ever more! Here are a few of them now…

 the start of our BUSA final…

The team collecting their GOLD medals and TROPHY!

Our 'oh so cool' celebratory shot...

Year Five:

This is where my time as captain came to an end – it also marked the start of an extremely hectic year, dominated entirely by the Masters i have been studying for. However, it goes without saying that i made sure i had time to fit cricket in.  So begins, another season….

It was nice to be able to enjoy the game without the constant worry of ensuring everything was running smoothly.  The negative aspects of this, however, were highlighted in my peg a few weeks ago . This new found focus on myself as a player, not a captain, allowed me to focus a lot on the fact i wasn’t performing to the best of my ability! However, I do have good news! Since the last peg post, i seem to be creeping back onto form – well at least my BOWLING has, we still DO NOT SPEAK of my batting 😉

Anyway, this year we didnt have quite as much success – this mainly due to the sheer quality of the premier league teams we were playing – they really are in a league of their own! Nevertheless, we still found ourselves in the UNIVERSITY LEAGUE semi-finals, which was played AWAY (grooan) against Durham last wednesday.

The new social secretaries (just voted in) took it upon themselves to make this the best opportunity possible to terminate all the team members who are leaving this year – the trepidation of the terminees was strong – we knew how much the social secs needed to prove themselves. This combined with the fact the terminations were taking place on a coach ride of 5 hours long made all members very nervous indeed…

So, this is how i finish my peg – a small re-enactment of my final day playing as a member of UBWCC:

1.00am: receive email from social secs telling ‘terminees’ to bring one spoon and a minimum of 6 cans of beer (the anxious feeling begins..)

7.30am: coach leaves for durham…

11.30am: Arrive in Durham – whispers follow us around, not one single member of the team know what lies ahead of us

5.00pm : After a good effort from all team members, Birmingham lose to Durham, we are knocked out of the trophy but all team members are happy and content after a season well fought. Now for the terminations to begin…

5.30pm: terminees made to line up outside the bus and receieve their initial special treatment: this involved face paint, talcon powder, black eye liner and beards/moustaches…

6.00pm: the reason for the spoon reveals itself – a lucky dip ensues with concoctations such as ‘bread soaked in whiskey with jalepenos’ – this being further fuelled by the fact that it has been fermenting on a hot coach all day – trust me, it was not at all pretty.

 

7.30pm: Our first challenge (achieve the most creative photograph at the service station stop)

   

  

Now its safe to say – my team (TEAM GREEN) won this challenge.  The other team didnt even come close (there best effort was a handstand in a bush…lame i know 😉 – I think the lorry wheel shot above is MY PERSONAL FAVE.

7.30 – 9.20pm: The night continued and all i have to say on that matter is that WE MADE IT HOME IN ONE PIECE and I truly believe that my time at UBWCC could not have been concluded in a more fitting manner!

From here on I move onwards and upwards!

I just want to say a big thanks to everyone that has contributed to the last 5 years – I LOVE YOU ALL.

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