It seems like a lifetime ago when the Ramblas first came to into being. A beer & sunstroke fueled idea born from a lads’ weekend in Barcelona. Since that fateful day five years ago, we’ve secured a home ground, kit sponsorship and even managed to win games.
Sure, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. But when no one had any previous cricketing experience prior to our inception, this was hardly surprising. Our first year consisted of everyone doing a bit of everything and the Ramblas getting soundly beaten. The second year was similar, except the defeats weren’t quite as heavy.
Despite all the defeats, the Ramblas players stood strong, thanks to a mixture of being unbeaten at the bar after games & sheer blind optimism. For every dropped catch or duck, there had been moments of hope. Jon Loughlin’s 74 versus Bickley or Felipe’s 3-15 against Eastry proved that we weren’t completely out of our depths.
Then a strange thing happened in our third year. We won a game. It was so unexpected, we didn’t know how to react! Did we roar with delight or breathe a sigh of relief? It turns out, it was a combination of both. This win was then followed by arguably the game of the decade, an epic last ball draw versus Chevening.
Sadly just as the Ramblas were growing, the Ramblas were growing up. We lost several of the originals to the joys of parenthood, not that they couldn’t be lured from their paternal instincts to make a cameo appearance or two. But, as legend of the Ramblas (and our awesome teas) grew, so did the number of players that wanted to join our rag-tag bunch.
Our fourth year was a one of two halves. The first half consisted of us giving ourselves a chance to win, only to fall at the final hurdle. The second half consisted of us giving ourselves a chance to win and seizing it with both hands. Six wins out of our last eight a testament to our new-found belief.
The fifth year may not have seen us not reach the heights of the previous year, but we still managed to win four games and welcome more new players to the Ramblas cause. And, as evidenced in our post-match beers against St Mary Cray last weekend, the Ramblas spirit is still alive and well!
It’s been an incredible first five years for our fledgling club and it makes me very proud to know that I have been a part of it. Sure the ECB have central contracts but do they have a ringer network the size that we possess? No. Yes the England cricket team have won the Ashes in Australia and been ranked number one in the world, but have they won a game with nine men or won 10 of their last 22 one day games? No.
So ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Kent Ramblas. We may not be the best, but we certainly have the most fun. Here’s to the next five years…