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Bat & Trap, Red Lion Pub, Dunkirk, Faversham

On July 15, 2009

We had to scurry to make it to from The Shipwrights Arms in Oare to the semi-final for the Canterbury Bat & Trap League. I’d never seen a bat & trap game before and – to be honest – it was more as a curiosity than with any real interest that we had made plans to look up a game; plus, it was being held at a pub and that’s a big plus.

It took us a little while to find the Red Lion – it always seems to take us a little while to find things but they are generally well worth the hunt and the Red Lion was no exception; not that it was anything fancy, just congenial, with a good set of beers on tap.

A long way out after the turn off...

A long way out after the turn off...

Our first question (asking for beer isn’t really a question) was, “Is this the place for bat & trap?” The reply, “Just go out back and follow the noise.” Actually, I didn’t consider it noise (and I’m a big one for being annoyed by noise) but rather camaraderie, the gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) joshing that goes with sport.

Bat & trap is reminiscent of cricket – or so I’m told and read as I’ve never seen a cricket game and don’t understand it in any way whatsoever. Bat & trap, however, appears to be a game pretty easily understood by the interested observer. Indeed, in only a few minutes, I was so into the competition that I totally forgot to take any pictures other than the one I took of the pitch upon first entering the area.

So interesting I forgot to take pictures...

So interesting I forgot to take pictures...

Obviously, I had only the most rudimentary idea of what was going on and there was quite a lot of strategizing of which I had absolutely no clue but once the game actually got going it was – well, lively isn’t the word – enormously entertaining. Bat & trap takes skill, hand/eye coordination and thought. Watching the players – from older and working class to young and upwardly mobile – take their turns at bat kept us at the Red Lion long past the short peek we had planned.

Like so many of the places I’ve encountered in England, I’d search again for the Red Lion to take in a game of b&t.

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