Ann-Marie Noble Charity Cricket Match 2017

On the 14 June 2017, the annual RAF Marham Charity Cricket Match took place, at Swaffham Cricket Club. Following on from previous years, the match was held to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, who assisted Flt Lt Ann-Marie Noble (former OIC Cricket RAF Marham) after she had been diagnosed with cancer. Ann-Marie sadly passed away in December 2013 and since then, the RAF Marham Cricket team have held a Charity match to celebrate her life and raise funds for Macmillan.

We were fortunate enough to have some of Ann-Marie’s family attend again this year; Ann-Marie’s sister Philippa, nephew Alfie and father Chris. Prior to the match, Philippa, Chris and Alfie visited 31 Sqn for a look around a Tornado (much to the delight of Alfie). Many thanks to Sgt Stu Youds for hosting and everyone on 31 Sqn.

Preparations were in full swing for a great afternoon of cricket. After a very difficult selection process, the decision was made to have a 12 vs 13 a side match (13 on the Station Commander’s XI of course). It was then time for the coin toss to take place between Captains SAC Ryan Tripp and the Station Commander. Ryan won the toss and elected to bat first.

The opening batsmen, SAC Nicky ‘Pickles’ Townsend and Cpl Dave Barker, set about amassing a defendable total. However, this was short lived for Pickles as he lofted a shot on his third ball, only to be caught easily. This brought SAC Jack Goodwin to the crease. After a few deliveries which had beaten Jack, from paceman Sgt Chris Marchant, he and Cpl Barker successfully defended their wickets from the two opening bowlers. Cpl Barker was the next batsman to fall, at the hands of Sqn Ldr Andy Chase. SAC Matt ‘Stalwart’ Robinson was in at number 4, being known for his love of a defensive shot. However, this wasn’t to be the case today. With Jack and Matt cashing in on some ‘interesting’ bowling from Cpl Booth, Sqn Ldr Myles Thorne and Flt Lt Claire Strickland, the Station team were 71/2 at the halfway stage. The turning point came in the 11th over.

With SAC Jack Goodwin making 25 runs, he then retired to bring in skipper SAC Ryan Tripp. After smashing the only 6 of the innings, Matt found himself caught from Sqn Ldr Thorne’s bowling. Thorne also claimed the wickets of Flt Lt Mike Trewhella and SAC Scott Ellis in the same over. After an excellent 2nd over from Claire Strickland, in which only 2 runs came from it, it was time for Gp Capt Davies to bowl. High hopes were on the Station Commander’s shoulders to take some wickets. Gp Capt Davies took up the mantle and claimed the prized wicket of skipper Ryan Tripp following a good catch by Sqn Ldr Tim Casey, OIC Cricket. This was the last wicket to fall, with SAC Lloyd Marshall retiring with 25 runs and Sgt Matt Elwood scoring a solid 19. The Station team finished their 20 overs having scored 145 runs for 6 wickets.

The Station Commander’s XI openers, Sgt Chris Marchant and Sqn Ldr Andy Chase, began their run chase. The Station Commander’s team made a flying start, with 15 runs coming from the first over bowled by Flt Lt ‘Fonz’ De Fonseka. Even though Flt Lt Mike Trewhella and SAC Matt Robinson steadied the ship somewhat, it didn’t stop Chris Marchant getting to 25 in very quick time. The first wicket fell when Cpl Chris Grimwood removed PTI, FS Matt Allen, for 2 runs. Cpl Dave Barker followed suit with the wicket of Sqn Ldr Chase, which bought the Station Commander to the crease. Barker then upped his game, taking another 2 wickets in his 2nd over. One being a confident LBW shout against Wg Cdr Stew Geary, given immediately by umpire SAC Nick Payne, and the other being the prized scalp of OIC Cricket, Sqn Ldr Tim Casey (who walked back to the pavilion without scoring a run).

An onslaught of runs from the Station Commander (with 2 massive sixes, which almost destroyed the trophy which was on the scoring table just outside the pavilion) got them into a fighting position, with 34 runs coming from just 4 overs. It took skipper, Ryan Tripp, to break the partnership, claiming 2 wickets in his 2 overs, for just 1 run. After a solitary over from SAC Lloyd Marshall, which cost 14 runs, the Station Commander retired with 27 runs to his name. With overs now very limited, the Station Commander’s XI tried to get the total required, but even the returning Chris Marchant and Station Commander, could not overcome the required run rate. The Station Commander’s XI finished 14 runs short on 132.

In the same manner as previous years, the two Captains were asked to nominate their ‘Player of the Match’ for their respective teams. These awards went to SAC Jack Goodwin, from the Station team, for his 25 runs scored and also to Sqn Ldr Myles Thorne, for his magnificent 3 wickets in one over. The ‘Champagne moment’ went to the Station Commander for his ability to target the scoring table and trophy so precisely with one of his sixes.

The Ann-Marie Noble Cup was presented to the Station team by Alfie, Ann-Marie’s nephew, for them to retain for another year. The Station Commander received a miniature bat as a memento, signed by all the players, as this was his last Charity game at RAF Marham and also presented the family with flowers, a Marham tankard and a junior’s cricket set to commemorate the event.

I would like to thank everyone that assisted with the planning and organisation of the day. The absolute mountain of cakes on offer, made by the members of PSF and BSW, were a delight and thanks to the members of PSF who helped bring them to the ground and clear away. Also a special thanks goes to Swaffham Cricket Club for accommodating us again this year. The number of volunteers who came forward wanting to play was excellent, long may it continue for next year. Finally, we raised £321.15 on the day for Macmillan Cancer support. Many thanks to everyone who donated.

Cpl L French

Station Team Vice Capt/

Fixtures Sec

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