On Friday 1 July, Leigh Academies Trust hosted the Lashings All Stars for the 10th consecutive annual charity cricket match. A crowd in excess of 1,000 people at Bexley Cricket Club were once again royally entertained and the students came remarkably close to becoming the first team in history to win back-to-back victories against the All Stars.
A rather overcast morning soon gave way to glorious Kent sunshine and the afternoon began with 400 people, mostly from local businesses, enjoying a fabulous three-course lunch prepared by the Trust’s catering team, Cucina.
A charity auction helped raise thousands of pounds to support the many charities involved in the event and a thoroughly enjoyable few hours was had in the company of cricketing greats such as Gordon Greenidge, Adam Hollioake, Owais Shah and Monty Panesar.
Chelsea Rowson, the first female player to appear in Leigh Academies Trust XI and a Year 10 student at the Leigh Academy, started proceedings with a very tight first over, which set the tone for the rest of the innings. There was some really dynamic fielding and accurate bowling from the students.
At the end of their 30 overs, Lashings had amassed a score of 226. An excellent spin-bowling spell from Thomas Glass-Burgess of Longfield Academy provided the highlight of the innings. This was 60 runs fewer than last year, so we knew we had a chance.
The Lashings All Stars opened the bowling with England legends Devon Malcolm and Martin Bicknell – a formidable partnership with over 1,000 first-class wickets between them! However, this didn’t faze the students, who slowly but surely started to chip away at the 226 target.
Leigh Academies Trust’s guest player for the day was Aryan Jain, and supported by James Fox from The Leigh Academy among others, the students reached 176-3 after 22 overs and the match was on a knife-edge.
It took a moment of magic from West Indies’ international Kirk Edwards to tip the match in Lashings’ favour, with a superb running catch on the boundary to dismiss Aryan for an excellent 89 runs. Lashings kept their bowling and fielding tight for the next eight overs and Leigh Academies Trust finished their innings on 198-6, just 28 runs short of their victory target.
Despite the result, the event once again proved to be a huge success and continues to be the major sport and charity event hosted by Leigh Academies Trust.
Thanks go to our sponsors, David Mewes Plant and Building Services, Charlotte Brandon and the team at Central Hire and Cucina, our caterers for a world-class three-course meal.