20 ex-players dusted off their spikes and donned their whites again for a reunion match at Upminster Park on Sunday. The two sides were led by current Upminster bowlers Billy Wright and Andrew Berry and the teams provided an entertaining contest for the large crowd.
Berry won the toss and chose to bat, but Mike Rath and Rob Tuffee both fell early on. Ian Adams made full use of the first ball grace rule and went on to make a well constructed 50 not out, before retiring to the bar. Richard Wall then provided some late runs to boost Team Wright’s total and they closed their innings on 165-9 from 35 overs.
Nigel O’Dell and Ray Clark made a solid start to their team’s reply before both fell to Matt Ryan, Clark cleaned up by an excellent inswinger from the former 1st XI bowler. Steve Mack and Paul Hogg then saw off the excellent Chris Ryan, and although Mack fell soon after, Hogg cut loose to put his team in charge. Rob O’Brien, a member of the 1996 Matchplay Final squad then joined Hogg and they took their team towards victory. Both men retired on reaching their half centuries, Matt Tigg then fell to an excellent catch from Tuffee, and David Staples was given out LBW after a referral as the game took a late twist. However, Russ Savidge and Jeff Mack held their nerve though to secure a two wicket victory.
Many thanks are due to everyone who played in the game, and the two captains, for providing great entertainment, and to Alex Bottoms and Dave and Elaine Brown for officiating.
32 Vice Presidents and guests also enjoyed a special lunch during the first innings of the match, and we thank all of these people for attending and for their continued support.
Full scorecard for the game to follow.
Photos from the day are online at https://upm.cc/2LCxocc
Updated 15:10 - 18 Jun 2018 by Paul Middlemiss