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MCC arrive at March Town Cricket Club for match against Grammar School Old Boys Association XI

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For the first time in the club’s history the MCC came to town last Friday when March Town Cricket Club hosted the famous club’s match against the March Grammar School Old Boys Association XI.

The game had been arranged by John Phythian, the secretary of the March Grammar School and Neale-Wade Students Association, to commemorate a match played between the school and ex pupils of the old March Grammar School on July 8, 1919 to raise funds for the World War 1 memorial plaque which hangs in the main hall at the Neale-Wade Academy.

Friday’s centenary match at The Avenue, which got underway at 11.30am, featured a number of former Neale-Wade students in the home side and was led by March Town 1st XI vice-captain and former pupil Andrew Wright.

MCC - Andy Wright bowling. (13226576)
MCC - Andy Wright bowling. (13226576)

The MCC, skippered by Jon Cade from Ramsey CC, batted first and declared their innings in mid-afternoon at 226/9.

Saranga Rajaguru, the club’s overseas star from Sri Lanka, took four wickets while the other wickets were shared between the home bowling attack.

MCC seated, MGSOBA back row (13226585)
MCC seated, MGSOBA back row (13226585)

With the help of guest player Ben Howgego, who struck a superb 112 before he retired injured, the home side cruised to victory by 8 wickets with 11 overs to spare.

March 1st XI player Ben Pyle also struck 34.

MCC - Ben Howgego on his way to a century. (13226583)
MCC - Ben Howgego on his way to a century. (13226583)

The match was well attended by Old Boys of the Grammar School and the Neale-Wade who enjoyed the sunshine and the entertaining cricket at this historic match.

The day also featured a special lunch for Old Boys and guests including Steve Barclay MP and the town’s Mayor, Coun Rob Skoulding in the March Town Bowls Club pavilion and an after-match buffet in the cricket club’s pavilion.

Club chairman Les Mills said: “It was a pleasure and privilege for March Town Cricket Club to host the MCC v March Grammar School Old Boys XI game to celebrate the 100th reunion.

"A glorious sunny day, excellent game of cricket, good company, food and beer. It’s a day that players, members and spectators will talk about for many years to come.”

Adam Conyard batting (13226574)
Adam Conyard batting (13226574)

John Phythian said: “Today was not only an opportunity to commemorate 100 reunions but also raise funds for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity inspired by Nikki Scott, the wife of Corporal Lee, an ex Neale-Wade pupil.

"My sincere thanks go to March Town Cricket Club for hosting this special match and to the bowls club too and of course the MCC for making the day a one to remember.”

Photos: Pat Ringham

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