I'm not a fan of cricket, and never have been, but yesterday marked the highlight (in my opinion) of the upper Nidderdale social calendar. The Dave Challis 6-a-side trophy. In short, it's a cricket competition that involves, predictably, teams of 6. This year, a team from the Pateley Bridge butchers entered. The Sportsman's Arms always turn up in fancy dress. The team from Studfold Farm caravan site always take things too seriously, in a light-hearted way - if that's possible.
It always seems to attract a half-decent crowd as well. I suspect this is less to do with the cricket, and more to do with the £1.50/can beer tent and the outstandingly tasty barbecue. The buns on offer in the pavilion are of a superior standard as well.
The beer, I have to say, is definitely the main attraction for me. However, it's a pretty relaxed day. You can spend the 7-8 hours wandering around chatting to the other locals who frankly, you never really see during the remainder of the year due to the remoteness of the area. Or you can sit back and enjoy the beer, as we did. Either way, no-one really minds because it raises a fair few quid for the club and, I believe, the local school. Hence, the belated realisation I was diddled out of a fiver change at the burger tent shall remain unchallenged, because the cash isn't lining some corporate pocket.
On top of all this, I won a set of spotted pastel-shade coasters on the tombola, which to be fair is a half decent and useful item. Previous tombolas at local events have yielded such items as a bottle of Blue Nun 'wine', a red Ikea glass vase ornament thingy, and best of all, a two-handled child's training cup. Which is still in the cupboard, waiting for me to donate it to another tombola (if any local people reading would like it, I'll happily drop it at your house!)
Last years event managed to pay for the renovation of the pavilion toilets, very nice they were too. Hot water and soap provided! Best thing is, the sun made an increasingly rare appearance, and on a sunny day, surrounded by fields of sheep and cows, it's an incredible venue for cricket.
Incidentally, I have no idea who won. If anyone at all!