On the 14 May eleven New Beacon parents and staff assemble on ‘The Vine’ cricket ground in Sevenoaks to play an important annual fixture against ‘Old Oaks’. The match is always fun, competitive and enjoyable. One of the rules is you have to retire if you get to 25 runs, this is so that more people have an opportunity to have an innings. Highest score wins.

‘Old Oaks’ batted first and we knew from experience that their team had some serious batting talent, and so it proved with some impressive stroke play rewarded by boundaries (both along the ground and in the air). Our bowlers took regular wickets with tight, accurate and aggressive bowling which kept the score in check. Our fielding backed up the bowlers with some quality fielding. Mark Bowman, a new, New Beacon parent, kept wicket with style, indeed the whole team were brilliant in the field.

Mr Bowman (14) and Mr Gupta (15) opened the batting and got us off to a good start, Mr Mitchell, an old boy of the New Beacon, carried the batting forward with some heavy hitting and on his dismissal our own James Walkling (staff) came to the crease and injected some ferocious batting retiring at over 25 in short time. Mr Plowman continued to accumulate runs and along with Ralph Yeats-Brown (staff) they continued to add pace. The end was approaching and we were close, very close indeed. The match was on a knife edge for there were two balls left and The New Beacon needed five runs to win, three to draw and two would see ‘Old Oaks’ win. The situation had everyone’s attention. All the New Beacon parents were focused. The New Beacon boys (of which there were many) were excited. The first of the two balls was hit (for two) by Ralph. Excellent two runs but, it was not that simple. It took Ralph’s score past the 25 run retirement criteria leaving the last ball of the match to be faced but a new batsman. There was real pressure on this poor parent. ‘Old Oaks’ went defensive making it harder. The ball came and was strongly hit. One run taken and the batsmen turned and raced for the draw. Unfortunately, they did not quite make their ground and the match was lost by ‘one’ solitary run! However, it was a great game which both sides enjoyed. The beer arrived, the team imbibed, and side by side enjoyed the evening. A memorable game and thanks must go to all the players who played for the New Beacon Cricket Club.

Charles Hutchison