The sun came out to shine and the Upminster public once again turned out in force to support the Essex Cricket Foundation day at Upminster Park.
The morning began with the Ladies Softball event where the Maiden Overs, captained by Marsha Edinburgh, came out on top in keenly fought round robin competition. Chairman Ollie Peck presented all of the teams with a bottle of Prosecco after the event.
Meanwhile at the top end of the ground an All Stars coaching taster session was taking place, with over 40 young children taking part in a 75 minute session led by Upminster's Level 2 coaches.
Following these two events, Upminster's U11 side took on a local invitational side with players from Harold Wood, Goresbrook, Chelmsford and Gidea Park and Romford taking part. In an excellent contest the Upminster side came out on top by 35 runs.
Then at 3pm Upminster took on a star studded Essex side, captained by Nick Browne and containing a host of international and county stars. Rishi Patel and Ravi Bopara led the way for Essex, peppering the boundaries on their way to half centuries as their side piled up 264-7 from 20 overs. In reply James Evans and Nicky Ison were in good form for the home side, but an Essex attack including Ladies Captain Kelly Castle and Essex and England Ability squad players Toby Howe, Ronnie Jackson and Jo Freestone proved to strong and Upminster finished on 201 to lose by 63 runs.
After the game Club President David Parish and Esin Hunter of Club sponsors Hunter & Co. presented Simon Harmer with a cheque for £3,500 on behalf of the Essex Cricket Foundation.
During the break between innings of the match Harmer also presented Jack Petchey awards to six of Upminster's young players, and Kelly Castle presented the Upminster girls U11s side with the Lady Taveners Softball cup which they recently won. There was also the brilliant spectacle of 70 of Upminster's junior players taking part in KWIK Cricket matches on the outfield before joining the Upminster and Essex players for photos in front of the Pavilion.
We must say a huge thank you to Nick Browne and all of the Essex squad for giving up their afternoon to come and support the event. The Essex players are truly a credit to the game and to the County and we wish them all the best for the remainder of the season as they go in search of the "Double".
We must also thank Dan Feist, Arfan Akram and Kelly Castle of Essex Cricket for their support in arranging the event.
Without our magnificent sponsors and partners we would not be able to host the day, and we owe them a huge thank you for their continuing support, and of course, we are indebted to the Upminster public who continue to come out in such numbers to support the event. We hope to see everyone again in 2020!!!
*** There are three unclaimed raffle prizes from the event. Blue, 616-620 - Voucher for the Kushoom Bugh restaurant; Amber, 221-225 - Essex cap; Pink, 456-460 - Bottle of Cava;