Southbound Train

Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill – Sunday 6 September 2015
JUDD STREET TIGERS 256-5 beat THE RAILWAY TAVERNERS 94 all out by 162 runs
Averages here

Life is looking sweeter for the beleaguered Tigers. On a perfect day for cricket – warm and sunny with no hint of precipitation – they recorded their third win in four outings, and biggest victory of the summer, by an impressive 162-run margin over the pride of Crouch End. After scrambling for an eleven all summer, no fewer than 14 Tigers reported for duty, with no one stranded at a Swedish stag weekend or lost on the British Rail network. The Railway Tavern is something of an anachronism, Crouch End Railway Station having disappeared over 60 years ago, but the pub and cricket team it celebrates remain.

Sausage - always a hit with the lads!
Sausage – always a hit with the lads!

Somewhat overshadowed by the neighbouring fixture showcasing the cream of pre-pubescent Middlesex cricket, in front of what must have been the biggest crowd ever seen on the lower pitch, the Tigers took first strike on a damp, green wicket that produced unpredictable pace and bounce. Despite Mike Delanian cracking the first three balls of the innings through the leg side for four, the batsmen never really got in properly. Mike perished soon after but his regular opening partner Mike Herlihy dug in for his best innings of the summer – 64 in 35 overs including 49 in singles and twos before top-edging his first boundary, adding 64 with Andy Ward (39) and 57 with Chris Dane (35), surpassing Mike D as leading 2015 run-scorer in the process. The innings somewhat stalled in mid-journey until the appearance of Chris Wright in the 29th over. After a scratchy start he finally got the big bat going, hitting 70 not out including three maximums, 98 runs coming in the final 10 overs of the innings.

Herli G - back to the top of the pile'
Herli G – back to the top of the pile

The Taverners’ reply was delayed in the station from the off, taking 11 overs to equal the Tigers’ total after three balls, Matt Webster sending down five consecutive maidens! Only Groizard (32) showed any positive intent until spectacularly caught behind by stand-in ‘keeper Chris Boden. There were plenty of doubles on offer – two run outs, a pair of catches each for Boden, Ward and Stewart Taylor, plus two wickets in successive balls for Steve Rennie, his 2-13 in five overs catapulting him to the top of the bowling averages! Taylor finished with 3-10 and Wrighty, tentatively generating some pace plodding in from two yards, 3-11. A very satisfactory day all round.

More musical history

Southbound Train is a particularly lame track from the imaginatively titled 1972 album Graham Nash David Crosby by, er, Graham Nash and David Crosby, a song so dreary it sounds like Neil Young on valium! A far better railway related Nash ditty was Marrakesh Express from the eponymous first album by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Crosby (ex-Byrds), Nash (ex-Hollies) and Stephen Stills (ex-Buffalo Springfield), joined forces in 1969 as one of the contemporary ‘supergroups’ (see also Blind Faith, Humble Pie, etc.).

Renown for their folky-based intricate vocal harmonies and interpersonal relationships (see also Joni Mitchell), they were a pleasant change from what was becoming a blues-based heavy rock scene of the late 60’s/early 70’s. The trio famously appeared at the 1969 Woodstock festival where Stills commented ‘ This is only the second time we’ve appeared before people – we’re scared shitless!’ They were joined in 1970 by Stills’ former Buffalo Springfield sparring partner, Neil Young, and two massing-selling albums Deja Vu and the live double album Four Way Street quickly followed as they became (post-Beatles) arguably the largest grossing and biggest band on the planet.

Things began to go awry when the quartet joined up again for a worldwide 1974 tour, by which time Young had two zillion-selling solo albums After the Gold Rush and Harvest to his credit and the inevitable musical differences and friction ensued. Always active in social and political causes, CSN & Y joined forces again in 2006 for the controversial Freedom of Speech tour, in which they were often booed off stage in some southern American cities.

Individually and collectively CS & N never quite equalled the inventiveness of their first 1969 album. Crosby (74), Nash (73) and Stills (70) are back together and begin their 2015 European tour with dates at the Hammersmith Apollo 12/13 September.

Still trying to save the world
Still trying to save the world
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