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‘HELP FOR HEROES CHARITY MATCH’

The day kicked off bright and early with team photos and a speech by various officials, setting the mood for an excellent day of both cricket and fundraising. The essentials had been laid out: a beer tent, barbecue and an ice cream stall, which ran all day, and at tea cream teas were made available; consequently there was a continual flow of funds being raised as people enjoyed themselves at each of the tents.

The main attraction was the game. Buckhorn had a mixed side, as both youth and experience were combined to attempt to overwhelm the Armed forces XI. The game was to be played on artificial, with the square being too wet and soft to play on; but this allowed for an exciting match. The all day format of the game hadn’t been Buckhorn’s strongest format this year, but their bowling depth suited to this type of game, particularly as the Armed forces XI batted first.

Simon B took the first over, opening with George Ovenden the other end. The start was placid, as the batters and bowlers looked to work each other out. George Ovenden bowled his reliable areas, whilst Simon B looked to be more aggressive; however George got the first wicket, bowling Panter for 7 (1/19 from 7 overs). Simon B found the edge of Lerwell, who looked in good touch, only to be dropped by the skipper – not to be his only dropped chance of the day! With Alex Gibbs on the sound system (featuring some questionable music choices!), the crowd and ramblers that were present were kept up to date with the score and progress of the match. Simon Dodd was quickly introduced from Simon B’s end and found the breakthroughs needed, picking up the wickets of Lerwill T (24) and Robbins (4). The Armed forces XI were stalling at 40/3, but the partnership of Lerwill O and Graham J put the Armed forces XI into a stronger position, scoring several boundaries off of new man to the attack Tom Blomfield in the process; but Buckhorn could not be deterred, as Lewill O’s innings of 31 was brought to an end by a superb catch over the shoulder from Ovenden, off Dodd (3/41 from 10 overs). The only resistance from here came in the form of Graham J, whose 49 came in good time. But the introduction of ‘flan’ was the game changer, as the skipper – Adam B – introduced himself in an effort to tempt the batsmen out, which he did. Despite shelling several (regulation) chances in the slips off his brother, Adam B burgled 4 wickets, most notably the dangerman – Graham – who he bowled. Simon B was introduced from the Tom Thumb Farm End and picked up the last two wickets in two balls to finish the Armed forces XI’s innings at 143 all out.

The Lunch interval entertainment came in the form of an U13 intra-club match. The outcome I’m unsure of (as the barbecue was too distracting!), but the spectators were treated to a showcase of Buckhorn’s promising youth talent. The lunch interval also saw the arrival of the Savident family, who did a sponsored walked from Yeovilton to the ground, raising a substantial amount for the charity, and were greeted to the ground through a tunnel of the players into the pavilion – and several glasses of wine!

After the interval Simon B and George Wayman strode to the crease to start the chase. The fielding was sharp from the off and this proved Simon B’s demise, as he played one shot too many and was caught at cover, attempting to force a cut shot, for 5. Harvey Chinnock (a product of Buckhorn’s youth system) came in at 3 and batted as he has all year – looking to score when he can, but playing sensibly in the process. Unfortunately, the introduction of Haines brought the end of Harvey, as he was bowled for 8. Meanwhile, George Wayman had been making his usual mess of the bowling figures, plundering the bowling to most parts of the ground (especially towards the pavilion). He took a liking to T Malcolm, who he carted for 20 in one over – ending his (one over) spell! Adam B came in at 4 and was with George as he surpassed 50, but on 59 George was bowled by Launders. This brought Tom Blomfield into the game who batted with a lot of patience in Boycott-esque fashion, but when Adam B (9) was bowled just before tea, his innings became vital to Buckhorn’s chances of winning.

Tea provided the payers with a lot of cake and further entertainment was provided for the, ever-increasing, spectators in the form of the Buckhorn Weston Wheel Barrow Acrobatics Team.

With Tom Blomfield and Hugh Barron emerging from the pavilion after tea at 98/4, Buckhorn needed 46 runs to win. Tom remained patient, accumulating runs when needed, whilst Hugh mounted a counter attack, including a sweetly struck 6 back over the bowler. Hugh blasted his way to 29*, as Tom finished on 15*, to see Buckhorn over the line.

The game had been an exciting event and had been well supported by all who came. The event as a whole was also a real success, raising large amounts for Help For Heroes and gaining further exposure for the extremely worthwhile cause.