Chichester Priory Park played host to the annual Bishop Luffa versus the Marylebone Cricket Club for the second year in a row of blistering sun. Luffa lost the toss and were told to field on a flat wicket that only opening bowler Ollie Fuller managed to find some early shape away from the batsman. After being unfortunate to see an early chance go down at short cover, Ollie got the first wicket after the batsman nicked one to Arran Goode who took a comfortable catch behind the stumps.
This year Bishop Luffa were made up of a slightly younger team than in recent years but one that has plenty of promise for the years to come. Mr Godfray was ably supported by key opening bowling duo Henry Grant and Ollie Fuller, as well as allrounders Jonny Maynard and Joe Fuller who were welcomed back into the Bishop Luffa team. Whilst the MCC posed a strong team with a player from Western Australia, they must have heard of our bowling threat, as they dealt with this with extreme elegance, class and humbleness.
As Ollie Fuller took the first wicket shortly after, Ollie Willson took the second, knocking over the middle stump; the team were jumping for joy having removed two top order batsmen. There was lots of energy in the field. Josh Pollock, as chief ball shiner, was doing his best to try and create so much needed swing, but it was to little avail as the ball started to find the boundary more frequently.
Jonny Maynard, Joe Fuller and Kai Lendrum provided much needed variety with our bowling as Luffa looked to change strategy to get a wicket. The team showed great resilience on a hot day in the field and players from both sides were all looking forward to lunch which has begun to develop a reputation.
A big thank you to Jeremy Goode who again supported us, organizing tea and coffee from Fenwicks café, Turners’ pies, making the cricket match lunch a fantastic occasion.
After lunch Bishop Luffa went in to bat and, whilst we beat the infield on occasions, wickets fell quickly and the match came to a close with the MCC victorious. After outstanding glove work behind the stumps, and a brave opening stand, with glimpses of class when batting, Arran Goode won the MCC spirit of cricket award which was thoroughly deserved.
Whilst the game was won by the MCC comfortably this game means more to Bishop Luffa than ‘a cricket match’; this is an opportunity for youth players to experience playing against elite cricketers, the etiquette, spirit of the game and, for ex Bishop Luffa students’, the opportunity to represent their school again. It also gave some of the players the opportunity to talk to the MCC members about their tour of Lords earlier in the year. It was great to hear MCC players discussing eye-opening findings from our tour, showing how far cricket has to come within society.
Thank you to everyone that attended this match – it was a wonderful experience for everyone involved.
Mr T Godfray, Team Leader of PE