ROYAL AIR FORCE MATCH 2 - WON BY 5 WICKETS 7-0
So to the last BP match of the week 6-0 up and one to play with the armed services T20 champions the RAF in the way of a clean sweep. The RAF had first dig and were 23-1 in the 3rd over with Russ Bryan bowling Oliver (6). Williams (2) was next to go glancing Dave Morrell down the leg side, only for keeper Pete Barnett to take off to his left completing a superb catch, 29-2. The BP momentum was proving unstoppable and the RAF were rocking at 63-5 in the 11th over. Boyce (10) was LBW to Gareth Morris, Compton (17) was bowled by Steve Greig and Catlow (1) went to a fabulous catch in the deep by Greg Gillespie off of Gareth Morris.
This left Fisher and Watson with 9 overs to go, surely just to regain some RAF respectability. Well this pair certainly did that by putting on the highest T20 stand of the week, 80 runs in 8 overs, with BP unable to respond. Fisher made a top drawer 51 (3x4’s, 2x6’s) from 43 balls in 48 minutes before skying a Dave Morrell delivery into the hands of Gareth Morris. Having crossed Watson 30 (3x4’s) faced the next ball to be bowled by Dave Morrell who finished with 3-43. The scoreboard read 143-7 in the 19th over. Wray (11) was bowled by Richard Grant, leaving Cessford & Edmed 10 and 3 not out respectively, pushing the final total to 167 for 8 wickets.
An above par score marking a brilliant RAF fight back.
BP replied with 37 before Greg Gillespie (23) was bowled by Magee, in the 4th over. Ray Doyle (8) was run out with the total on 56. Russ Bryan was joined by Richard Grant and they maintained the tempo to 89 in the 11th over before Bryan was caught off Edmed for 32 (2x6’s, 1x5, 1x4). Ted Roe (2) soon followed also caught off Edmed who bowled Pater Barnett (7), to leave him with figures of 3-28. With the board showing 112-5 in the 15th over, the game was fast slipping from BP’s grasp.
56 runs were required from 30 deliveries.
There then followed an unbelievable passage of play, which saw Richard Grant simply rip the RAF to pieces with some superb clinical clean hitting. In 22 deliveries there were 5 dot balls to go alongside 5x6‘s, 4x4‘s, 2x2‘s and 6x1‘s. Magees final over (16th ) went for a 17 run salvo, 2-6-2-6-1-0. Cessford managed to delay matters when just 9 came off the 17th.
The next over by Williams went for 22, with the white ball dispatched ever further out of the ground, 4-4-6-6-1-1. This left Phil Gray, who had scored 2 runs during the onslaught, to face the 19th over from Cessford. 4 balls and 2 boundaries later BP were celebrating their clean sweep, a 5 wicket win, with Gray unbeaten on 10.
Richard Grant having reached 50 (36 balls), went on to score 81 not out (4x4’s, 6x6’s) in 47 balls in 44 minutes, a breath taking, outstanding piece of batting.
The Man of the Matches award went to Richard Grant of BP - the award kindly donated by match sponsors Arc Legal.
They were represented by Frank O’Malley, Sarah Dyer and Mike Cutmore, who had endured an absolute nightmare 6 hour journey to attend the game.
British Police are back!
This was the loud and clear message this squad sent out from this cricket week, with a fantastic 100% success rate in the 7 fixtures.
’Beefy’ said before a ball was bowled that he had a good feeling about this group of players and the week in general. His feelings were fully justified.
The whole group jelled both on and off the field, with a common purpose of winning cricket matches and enjoying the week.
Most importantly out in the middle, the quality, vitality and hunger to win were there for all to see.
If the majority can be kept together for the next few years, BP will surely be back to being the formidable unit of previous seasons.
As for “The Three Amigos”, well, they pooled together their vast experience, dovetailing and coordinating the weeks’ effort and achieved their targets.
We are grateful as ever to all our sponsors, Group 4 Security, Pay Plan, George Burrows, Police Mutual, Arc Legal Assistance, and Reynolds Dawson Solicitors. They give us such fantastic support and it was good that so many of them found the time to attend the matches they make possible.
Our very special thanks go to the Secretary, David Fraser-Darling.
His drive and personality keep the British Police CC functioning and competing at a high level and the whole of Police cricket moving forward. He is an inspiration and in these difficult times police cricket without doubt owes him a huge debt of gratitude. It was nice that at the end of this cricket week that the players recognized his contribution, with a presentation.
Thanks also to Dick Argles who managed to get his thumbs into most of the squad! Never has so much blue tape been stretched over so many bodies! He did a great job mending and repairing the team and we wish him every success as he gains experience and furthers his new sports injury treatment career.
Thanks go to all our opponents for assisting us in taking this early tour, rescheduled due to Jubilee and Olympic commitments. Thanks to all the players, umpires, scorers, administrators, ground staff, coaching, fitness and catering personnel and all those people behind the scenes who help to put on this cricket week and maintain such high standards.
Peter Mitchell Scorer/Statistician