Ljubljana 2008

LJ MAJOR CANNING BOOT CAMP TOUR APRIL 25-27 2008

Neither child nor pensioner were to get in the way of a Slovenia bound canning session as two full booths on Friday’s 1526 from Munich to ljubbly jubbly Ljubljana were hastily evacuated in the name of…well … cans. It was immediately clear to any tour virgins that the MCC were here for business.

As the cattle truck rolled on serenely towards Austria, the atmosphere was chilled but the beers were even colder and fresher. It therefore wasn’t long before the lads began to warm up and improve the repertoire of pointless banter. Managing to get the basics right the full squad made a successful change in Salzburg and no bodies were left behind. But the friendly inspectors of train number two were less than happy to see us and an occasional whiff of smoke in the air had tempers brewing and idle threats of eins-zwei-drei, ‘Polizei’ thrown idly about the carriage. To the MCC however, there were bigger problems at hand. Supplies of cold fresh were running dangerously low.

There was obviously only one place to turn for refuge at such a moment and that was the buffet bar. Basics. To the luck of the general public said buffet bar was completely empty and the team migrated to the good hands of comedy duo, Davor and Reg. The big Croatian, Davor, was in charge of continuous (cold) refreshments and moustache-clad stand-up; whilst in the kitchen, Reggie (the overweight Elton John) sweated it out, cigarette in mouth, working hard to provide grub for the sensible and not to flash his ash on the eggs. With ball in hand, Davor’s eyes lit up and we thought we may have a potential pace-man in the ranks. However the big fella was just plotting ways to kill his mother-in-law with the shiny red pill in Zagreb.

After hours of banter it was a fairly sauced crew that spilled onto the platform at Ljubljana station as the MCC sought out the cobblestone way to the aptly named Alibi hostel. Manageable for most it was only Cpt Morgan who seemed to have difficulties as he got into an altercation with his bag and swiftly head butted the kerb.

Reception was harassed, rooms were issued and bags were stored before the lads left their Alibis behind and headed out for fresh cans. It was on to the Cutty Sark Pub for more banter and a hint of the Palfrey fireworks as LJ skipper Tom joined the festivities to make sure we were all getting sufficiently lashed. It was a bit of a sausage fest to say the least and only the Finnish Senior Citizens Association (FSCA) seemed to benefit from the night. Upon further questioning it was apparent to Angus that the young ladies of LJ didn’t know when the last bus to Manchester was, so it was time for more B52’s.

The Kiwis headed off early with the intention of some late night tucker and some pre-game shut-eye but the latter was to prove hard to come by. Not able to find his room key, Morgan pulled up stumps in the Kiwi quarters while Gus found his way to the balcony and sung the sweet serenade of the B52s to the streets of Slovenia.

Lovell, Wrighty and LJ Tom powered on to ‘AS’, a stones through from the Cutty Sark, while Arnab managed get himself ejected and traded his phone for directions back to the hostel.

Glazed eyes opened to a beautiful day and the lads found sustenance on the side of the Ljubljana River before summoning taxis for the trek to the ground. Still no key from Morgan. But Angus was able to advise over the airwaves that Taxi 32 had indeed finally ran out of cans.

With the beautiful Slovene mountains looking on, Palfrey and Arnab headed to the middle as the LJ team took to the field. Following his form from the night before, Arnab headed back with zilch whilst Palfrey looked like he was in for the long haul. The outfield was slow, twos were hard to come by and the pace of LJ opener, Eve, was a bit much for Di Perna who was rolled for 5. This brought Wrighty to the middle who displayed a mix of cow corner 6’s and weather watching and the concentration only lasted for a cheeky 31.

As Algar came to the crease, things really began to light up and a barrage of boundaries flew from the bat. Palfrey’s backbone innings got the MCC past the hundred mark before he headed back to the sheds with a valuable 38. Harry played good support as Grant continued to pile on the runs and LJ seemed to be strapped for ideas on how to stop the onslaught. So it was to the debutant that they turned. LJ born, Simon was given a few tips on the correct bowling action before stepping up to launch down a delivery that even the Yankees would’ve been proud of. Eventually finding his line and length the villager managed to slide one through Algar to end his great knock of 83. Five 6’s, eight 4’s, all class.

The debutant went on to take 3 scalps as Clare, Gus, Morgan and last man jack Lovell fell for a couple each and Wilson was the only man left standing as LJ managed to claim all 10 MCC wickets for the first time. MCC all out for 237.

As the VCPTTPD (Village Car Park Time Trials for Pointless Driving) took place in the ground side parking lot, the lads woke Arnab from his sleep to head out for a field. Keen for a quick finish and early cans, but that was not be. Despite a few early wickets and great spells from Mikey and Clare, the LJ run rate was painfully slow and the Terrible Thirst Canno Meter (TTCM) was rapidly on the rise.

Hazza bagged a couple off his legendary short disco run and Grant bowled with plenty of zip but the lads were stinging for an ale and the innings dragged on. Captain Lovell decided to release the weapon and keyless Morgan stepped up to the plate and delivered some great pies with prizes. Palfrey’s over can only be put down as comical and Clare Rich dropped a sitter that would have sealed the innings but it wasn’t until the final over that MCC managed to take the last scalp and roll LJ for a grand total of 120. Hats off to a LJ Tom captains knock of 45. It should’ve been wrapped up earlier. Somehow we even managed to bowl 41overs. Naively only Algar spotted this though but only bothered to inform us after his 5th can much later on. Cheers mate.

Scorecard

Munich CC Vs Ljubljana

1-Innings Match Played At Valburga, 26-Apr-2008, Friendly

Munich CC Win by 117 runs

Munich CC 1st Innings 237/10 (Overs 40)

Batsman

Fieldsman

Bowler

Runs

Bls

4s

6s

Palfrey

c Kauèiè,S

b Jakofcic,E

38

0

0

0

Arnab

b Eve,B

0

0

0

0

Di Perna

b Eve,B

5

0

0

0

Wright,J

b Jakofcic,E

31

0

0

0

Algar

b Kauèiè,S

83

0

0

0

Khanna,H

c Jakofcic,U

b Eve,B

16

0

0

0

Claire,R

b Eve,B

4

0

0

0

Furlonger

c Jakofcic,U

b Kauèiè,S

2

0

0

0

Wilson

not out

4

0

0

0

Morgan

run out Blaznik,U

7

0

0

0

Lovell,M*

c Jakofcic,E

b Kauèiè,S

2

0

0

0

extras

(b4 lb2 w34 nb5)

45

TOTAL

10 wickets for

237

Bowler

O

M

R

W

wd

nb

Eve,B

8

1

17

4

Blaznik,U

8

0

37

0

Jakofcic,E

8

0

46

2

Kaluranitilake,L

5

0

36

0

Jakofcic,U

2

0

29

0

Charlesworth,M

2

0

22

0

Kauèiè,S

5

0

32

3

O’Dowd,M

2

0

17

0

Ljubljana 1st Innings 120/10 All Out (Overs 41)

Batsman

Fieldsman

Bowler

Runs

Bls

4s

6s

Charlesworth,M

b Wilson

4

0

1

0

Eve,B

b Claire,R

3

0

0

0

Jakofcic,E

c Morgan

b Arnab

7

0

0

0

Furness,T*

not out

45

0

3

0

Kaluranitilake,L

b Claire,R

1

0

0

0

Farrell,D+

c Lovell,M

b Khanna,H

7

0

0

0

O’Dowd,M

b Khanna,H

0

0

0

0

Blaznik,U

lbw

b Furlonger

3

0

0

0

Zidar,J

lbw

b Morgan

3

0

0

0

Jakofcic,U

c Lovell,M

b Morgan

4

0

0

0

Kauèiè,S

b Wright,J

6

0

0

0

extras

(b2 lb1 w31 nb3)

37

TOTAL

10 wickets for

120

Bowler

O

M

R

W

wd

nb

Wilson

8

0

22

1

Wright,J

7

1

21

1

Claire,R

6

3

10

2

Arnab

2

0

7

1

Khanna,H

8

0

17

2

Algar

4

0

14

0

Furlonger

2

0

10

1

Morgan

3

0

12

2

Palfrey

1

0

5

0

So it was onto the nearby lake for a couple of crates and the MCC bade a farewell to their fine LJ hosts and ventured back to touch base with the Alibi. A quick freshen up and the lads hit the streets to line their belly with more pizza before seeking out the much talked about Bachus Centre.

Not far from the banks of the LJ river, Bachus looked a little plain from the outside. But a few steps through the door and the lads found themselves in a three floor club and bar with plenty going on. It wasn’t long before the Palfrey fireworks got started, twisted firestarter, the instigator and the friendships of locals were soon won and lost with some erratic dance moves on display. Wrighty decided to follow the trusty lead of Gus’s fiery B52’s and light up his Zambuca, resulting only in a flaming right hand a slight smell of burnt skin in the air. Shenanigans ensued but all of the lads made it home eventually, with bank balances being the only real casualties of the night. Rumors of Arnabs dust-up with a school kid are yet to be confirmed…

Managing to roll out of the hostel in time for check out, Wilson, Clare and co headed up to the castle for some sightseeing whilst the less energetic turned to brekky beers for entertainment. Arnab used his final chances to harass the reception staff while Angus got the new girl drinking on the job. Basics.

Up for a bit of sightseeing themselves, the core group of canners headed to the main square of LJ…and…well that was about it. The call of Zambuca was sounded across the cobblestones and was answered with echoes as the singles shots came back as doubles. Round after round passed, Wrighty befriended the ice-cream girls, and the clock ticked on towards 4pm and the departure of the Munich bound cattle train.

Unsurprisingly the train departure time of 1600 came by much sooner than expected and there was a mad frenzied dash to collect gear from the hostel and head to the station. Tripping over kit bags and staggering past street stalls the team managed to make it to the station and clamber aboard. Once the frenzy had settled however, it was clear that the MCC was incomplete despite Morgans best efforts. With a face full of Big Mac and ketchup to his elbows, Arnab stumbled from the golden arches only to see the train pull leisurely away from the platform, his bag and passport safely on board. Angus too had failed at the basics and also found himself stranded in LJ, but like a trooper returned to the bar for few settlers to think about where he went wrong. As the two casualties were boarding their overnight train from LJ the main group pulled into Munich Hauptbahnhof and ten shadows slinked off into the night. Morgan found his LJ hostel room key at circa 2300 that night whilst entering his Munich flat. Alibi needed for that.

Thanks for the good times Ljubljana. ‘Your chics are hot. Your water’s not’.