Our aims in this event were to raise the awareness of the disabled in sport and raise money for the Friends
of Primrose House. Other benefits such as altering children's and societies perceptions about people with disabilities were,
I am sure also realized.
The game was watch by a large crowd, including members of the local press who reveled in the atmosphere and
blazing sunshine. From the start of the day a DJ kept the crowd entertained and the barbecue started mouths watering.
The game consisted of 40 overs a side. Manchester won the toss and elected to field. Lancaster then had a
bright start, moving quickly on to 13 runs before the first wicket fell. They then lost further wickets at regular intervals
to be left dangerously on 43 for 7. Everyone was then entertained to the best innings of the day by England International
and Lancashire County Disabled player Alan Foster, who hit 64 not out, off only 77 balls, that included 11 fours. The final
total for Lancaster was 134 all out, off 37 overs.
Other notable scores were Martin Chesworth with 19 off 20 balls, and Mick Houghton 17 off 15 balls. The bowling
from Manchester was of the highest quality throughout with almost all bowlers having some success.
The Manchester innings started steady and they moved on to 30 before the first wicket fell. England and Worcestershire
Disabled Player Brian Healy then came to the crease and scored 31 not out in only 22 balls, including 6 Fours.
He was aided by another England International Disabled player, Kieron Johnson who scored 15 from 12 deliveries.
Manchester reached their total comfortably losing 4 wickets with 18 overs still remaining.
Notable bowling form Lancaster came from Lancashire County Disabled player Mathew Witiker, still only 17 years
old, who took 2 wickets for 32 runs, and Alan Foster who while not taking any wickets had only 19 runs from 7 overs bowled.
How he never got a wicket is beyond me.
Besides the challenge match there was cricket coaching sessions during the tea interval and after the match
ended. These were delivered by Peter Edmonson (Regional Sports Disabilities Officer for the North West, with help from the
cricketers with disabilities. Approximately 40 children took part and found the sessions very enjoyable. Peter also brought
with him a revolutionary Table Top cricket game that allows children and adults with acute disabilities, with little movement,
enjoy and appreciate cricket. Table Top cricket is growing fast in the counties where leagues are already set up. Other leagues
are currently being set up in the other counties. The county finals are played at Old Trafford Cricket Club with the possibility
of Lords Cricket Ground being the venue next year.
After the challenge match the crowd were entertained to speeches, presentations and the disco. The raffle
was draw later and together with other fund raising initiatives, raised a grand total of £ 320.50.
The proceeds have gone to The Friends of Primrose House which is a residential care home for 6 acutely disabled
adults who's ages range from between 26 and 34 years of age. Due to the designed limit of 6 persons it ensures that individual
needs are met with an improved quality of life. The money will enable items such as decoration, stereo systems, televisions
and wall hangings to be bought that can be used to stimulate them by the use of sight and sound.
The match was given another boost by being given a slot on the GMR (Greater Manchester Radio) evening sports
show. A live telephone link up was used between the studio and Heysham Cricket Club. Alan Foster, Bobby Denning (Lancashire
County Cricket Club Under 16's coach and Regional Cricket Disabilities Development Officer), and myself linked up with studio
guests, to talk about the events of the day and where we will go from here.