And, fittingly, it was Fred’s beloved Great Dalby who came out on top in the final against Egerton Park CC, after a thrilling contest at Thorpe Arnold CC.
Fred, who passed away three years ago, taught at Melton’s Brownlow Primary School for a remarkable 44 years.
In a tense and exciting game of 18 overs per side, the balance of power frequently swung from one side to the other with the bowlers tending to dominate, well supported by sharp fielding from both teams.
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Egerton Park’s Henry Newton set the trend, removing Great Dalby’s first three batters, ably assisted by a sharp catch from Charlie Haffenden to dismiss Tom Marshall and ending up with figures of 3 for 25 from his four overs.
Dalby’s Angus Wilbourn and Ollie Duley then picked up the pace again with respective knocks of 27 and 24 but, after both fell to Glover and Wade, the innings lost some momentum and ended on 102 for 8, the general consensus being they were probably 15 to 20 runs shy.
Park got off to a brisk start, with Bailey and Glover racing to 33 off the first three overs but the departure of Tom Glover to a fine boundary catch by Dan Turner off the bowling of Jacob Bates saw a change in momentum.
Skipper Chris Dickinson’s tactical switch to the bowling of Chris Bates then proved a game changer as he proceeded to take 5 for 15 off his four overs, removing Bailey for 24, Roberts (2), Tew (5), Haffenden (14) and Beeken (0).
Despite this, momentum swung back again in Park’s favour as Jeremy Swann started to hit out but he began to run out of partners when Alex Barber was run out by an exceptional throw by Turner from the boundary and Newton was bowled by Marshall.
Swann finally holed out to a well taken boundary catch by Wells off Marshall, who gained his third wicket when he bowled last man Andy Clay, leaving Egerton on 101 all out and the much missed Fred’s Great Dalby CC as the first trophy winners.