GOSPORT CRICKET CLUB (GCC) were victorious in their Bank Holiday Monday (May 31) encounter against their Ron Cross Memorial XI (RCMXI) opponents at Privett Park, in a twenty-20 match designed to honour the late D-Day hero who sadly passed away in January after a short illness.
It came just eight months after his 100th birthday that saw an outpouring of love from the locality and this was replicated in the numbers of people who attended this T-20 match.
After a designated unveiling of a trophy cabinet and special plaque named in his honour by club president Peter Edgar, a team of ex-Gosport players forming the Ron Cross Memorial XI side won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat surface in strong heat pushing 25 degrees.
They started well with Ollie Creal smashing seven boundaries, including three sixes, off just 18 balls as the memorial side reached50 runs after the loss of opening batsman Russell Weller.
However once Creal was stumped to leave the score at 57-2, wickets fell at regular intervals during an eight over spell that saw the run rate drop. But Craig Stares and Josh Adams steadied the ship from 106-5, with this partnership seeing Ron Cross Memorial XI put a respectable final total of 154-7 off their 20 overs. This is despite two wickets apiece from both Richard Edwards and Scott Taylor, the pick of the Gosport CC bowlers.
In response to this tough target, the batsman of Gosport CC started badly with dismissals of Jackson Todd and Tom Larner leaving the ‘home’ side struggling at just 7-2. But in this flowing game of exciting cricket, Jacob Harris and Michael Gravells somewhat steadied the ship before they both fell to the bowling of Ollie Creal; just two of a spell of wickets falling to leave GCC on 81-5 and staring defeat in the face in front of a growing crowd.
Up stepped GCC wicket-keeper Greg Kitchin, who cooked up an unbeaten 53 runs off just 41 balls to help his side reach their target with just seven scoring opportunities left to bat, Gosport CC reaching their target by scoring 156-6 off 18.5 overs on the final scoreboard. This is despite the efforts of the RCMXI bowlers, with only Gavin King and Ryan Gander failing to take a wicket in this innings that only saw 10 extras.
But for everybody in attendance, the result didn’t matter in a celebration of a local cricket legend. Ron Cross would have enjoyed an exciting afternoon of cricket without the worry of weather stopping play; one of the few grinds of this bat and ball sport.
It was also encouraging to see so many people in the crowd cheering the players forward, with many families and youngsters getting an insight into the sport that is enjoyed so much locally.
For more detailed statistics please visit the link. This is where all fans can see a scoreboard and a ball-by-ball panel offering commentary. Portsmouth News was also watching the match and have designed a special photograph gallery.