Members of Birmingham Citadel Band met at Stafford Grammar School for the second “Band Cricket Match” in successive years. It was decided to bring the date earlier this year year in order to avoid summer holidays but unfortunately it was not early enough for some! Although some of the band were enjoying their summer holidays and others starting a week at the Salvation Army’s Territorial Music School, 22 bandsmen were ready to do battle over 15 overs on a beautiful summer’s day. The two team captains were, once again, our Bandmaster (Gavin Lamplough) and Deputy Bandmaster (Mark Sharman).
With ages ranging from 11-80 (Retired Bandsman John Hynd going one better than Rtd. Songster Leader Fred Crowhurst last year and playing!) it was an “inclusive” and fun match in which the Bandmaster’s team ran out eventual winners by only a few runs. Lunch beckoned and everyone enjoyed a BBQ and cakes before we started a second 15 over match.
The crowd of supporters included current and former bandsmen and bandswomen, members of Birmingham Citadel Corps, family, friends and even a few pets! The children also enjoyed a bouncy castle.
The second match was as close a contest as the first as the Deputy Bandmaster’s XI elected to bowl. The Deputy Bandmaster bowled well, as did his brother Paul Sharman who joined the D/BM XI for the day, and Mark took the wicket of the Bandmaster for 20 runs. The bowling attacked made excellent progress through the Bandmaster’s XI but not before the batsmen passed the century mark with excellent batting displays from Darren Selby, Matthew Mynott and Alex Pearce.
The Bandmaster’s XI set limiting the Deputy’s XI run rate to defend a 110 run lead. Tight bowling from Bandmaster Lamplough and Band Sgt Ian Kershaw meant that the Deputy’s XI got off to a steady start with John Sharman blocking out the pace deliveries coming his way. There was a little tension in the ranks as John Sharman (the most senior of the 4 Sharmans, spanning 3 generations, playing on the Deputy’s side) ran out his team mate Martyn Pearce. But soon the runs flowed with Paul Meredith, Mark and Paul Sharman hitting out. Neil Blessett kept wicket well, minimising the inevitable extras and keeping the score as low as possible.
Aggressive batting in the final overs meant that Deputy BM’s XI drew level with the Bandmaster’s team’s second innings total, but were unable to score enough runs to come out winners over two innings’ with the Bandmaster’s XI just coming out on top.
So, an exciting end to a fabulous day! As with last year there were some great laughs, spending time together and enjoying each others company. It is proving to be a popular event with more supporters wanting to be a part of the day and everyone involved enjoying spending time together away from the corps. It was, however, apparent for the congregation to distinguish the following morning which members of the band had played cricket - there were a number of very red foreheads!