Annual Boxing Day cricket match on Saffron Walden Common raises £175 for charity

Had the England cricket team displayed as much competitive spirit and played as positively as the participants in the annual charity Boxing Day cricket match in Saffron Walden, then The Ashes would have made for far more pleasant viewing this winter.

The standard was as high as anybody could recall as Bob Crossan’s side beat Kevin O’Meara’s team by eight runs in a hard-fought affair in glorious weather conditions on the Common.

Team Bob batted first and it was perhaps the free-scoring hitting of openers Joe Barrs and Will Brown – both of whom made fine 25s before retiring.

The fast scoring continued despite Peter Taylor being forced to retire hurt after attempting a quick single, leading to effective first aid administered by umpire Bob Eastham. Revd David Tomlinson struck a rapid-fire 21 not out in support of the opening duo as Team Bob racked up an impressive 88-1 from their 10 overs.

Team Kevin kept up with the required rate for the first half of the chase but stuttered once man-of-the-match Brown caught David Crossan on the boundary and then David Ifould had to retire after he’d smashed the biggest six in many a year, reaching the far bank of the Slade to bring up his 25.

Gillian Baker superbly ran out Ben A and two Brown wickets ended Team Kevin’s hopes as they came up just short before everyone retired to the Kings Arms for much-needed refreshment.

Passers by on the common generously donated to the charity and the coffers were swelled further by match fees from the players and the proceeds of a raffle held in the Kings Arms after the match

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The final total to be given to Bears (formally Medics) is a magnificent £175, which is the second highest amount raised in the 31 years the competition has taken place.