The Bears arrived at Gatwick for an early start, allowing plenty of time for any mishaps with items such as… boarding passes and laptop cases (historical reference to Sri Lanka 16/17).
Fortunately everything ran smoothly and we boarded the flight in anticipation of the trip ahead. Half way through the flight, a game of ‘Trivia’ was enjoyed by the team on the inflight entertainment system.
To everyone’s surprise Coach Kadeer Ali came up trumps and won four out of the ten rounds making him the overall winner.
It’s hard to tell whether this victory was a result of pure luck or his wealth of knowledge from a B grade in so called ‘GCSE Medicine’. However, after a long nine hours we finally arrived at Bridgetown Airport and went straight to the Dover Beach Hotel. Dinner and bed was welcomed by a tired squad who awaited a tough day of training the next morning.
Day two began with another early start. The first training session was at the Wanderers Cricket Club (the oldest on the island) where we had the use of one grass net on the square and an unusual concrete surface.
One member of our squad (Matt Davison) took full advantage of the facilities as he decided to use the heavy roller to roll his back!
Despite the challenging conditions, the lads coped and adapted well to the slower wickets that provided variable bounce.
A post session pool stretch was undertaken by the squad on return to the hotel ensuring we were ready for training again the next day. However, for six members of the group, this was just a warm up for the highly anticipated beach volley ball match.
‘Tour pro’ Olly Hannon-Dalby (OHD), Dan Mousley, and Ethan Brookes challenged the highly skilled and dynamic trio of Paul Greetham, Ben Griffin and Rob Yates.
After being 9-2 down in the first set, OHD’s side brought it back and took the lead one set to nil. The second set was a display of high quality volley ball as Greetham, Griffin and Yates took the opposition apart and won 11-3.
The final set saw a shock capitulation from Greetham’s team as multiple “Yes, no, sorry” took place. Dinner was much welcomed followed by bed.
Training at the Franklyn Stephenson Academy soon follows along with our fixtures against Barbados U19 and a Combined Schools XI.