This year's Remnants dinner, held on Saturday, November 18, began with a wee pre-dinner drinkie at The Globe. However rather than the expected ambience of real ales and hardened drinkers, we were faced with a cordoned-off function area and a couple of, er, generously-proportioned DJs who were labouring under the misaprehension that the early evening crowd wanted to boogie away to Billie Jean and Dancing Queen. The green lasers and pumping beats had the predictable effect, the pub having all but emptied by the time we finished our drinks and moved next door for dinner.
As has become traditional, Remnants filled the party room at Kami's Restaurant, over twenty of us making the journey out tonight (although it should have been more but for Dave Norman forgetting, Alec Armstrong and Russell Woolf having last-minute work calls, and Mike Sneyd having somehow ``contracted a virus by playing snooker with Geoff''). Most of us drank way too much; all of us gorged ourselves on a great selection of mezze, pasta, pizza, grilled meat and, finally, a selection of fruits.
As the hungrier Remnants poached left-overs from the plates of the less-greedy, there was an audible groan as Geoff took to the stage -- but don't worry, it was just the great man stretching as he unfolded to his full height to give us the answers to the 2006 Remnants quiz.
(To see the answers simply highlight the region below the questions with your mouse by dragging the cursor across the screen with the left button held down.)
First wickets down (one run per answer)
Jim ``the luckiest Remnants bowler ever'' Higginson (in the first match of the season, what's more) and Richard Rex (showing his son how it's done).
Well, aside from the above two, obviously, it was Tom Jordan, also in that first-up defeat against Churchill which was sufficiently eventful to supply most of this first section of the quiz.
John Gull, who bettered two first-up ducks with, er, a first-up one.
Matt Hughes (part of a great all-round performance in which he also took a wicket and completed a catch).
It was physics lecturer Dave Green who managed to infer that 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 = 15.
The intended answer was Paul Jordan, who snaffled a nasty spinning outside edge despite the unwanted distractions provided by the answer to the next question . . . but it was actually Daniel Mortlock who, in a failed attempt to get an extra mention in the quiz, took the first catch of the season.
While Paul, at gully, was steadying himself under the spiralling ball, John Gull mounted an ambush from his concealed base at point; fortunately for all concerned John pulled up from him strafing run at the last minute.
Phil Watson -- and no, it wasn't by bedding an overly-testicled transvestite, but rather by bamboozling yet another hapless mid-week batsman.
Behind the timbers (one run per answer)
Andy Owen (and he would have had five if he'd taken the easiest chance of the lot).
Ev Fox (his achievement being remarkable enough that it earned a question in last year's quiz as well).
Dave Norman (who hopefully enjoyed whatever he ended up having for tea instead of Kami's spread).
Nick Clarke was the official answer, but there was a lot of murmuring that Rob Harvey did as well . . . and the records reveal that this was the case, making up for his ``taking the ball in front of the stumps'' debacle on the way to dismissing a weak Zoology side for a paltry 66.
Well that definitely was Rob Harvey: he took the ball in front of the stumps and the batsman was rightly recalled . . .
The umpire (Geoff, in case he hasn't told you about the incident several times himself) was so excited at having added one to his list of ``calls I have made'' that he forgot to signal no-ball.
Who's that, umpire? (one run per answer)
That was Dave Williams (before going on to score the third most runs for the season), although Andy Owen claims that he made a similar assertion himself.
Club captain Daniel Mortlock -- Andy Owen's and John Gull's perplexing claims that they had similarly under-achieved were rendered false when they participated in the May 31 miracle win against Girton.
Club vice-captain Russell Woolf who'd stepped into the breach to lead Remnants to the above wonder victory.
Ev Fox (who finished up holding the ball in triumph) and Les Collings (who finished up holding his fingers in agony) as they both went for a skier from the bat of Nick Clarke.
Phil Watson, in his ``farewell week'' (seemed like a month) at the end of June -- indeed he also got a guard of honour, not to mention plenty of food stuck in his beard.
Les Collings was the intended answer, but whilst everyone remembered his tile-smashing effort off The Computer Lab's Martyn Livett at Fitz, even Les couldn't send the ball the 80 yards required to do the same trick at Caius (The Computer Lab's home ground, and the probable source of the confusion). Thoughtfully, Les eventually e-mailed to say that he did hit the roof at Fitz a second time, however -- but it was just one of those silly internal games, and we won't dwell on the identity of the humiliated bowler.
Love those stats (one run per answer)
John Young, making the critical run in the final over against The St Radegund.
Obviously plenty of Remnants achieved this curious feat, but it was Dave Green who publicly stated this aim at the start of the season, finishing up with 47 runs and just 46 birthdays.
John Gull, although he claims it was only five (bats, not balls).
John Richer, the former being the (equal) fastest Remnants batting on record.
Phil Hastings -- and whilst the single was completed, John's immediate retirement precipitated one of the worst ``snatching defeat from the jaws of victory'' efforts in Remnants history.
Hart-McLeod and, just to prove that their efforts weren't always so disastrous, John and Phil were the ones who knocked off the runs.
22 needed off the last over (one run per answer)
John Young (as recorded above), John Richer (as recorded above) and Andrew Lea (as strangely ignored by history).
Oliver Rex, Ollie Clarke and Oliver ``blossom'' Waterfall everyone got; the trick was Lucas Oliver, Beehive and CB XI regular, who was lured into our eleven one mid-summer night.
John Gull, John Richer, John ``blue shoes'' Moore and John Young.
George Speller and Chris McNeill.
Andrew Lea and John Young (yes, that's right, against the poor old St Radegund).
Andrew Lea, John Young and John Richer you already know from Operation Demoralise The St Radegund; Dave Williams you know from the ``no more big innings'' madness; John Gull you know from the curious orange glow where his hair should be; Daniel Mortlock you'd better know if you want a bat next year (AGM coups notwithstanding); and Joe White you will be introduced to at the first opportunity.
Complete this rhyme with an apprporiate final line:
Here lies our opener Nick
Who was squashed by a lorry (three-tonne)
The dash to the pavement he didn't quite make
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"To the last a poor judge of a run" was the rather mean intended answer -- I'm not sure why Geoff picked on the absent Mr Clarke -- but full credit to Dave Green, who was pretty close with ``'Cos he was called for a single by John''. Not so much credit to Andrew Lea, however, with his surreally worrying ``Dreamed of a hundred too late, too late.''
Despite Geoff's claims that he'd made the quiz a bit easier this year, the winning score (34/50) was lower than usual; but congratulations still to Dave Green, Mike Jones and (having also been on the winning team last year) Chris McNeill. They received what initially appeared to be ``a plastic bag full of stuff'', but turned out to be a lovely bottle of creamy liquer specifically desgined for pouring over strawberries/blackberries and girlfriends/wives.
That wasn't the only food on offer, though: there was also the Les Collings Pickled Egg award, a jar of pickled eggs being presented to the Remnants player who, during the course of the year, was Les Collings. The Champagne Moment, to the surprise of no-one, went to John Young for his inaugural half-century against The St Radegund, although their were honourable mentions for both John Gull (a match-winning 85* off just 60 balls against Girton) and Andrew Lea (for his incredibly consistent efforts over the course of the season). There were also a number of heart-felt thank-yous: to Sally Hales for her immaculate scoring; to Mike Jones for actually ringing up Geoff to inform him of his availability (hint hint), to Dave Green for taking over as treasurer, and to the previous treasurer, Phil Watson, for leaving . . . the club in a very healthy financial position.
And whilst he may now live nearer to Wales and West Cambridge, he was here tonight, and had thoughtfully brought with him a monstrosity in the form of an eight-inch cricketing sculpture (pictured below) that his mother, in a rare lapse of taste, had given him earlier in the year. Phil decreed that this was to become a new perpetual trophy, to be presented at each Remnants dinner by the previous holder to any other member of the club for whatever reason they want. To get the ball rolling, Phil decided this year it would go to the Remnants Cricketing Tart, something for which he was pretty damn well qualified himself. George Speller was a leading candidate until he left the dinner once the food came out . . . but in the end it went to another absentee, Russell Woolf, who turned out for Remnants, Romsey and The Beehive (and maybe others) during the course of the year. Ironically it was collected by Andy Owen, cricket's ultimate monogamist (well, bigamist, really, given his occasional appearances for Remnants), but that's another story.
The speeches may have been going on for some time, but there was one final formality more important than all those that preceded it: a toast to Geoff Hales for having made Remnants what it is, and kept it that way for more than a quarter of a century.
And that was about that. The faithful stayed 'til after midnight, by which time The Globe's dancefloor was finally beginning to fill up (even if largely with vomit) and the Remnants dispersed until nets begin early in the new year.