Nothing brings the Wild Card office together like the promise of healthy competition and an enormous picnic in one of London’s royal parks. These have been the must-have elements of the Wild Card summer rounders social for the last couple of years and at every play-off, old team rivalries and new player talent have been blagged about and bragged about, all for the glory of being named the winners.
Following tradition, the office was split into two teams, Team Tess and Team Simon, and at the coin toss Team Simon lined up first to bat. With a few new faces among the Wild Card office this year, the mood was one of suspense to see if any big hitters were among the latest Wild Card recruits. Pierre, Richard and Harriet P hit some of the longest balls of the day, sending the fielders off in all directions and under pressure to lob the ball back to fourth base.
Our pitch, in Green Park and beside Buckingham Palace, drew lots of interest from passersby as we whooped and cheered for our home runners and groaned collectively when a fellow team member was caught out. A couple of the players also seemed to be aiming to get the ball into the Queen’s back garden and pick up the mysterious bonus prize from Simon, but no one managed it!
By the end of the first round, Team Simon had the lead but a strong second game by Team Tess started to put the pressure on. More home runs, more dives and more sprints for long balls meant that the second half was too close to call without seeing the scores Sophie was writing down. As the final ball was hit and the last of the team looped around the course, silence fell and everyone looked to Sophie for the big reveal. It was a call close, but Team Simon defeated Team Tess with just half a point’s lead!
Next stop was Wright Bros at Kingly Court, one our Wild Card clients, to be hosted for a drinks reception beside the main restaurant kitchen. This gave us all a fantastic close-up view of the preparation of fresh oysters and seafood and from the menu we tasted tempura vegetables and deep-fried langoustines. After the excitement of the rounders game, calm was restored to the Wild Card team over a glass or two or wine and talk of setting up an after work rounders club to start training for the 2016 match. Next year, if ‘training’ goes well, we may find ourselves trying to retrieve our rounder’s ball from the Queen’s Guard…