Against all the odds, following torrential rain for several days which continued on the morning of the game, the 66th Annual Boxing Day Cricket Match was played at North Leeds Cricket Club last Saturday. This game has been played every year since 1949 without a break and whatever the weather.
The team of stalwarts shown below, plus one missing from the photograph - the rather large figure of Mr Andrew Stothard, took on the might of North Leeds in a game restricted to ten overs due to the appalling conditions.
Northern Cricket Society team
The spectators who had arrived early for the scheduled 10.30 start were quite prepared for a morning without cricket and a cosy chat and suitable refreshments with friends in the welcoming pavilion. Rain was still falling quite heavily and it came as a total surprise when the players decided to start a ten overs a side match about 11.45. The boundaries had been brought in considerably in view of the very soggy outfield in many areas.
North Leeds batted first and made a respectable total of 95-4 in their ten overs with the
help of a few sixes over the shortened boundaries. One or two of the fielders came a cropper and ended up covered in mud but everyone joined in the spirit of the occasion.
The players leave the field
The Northern Cricket Society's reply started well with several well known local league cricketers such as Steve Lawrence, Howard Johnson, Vince Greaves-Newell
and Andy Stoddard plus a pair of Conboys from Garforth Parish Church and a pair of Pattersons from St Chads. However wickets began to fall towards the end of the innings when the rain had almost abated. So despite the best efforts of all concerned the Society fell thirteen runs short and finished on 82-6.
Andrew Mawson presents the trophy to Rob Winter
So yet another victory for the home side and the Northern's Chairman Andrew
Mawson presented the George Featherstone Trophy to North Leeds captain Rob Winter. The North Leeds all rounder Barry Singleton won the bottle of whisky presented to the Man of the Match. Inevitably as soon as the game finished the rain stopped and the cloud cover cleared, but a good time had been had by all,with thoughts already turning to the 2016 season.
The perennial twelfth man Stevan Bindman actually got a game for once but sadly he did not get a bowl!