Leigh Academies Trust and PCA England Masters Cricket Gala 2017

On Friday 30th June, LAT Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leigh Academies Trust had the honour of hosting the PCA England Masters at Bexley Cricket Club.

The day began with a primary school kwik cricket festival, organised and officiated by Sports Leaders from The Leigh Academy. A hard fought series of round-robin matches ensued before Hartley Primary Academy emerged victorious. Former Middlesex and England batsman Mark Ramprakash who was part of The PCA team presented the trophy to the very proud champions.

At 12.30pm, the charity lunch began. Over 35 tables of ten people enjoyed a superb three course lunch provided by LAT’s catering company, Cucina, ably supported by 30 students from The Leigh Academy who became waiters and waitresses for the day.

Former England cricketer Ed Giddins proved a wonderful MC for the afternoon and the Q&A session with Mark Ramprakash, Adam Hollioake and Paul Nixon left the audience in stitches – particularly after hearing some of Mark’s stories about his Strictly Come Dancing experience!

Some incredible auction items including trips to The Monaco Grand Prix and US Masters golf helped raise funds that will go straight back into LAT Enterprises, supporting the education of the students across LAT’s 15 academies.

At 3.30pm the real action started as the 25 overs a side contest began. The PCA Masters won the toss and batted first. The students in the LA XI produced a near flawless display in the field with tight, accurate bowling being backed up by a couple of sensational catches. After 25 overs, The PCA Masters had amassed a score of 194-8 and we thought we were very much in the game. Apart from legends such as Ramprakash, Hollioake and Owais Shah in their line-up, the PCA Masters also included current Kent and England batsman Joe Denly. To say Joe is in form is something of an understatement – in the game before this event he scored 227 against Worcestershire, and in the game after he score 182 against Northamptonshire! However, the pressure of taking on LAT must have proved a step too far as we managed to dismiss him for just 16!

After a lovely tea once again presented by Cucina, we began our run chase. Unfortunately, the all Sussex and England opening bowling attack of Ajmal Shazad and James Kirtley soon has us reeling at 12-2. Coming in at number 5, Chelsey Rowson from The Leigh Academy who also represents Kent and England steadied the ship with a lovely innings of 16 before being dismissed by Surrey and England fast bowler Alex Tudor. The LAT XI were eventually dismissed for 98 meaning the result was a 96 run win for The PCA Masters.

We are already excited about welcoming The PCA Masters back next year in late June / early July with the exact date to be confirmed this September. If you would like any further information about securing a table for the charity lunch at the 2018 event, please contact Katie Petts at katie.petts@latrust.org.uk.

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