2010 Croatia Tour Report
Across the weekend of the early May Bank Holiday 2010 we ventured to Vis in Croatia for our 2010 tour. It's a place with lots of history and thriving tourism. The Scorebooks are below. Our hosts on Vis, excellent chaps to a man, were the Sir William Hoste CC and their colleagues in Split, Sir Oliver CC came over for a game as well. The tour was organized by Steve-O and there are too many of our hosts to thanks, but particularly we'd single out Oliver Roki, his fine vineyard, delicious konoba and sturdy van, Antonio Lipanovic, Robbie, Ben, Craig (who does fine adventure hols - see here) and of course the lads from Split...
Back, L>R Steve-O, Yesterdays Man, Rog,Tricky Viky, Daveski, Padders. Front: CK1, CGC, Arsey with Peko the dog, QuickSilva, Dazzler,Tinker, Smutmeister. Kneeling: the Sword
SalixCC Tour Report (by Steve-OO)
Any trip that is bookended by 3am starts had better be good. Salix’s 10th overseas tour to the Croatian island of Vis wasn’t just good, it turned out to be the best tour ever (as voted by those participants on the tour; votes were cast at 2am Saturday 1st May when most of the team were in a state of advanced inebriation, but let us not allow such details to detract from the success of the tour…).
Inspired by Radio 4’s serialisation of the travelogue “Batting on the Bosphorous” we decided at last year’s tour to Luxembourg that Vis would be our destination for 2010. There was great support for the idea and much to my amazement we had 17 people paid up before Christmas.
With a few weeks to go the trophies had been engraved and I was ready to order the team shirts when I received this missive from a team mate who will remain nameless – “Can we please, please, please have some good quality (aka ‘posh’) kit for a change? Clothing that we can be proud of wearing to the wine bar?” and so CK1 was duly given the job of designing, sourcing and purchasing the tour shirts (annoyingly he did a really good job and what is normally a source of much team discontent produced nothing but exclamations of admiration… well no one moaned anyway).
So, other than the normal last minute drops outs (one with passport issues, one with freelance work issues and one because he is a rude tosser and still hasn’t told me he isn’t coming) all was ready and we were off to Gatwick.
Our arrival in Split heralded the loss of Vik as the Immigration Police managed to find fault with his visa. Luckily we managed to extricate him from the clutches of the over zealous agents of the state, very luckily as it turned out as Vik went on to score a third of the team’s runs!
Thursday was spent settling into the accommodation above the bakery (better than their sticky buns), acclimatising to the sun and supping a few beers with some of our hosts (Swords tried to knobble 2 of their players by making them drink with him for 12 hours straight). Dinner at Val’s (turns out Val is Croatian for wave and not the name of the attractive owner who told Fletch off for interrupting her description of the piscine delicacies) was followed by a relatively early night.
Friday dawned brightly and we were collected at 10am to play a T20 game against the island’s club - Sir William Hoste CC. Being a work day the opposition numbered only 8 but as we numbered 12 we loaned them 2 of our players and off we went. Bowling first we kept them down to 4 an over for the loss of 5 wickets and it proved to be an easy target as we knocked them off for the loss of 3 wickets using fewer than half our overs. Notable performances - Swords bowling Toni the local wine making baron (more of that later), Darren taking a straight forward catch behind the stumps and dropping 2 others and Vik and Padders hitting most of the runs required.
At this point I guess I need to say something about the cricket ground; it is 4 km out of town; however that 4 km is made up of 2 km up a mountain and 2 km of going down the other side. Our journey was piloted by Oliver Roki (the brains and energy behind cricket on the island) in his “licensed for 10 passengers but the record is 18” minibus. The journey up the mountain is pretty hairy not helped by Fletch engaging Oliver in conversation which encouraged much pointing out of beauty spots and key geological features of the island. This however was nothing compared to our last journey from the ground which Oliver spent driving, speaking on the telephone and preventing his small dog (named Oki???) leaping from the window in pursuit of seagulls (which he hates apparently).
The ground and setting is terrific – artificial strip and dodgy outfield but in a few years it will settle just fine - surrounded by high hills, vineyards and a World War 2 emergency landing strip (I kid you not).
So after the game a few beers, another dinner, wine, few beers… you get the picture.
Saturday, more great weather and a 35 over game beckoned. Our hosts William Hoste batted first and posted 156 – 7 mainly due to their Yorkshire exile Craig who made a big 50. The Salix bowling was tight (other than Rog who went for 7 an over) and again the unlikely hero with the ball was Swords taking 3 wickets (including Toni the wine making baron again). Also worth mentioning Dazzler who, shorn of his keeping gloves, took an absolute blinder at slip. In reply Salix knocked off the runs with 8 overs and 5 wickets to spare thanks to Daveski (47) and Vik (79). Other notable contributions – Fletch caught behind for 3 (he didn’t touch it apparently); Arsey who topped off dropping two catches with a miserable 7 and Tink who mustered but a single run.
After the game we visited a former military run man made cave complex which has been taken over by Toni (the wine baron) for the making and storing of his wine. A few bottles were sampled and purchased and to show there was no hard feelings for getting him out twice Swords was presented with a magnum of wine.
Dinner was eaten in Oliver’s restaurant – a traditional fish dish prepared in a traditional way – a bloody great solid iron air tight wok sat on a bloody great open fire. We also had the chance to sample the wine that Oliver’s family make, and bloomin' fine it was too.
Sunday dawned and the weather had changed – still warm but a stiff breeze meant that we saw waves on the Adriatic for the first time in 3 days. Our game today was against Sir Oliver CC from Split who had travelled to the island the night before and, because they would be going back on the 6 O’clock ferry, we only had time for another T20 game.
Salix batted first and made 130 – 9, top scorer was X Tras with 30 followed by Dazzler with 20. Vik stuck down the order made a quick fire 14 not out. Would it be enough against a team who regularly stuffed the islanders? Yes easily as it turned out with Sir Oliver CC bowled out for 81. The main damage was done by CGC who took 4 for 16, with Daveski taking a couple and Tink with a wicket maiden (this clearly went to his head as in his first game back in the UK, captaining his Sunday side, he bowled himself unchanged for 7 overs!).
Also worth mentioning Arsey who followed up a scratchy 12 with the bat with another 2 drops and also bowled 2 overs of rubbish that saw him smacked for 17.
Over to Oliver’s for more food (Split brought with them huge slabs of steak and sausages) and more of Oliver’s wine. In addition to the normal red and white wine Oliver also makes a stronger vintage which tastes like ruby port and slips down very easily indeed. Going by the name of Prosek it was quickly renamed Prozac and duly did for The Smutmeister.
Off to bed, up for the 5am ferry and a rather more choppy return crossing to Split and an uneventful flight home.
Great tour, great location and we doubled our overseas wins in one fell swoop.
First Game 20/20
Second Game - 35 overs
Third Game 20/20