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Barking and Dagenham Erkenwald Basketball Club

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Caister Results 2009





38 - 63 Loss




49 - 38 Win



34 - 33 Win




43 - 40 Win


Pompey Old Boys

60 - 28 Win


Old Skool Ballers

43 - 51 Loss

Caister Festival of Basketball 2009

Erks went to the annual festival of basketball in Caister for the 17th year in succession with only two of the original 1993 line up remaining being Declan and Keith. Ex Erk & club debtor Steve Herd (also in the original Erks 1993 line up), was also at Caister 2009, but now with Southend Players - the Essex equivalent of Running Renegrades (see later).

Much of the pre tournament discussion surrounded various players & ex players as to whether they would be going or not - resulting in the usual excuses/ stories, some of which are as follows:

Going to Caister or not?

  • Chims - probably the only credible story as Chims flagged up from day one that there was a clash with his cricket fixtures and he would be unable to go. The fact that Chims' girlfriend Sophie has already voiced her dismay at the fact that Chims plays cricket every weekend all over the summer may have also been a factor. Sophie was sure to be delighted if Chims announced he was going to Caister for 3 days and 2 nights in the middle of the cricket season!

    Jury verdict - majority decision in Chims' favour - not guilty.

  • Shakey - as with every other year, Shakey went through the usual procedure of saying he wasn't sure if could go in an attempt to get additional playing time at the tournament. Shakey is of the firm opinion that if he pretends he is unable to go, and Declan or other players plead with him to go, he will inevitably be afforded additional playing time on the basis that he has been "asked" to play. When it became apparent that this wouldn't work, Shakey tried an alternative approach.

    Upon confirming that he was now going to Caister (after everyone ignored his "shall I go or not" routine), Shakey began to inform his co players that, during the 2008/2009 season, he has been playing the best basketball he has ever done, he was now playing 35 minutes in every game and his new team (Bury Bulldogs) had won the league and the cup in his new area. Expectations of a new, Michael Jordan style Shakey were high; however, please read later for the expected disappointment.

    Jury verdict - guilty of perjury - Shakey guilty.

  • Gary - usual stories about work, clashing with already booked flights, really wants to go and will try to change arrangements, etc, etc - no one heard from him any further!

    Jury verdict - jury are fast asleep and no one can wake them up!!

  • Garbage Time Dave Churches - after insisting he wouldn't go this year for only the 2nd time since 1993, Garbage gave the excuse that he was unable to control his drinking exploits and that he always suffered for weeks on end after the tournament! Whilst he insisted this was the real (and only) reason for not going, 3 days before the tournament, he inadvertently mumbled that "he wasn't allowed to go because Alison wouldn't let him".

    Being the thrifty individual that he is, Garbage then enquired as to whether he could come and play at the tournament without staying at the Haven holiday centre and avoid paying the £90 that every other player had paid. When this failed, he was left to enquire whether he could strike a "deal" with the tournament organisers to pay a notional fee (of say , a "tenner" - about the same amount he spends on a pair of shoes) based on the fact that he had attended so many times! Nice try Garbage - just get your hand in your pocket like everybody else does! Garbage then confirmed (by text) on Friday night that he wasn't going - ignoring everybody's text and phone calls for the previous two days!

    Jury verdict - guilty of petticoat government. Sentence - a life of dictatorship and misery (and no more Caister).

Off we go to the tournament.


Sharon was the first to arrive and then confirmed, for the second year running, that we had been allocated Caravans instead of chalets. With no game for the Erks on the Friday night, everyone was generally arriving later with Pete and Shab due to arrive on Saturday morning. With the usual "every man for himself" approach to the allocation of beds, it was obvious that Pete and Shab were going to be given the twin room with the beds that were made for children under the age of 5. It was much to everyone's disbelief when Mark and Keith nabbed the aforementioned bedroom for themselves, leaving Pete and Shab with the more spacious sofas in the lounge area!

Once everyone had arrived, it was off to the nightclub for the usual entertainment (but not before Declan spotted Shakes applying his aftershave - which included splashing it over his face, his neck, his hairy back and his "bald" top of his head)...

When Keith left the caravan for the nightclub at 10.30pm, there wasn't a drop of rain in sight so he left his jacket behind and sported his unisex, tight t-shirt in an attempt to impress the ladies with his pecs. Upon leaving the nightclub 3 hours later in the pouring rain, this appeared to backfire badly and when he arrived back at the caravan, soaked to the skin, 15 minutes later, he was informed that he had just won the wet t-shirt competition! His pecs were, in fact, "tits" and Shakey already had "half a snake on" as a result. Mark made sure Shakey was ushered away and Mark and Keith resigned to the 2 ft by 3ft twin bedroom - no further information is available at this stage but Declan is requesting a full interview with both of them (Mark & Keith have declined to comment and are seeking legal advice before commenting further).

Unfortunately, there wasn't a great deal more to report about the Friday night as the author of the Caister story left early to go home to bed at 12.30am!


The day starts, as it has done with all previous 16 Caisters with the usual Declan interrogation of "Did you get your balls in?" to all squad members.

First game - 12 o'clock - against the Army saw, what was on paper, an historic match up of two teams that had undertaken numerous, hard fought battles at previous Caister tournaments on numerous occasions. Unfortunately (for Erks) this was not the case this year as the Army proved too strong and gave the Erks a good spanking by dominating the boards at both ends in a one sided game. Pete top scored for the Erks with 16.

Final score: Erks 38 Army 63.

Erks then licked their wounds and headed off to Waveney where they awaited Camden Panthers for a 4 o'clock game. At 4.20pm, with no sight of Camden, a forfeit was the order of the day.

The door then opened, Camden arrived and the game got going 20 minutes late.

A fairly scrappy affair for the first half and half of the second half, until Erks opened the gap.

Top scorers for the Erks were Mark (11), Pete (11) and Robin (10).

Final score: Erks 49 Camden Panthers 38.

Back to Benjamin Britten for the final game of the day against Aylesbury - a game Erks had to win to proceed to the next round and a game which meant nothing for Aylesbury.

A further rebounding disaster for the Erks meant that Erks lead by 1 point at the half (17-16). Stern words by coach McCusker had a small effect as Erks went out to a measly 34 - 28 point lead with 1 minute remaining. Camden then hit 5 unanswered points and left Erks leading by 1 with seconds remaining. The clock ran out.

This was almost akin to Erks losing to Running Renagrades 3 years ago when Shakes & Chims were taken to school (back door style) by a team that had arrived at Caister hoping to beat "Moustache Hunters" and Mama al Mafie" as the most ridiculous team in the tournament and, instead, sent Erks packing.

Top scorers for the Erks: Mark (11), Pete (10), Keith (10).

Final score Erks 34 Aylesbury 33.

(Erks are lucky to still be in the tournament and not looking good for Sunday)

Off the squad went to the local Harvester for drinks and dinner. With Polish Pete's first appearance in a pub with his team mates since he joined the Erks last year, everyone was desperate to see if the rumour that all our Eastern European friends drink Vodka was true or not.

Pete then ordered a shandy and, in an attempt to deflect questions about Vodka and Eastern Europeans, he commenced on a discussion about Caister Castle and the fact that it is the "biggest private car collection in the UK"!

With this particular subject having Zero interest of any of Pete's teammates, the topic of conversation soon changed to Man City and Tottenham (Declan versus Mark). Once Mark finally accepted (reluctantly) that Tottenham were not one of the top four clubs in the country, further topics began to emerge. However, this was not before Mark reminded Declan of the new owners of Manchester City and raised the question as to the target of Man City's next signing!

The topics then changed to concerts and, in particular, The Prodigy. Pete then surprised everybody with his in depth knowledge of Genesis' last album and last tour in 1992 - his knowledge leading everybody to believe that there is more to basketball and Vodka (and Caister castle) with Pete!

Back to the camp and off to the night club although Pete failed to appear - given rise to speculation that either:

  • He had gone to Caister Castle (and the car collection - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz); or
  • He was practicising his basketball moves in preparation for Sunday, or;
  • He was reviewing his Genesis memorabilia.

Off to the club and, once again, the author's disappearance at 1.30am meant that there wasn't too much to report.

However, following Keith's "Al Jolson" imitation on the dance floor in previous years, he refused to hit the dance floor until Declan had left. He then hit the dance floor with a well practiced routine which finished with the splits!


The day starts, as it has done with all previous 16 Caisters with the usual Declan interrogation of "Did you get your balls in?" to all squad members.

First game in the last 16 saw a rematch of last year's quarter final "Erks v Ware Rebels". A closely fought encounter until Shakey's elbow nearly broke one of the Ware player's noses and he resided to the bench leaving a trail of blood behind him. When Matt Eames for Ware fouled out, Erks pounced and ran out winners.

In amongst this, Shakey managed to have the ball stolen from him at least 6 times.

On the bench, Shab and Declan began to discuss Shakey's basketball attributes where Shab commented that Shakey's basketball problem was that he was "unable to hold the ball". This then raised further questions as to how anybody could play basketball if they couldnt actually hold the ball - the rest speaks for itself (see above). Keith top scored for the Erks with 13.

Final score Erks 43 Ware 40.

Prior to the next game, "Flaming Red" turns up with her "massage equipment" and begins to perform on a Pompey Old Boy. Her sister (known as "Flaming Red's Sister" - as nobody has ever been bothered to find out their names) is also present. Declan then recalls a previous Caister involving an Erks member and "Flaming Red's Sister". Robin laughed at the story whilst Mark was more observant of the fact the Declan's story was the same number of decibels as his usual timeouts - despite the fact that "Flaming Red's Sister" was sitting just 5 yards away.

On to the next game which was the quarter final against Pompey Old Boys. This was perhaps Erks easiest game of the tournament and Mark and Pete took them to the cleaners, Erks went out to a half time lead of 35-12. Shakey led the charge in the 2nd half with 8 turnovers, 3 travels & 6 points taking him to 7th place in the scoring stats (above Declan in 8th). But, in true Shakey style, he was still lagging behind in 8th place in rebounds, a position he has held every Caister (apart from those where we have had more than 8 players when his rebounding position has ended up in - the same number as the number of players we have had (ie last)).

Top scorer for the Erks - Pete (26).

Final score: Erks 60 Pompey Old Boys 28.

Before going back to Waverney for the semi final, Robin placed his bag on the floor of the car park whilst he phoned all his Facebook friends to tell them he had actually played quite well. This meant nothing to Shab as he reversed his car straight over Robins' bag destoying all the contents therein.

On to the semi final where "Old Skool Ballers" awaited - a team consisting or Roger Lloyd & Brian Moore. Pete & Keith hit the points early on with Erks going out to an early 7 - 3 lead. Dench hit a "3" at the end of the half but it was Keith & Pete combining for 18 or Erks first half points as Erks trailed 24 - 23 at the break.

Old Skool raced out to an 8 point lead early at the start of the second half (31 - 23) before Erks rallied with a 9 point run fo their own (ending with Declan driving through the key for a "1993" style lay up) to give Erks a 34 - 33 lead. However, 9 points from Old Skool bigman English put them in a commanding position and, despite a late flurry from Erks, it was too late.

Final score : Erks 43 Old Skool Ballers 51

Old Skool Ballers then went on to win the final against last year's winners, Met Police, with a buzzer beating tip!!

Erks collected a cheque for £250, of which 20p goes to Chims for organising the event, and the remainder goes to Declan's "Erks summer BBQ" which is in the process of being arranged.

Erks 2009 Caister Squad (in no particular order):

  • Declan McCusker (only Erks member to attend all 17 Caister tournaments) - and score in each one (on the court - not on the dancefloor)
  • Keith Pringle (1993 member - still making moves to the basket - and on the dancefloor - rolled back the years for several big performances)
  • Jonny Lee (retired 3 times but back again and still as tough as anyone on the boards)
  • Mark Denchfield (Erks stalwart for coach McCusker - kills teams with his trademark "treys" and gives it all every game - getting into the bidding game in the nightclub but needs a bit more guidance from coach McCusker)
  • Shakes - wouldn't be Caister without Shakes - never disappoints with his crowd pleasing moves, and the cleanest car at the tournament - absolute Caister must - when Shakes retires from Caister, Erks retire from Caister;
  • Shab "Asian Sensation" Niaz - only took 10 shots in the whole tournament (as opposed to the previous 10 shots per quarter) - still a quality act.
  • Robin French - first Caister of many - works relentlessly and hits big shots at key moments - fastest feedback to Facebook of all time!!
  • Polish Pete - Erks main offence all season long - in the post and outside - his performance in several games had the opposition in absolute amazement - his post moves are Hakeem in disguise (but he is not available for comment as he is at Caister Castle)
  • Sharon James - attended as many Caisters as most players and is still as coy as ever about the previous nights' bidding situation.

Finally a big mention must also go to the "Erks Ladies" team who provided invaluable support to the Erks, particularly during Sunday's games. They also provided bidding material for Mark, posing material for Keith and looked fantastic in their cheerleader outfits at the club on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, they got knocked out at the group stage on points difference but well done to them anyway.