A team of intrepid Corporation members and guests set off for Yorkshire on the morning of Thursday 7th June for the annual cricket match against a Yorkshire select. The inaugural match in 2006 at St Boswells had proved a great success with the Yorkshire select led by Andrew Riley coming out eventual winners. The aim this year was to reverse the fortunes of the Corporation team by somehow coming out victors.
The teams gathered in Ilkley, the venue for this years's match for a light lunch at the aptly named Riverside Hotel for it was indeed beside a river.
After a quick change into cricketing "whites" it was off to the ground to commence the match. The weather was overcast but fairly warm.
The Yorkshire select were missing one or two of their starting line up so the Corporation captain, Jerry Brett, seconded some of the Corporation team to fill the gaps. Whether these players had any influence on the eventual outcome only history will tell.
The Corporation batted first and were soon racking up the runs with substantial contributions from Jerry and Roly Brett, Martin Baird, David Liddle and Chris Thomson. The home team wicketkeeper, Michael Lightowlers, was kept busy behind the stumps fielding the several wide deliveries hurled down by the Yorkshire attack. An act of King Canute proportions.
Eventually the Corporation scored around 214 runs in their alloted 30 overs.
By the time Yorkshire came to bat their missing team-mates had arrived and a titanic battle was to commence.
Memories of the previous year's outcome was paramount in captain Jerry Brett's address to his troops. Suitably inspired the Corporation bowling attack took the Yorkshire batting to task and with some pacey, hostile bowling from the likes of Andy Purves, Keith "Beefy" Johnston and Michael Crawford the wickets started to tumble at regular intervals. The hosts were somewhat short of the required total by the time the Deacon bowled out their last man Robert Tankard with a mixture of spin and guile for the guests to claim a well merrited victory.
A convivial meal was enjoyed later in the evening in one of Ilkley's many hostelries with a general agreement reached that this match should continue for many years to come.
A special thanks should go to the Corporation captain Jerry Brett and his opposite number Andrew Riley for organising the event. A great success.
A special mention in dispatches must go to Corporation member Brian Hinnigan who in an act of unusual acrobatics whilst fielding the ball during the match sustained a serious knee injury. We wish him a speedy recovery.
The following morning the walking wounded from both teams took part in a friendly golf outing at the lovely Ilkley Golf Club. The weather was magnificent and the course in the best of order. A true test for golfers. The Deacon was fortunate to amass sufficient stableford points to win the match with Jim Stark a couple of points behind to take second place.