(by Marty Peters)

Well, the Southerners mainly did their performing off the field of play – unless you can count Barnsy’s mini pitch invasion at the 20/20 to offer a rather rotund player from Lamma a plate of chicken wings wrapped in bacon.

Highlights of the action were:

Uncle Vaughany smashing the ball to all parts of the ground, an all too unfamiliar concept to the rest of us.
Barnsy’s ball of the millennium; which, according to him, swung and spun to dismiss David Felon first ball. Why couldn’t he do this when he was playing for us? This event inducing a significant state of psychotic depression on Dave.
Jim continued to show his talent of consistently scoring on the pitch (Much better than off it).
Channers on his long awaited comeback, showed why he should be in the national(Australian) team – hitting the ball off the square on several occasions and even bowling a few overs.
Our French Cricketer Monsieur Dupont again led by example and played in the spirit of a true gentleman, allowing teams to score at will from his bowling.
Marty, well not much to be said – continued to excel off the field rather than on it – some rather non distinguished batting displays when struggling to hit the ball off the square, although there were a few moments of skill when bowling his Pasties; eating, drinking and trawling Patong were his main contributions.
David Fell (Felon) turning up on the field. Oh, taking a catch then realizing he was over the boundary henceforth the batsman goes on and wins the game for the other team!

Off the field, things were certainly much brighter.
Mr. Felon endured himself to the Hotel staff on the first night with his performance of the Incredible Hulk meets Panic room whereby his possibly most exhilarating performance endured chasing the security guard around the hotel. The staff must have been concerned as they were found cowering away in a cupboard the next morning. Dave still is unsure on how he arrived home but there are unconfirmed reports of a dalliance with a Motorcycle taxi driver and a missing gold chain – reports suggest that an unaccounted gold chain was spotted at the last Southerners match.

Things did not improve. Marty continuing to punish untoward behavior with zeal – and it was on the second night that the arrival of Frenchie spiced things up. Monsieur Dupont denying his French heritage initially caved into the inevitable and was duly fined for being a Plastic French Man. He was later seen borrowing money from the kitty to hire a sunbed on La Plage – the only problem being that this was at 2am.

Jim remained the quiet man of the tour – and for this he was duly fined on a number of occasions, although claims that he went “missing a lot” were undoubtedly true, Mr Felon was certainly the leader in this event, even at one point locking himself in the toilet!!

Foo Foo drinks were embraced by Barnsy, who ended up intoxicated on Pims – the hardened royalist deciding to embrace his Pommy heritage.

Marty and Barnsy formed a rather hardened drinking alliance, which resulted in lost voices and large headaches. This was probably not helped by Marty taking all the lads into the local Katoey bar in Patong, much to the amusement he was known by name. This didn’t stop Jim taking a shine to one of the “lovely’s”. Barnsy at one point only capable of sign language was seen wondering aimlessly around Patong making various obscene gestures. Marty, at which point deciding an escape in aTuk-Tuk would be more favorable: possibly because the company in it was better (and no, it wasn’t someone from the earlier bar).

Uncle Vaughany, having his work cut out to handle the reprobate bunch, did commendably well, with only one warning from the Tournament director regarding certain behaviors in and around the hotel, his diplomatic skill spared the Felon of the indignity of being thrown out of the tournament and bought a semblance of sense to the team……which only lasted until the next round of drinks was ordered.

The drunken escapades in the Pool on the Saturday afternoon where highly amusing; guests scattering to all parts of the hotel to avoid the noise and non PC conversations. Much amusement was bought by the speedo wearing bandanna topped gentleman who had to walk past the mob – Barnsy lambasting the sorry person and this afternoon was topped of by Dave falling into the pool fully dressed. How he came to do it, no one knows but it summed up the week.

By Sunday with the sorry crew knocked out of the tournament without registering a win it was time to say goodbye to Frenchie, and with it normal life returned, for the final night.

A meal at the Hilton, and a jaunt into Patong followed with a final pint of Guinness to end the japes. Not surprisingly -Mr Felon again went missing and was last heard of staggering around the Safari bar at 4am arguing with the umpires about the catch he didn’t carry over the boundary. Luckily for the hotel his return was much more peaceful.

A few more beers whilst waiting at the airport on the Monday and it was back home to good old Bangkok and the quiet life that we all lead.

A great tour for all as this was the first Southerners tour to Phuket and of course, we will be back next year in the same style, finesse and grace that the Southerners are known for……..and yes, we will play some cricket!

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