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Melksham Cricket Club brought the curtain down on the 2019 season by hosting a charity friendly with the aim of raising money for the Rachel Swindall Trust.
The club reports, “The game was contested between two sides; one raised from within the ranks of the club by long-serving groundman Tim Carpenter; the other brought together by player and Bath-based barber AJ Hobbs, consisting of friends and clients.
“The fixture came about after Russell Collins, one of the key players at Melksham CC, came into possession of a Gloucestershire Country Cricket Club shirt worn by club captain Chris Dent and signed by several members of the Gloucester squad. He was offered the shirt by Paul Swindall, a work colleague and patron of the Rachel Swindall Trust, a charity which offers support for young people with mental illnesses. Collins took it upon himself to raise a large sum of money from amongst the rank and file of the club, efforts which led to the idea of hosting a friendly fixture through which is was hoped a healthy sum of money could be raised.
“The game itself was worthy of the occasion, a tight contest which ended in a tie. Carpenter’s XI batted first and set their opponents a target of 206 to win. Collins was fittingly the top scorer with 48, whilst youngsters Kieran Perrin and Freddie Honeybone also impressed in the later stages, registering scores of 29 and 27 respectively.
“The Hobbs XI got off to a quick start in their response however, reaching 100 inside 17 overs. Carpenter’s XI struck back soon after though, gaining the key wickets of both Hobbs himself and Tom Clist to shift the momentum back in their favour. The Hobbs XI were not done yet however, with Bradley Wilkins clawing his side back into the game during the second half of the innings. In the end, he and last man, Ben Bush, brought their side to the cusp of victory in the last over, but in the end could only get their side on level terms; Wilkins finishing on 33 whilst Bush ended his innings on 20.
“Whilst the game certainly provided much entertainment and was enjoyed by all who watched and participated, more importantly the club was able to raise a fantastic sum of £280 for a brilliant cause.”