Highbridge Walking Cricket Team is celebrating being crowned champions of the Somerset Cricket Foundation Walking Cricket League.

The inaugural tournament, sponsored by Taunton companies Home Science International Foods and Rajpoot Taunton Restaurant, has run over the past three months with Walking Cricket Hubs from Yeovil, Weston-super-Mare and Taunton all taking part, and all teams playing each other on a round-robin basis.

Highbridge Walking Cricket Team and Taunton played each other in the final match of the league season, with both teams having a 100% record up to that point.

Playing at the Indoor Cricket School at the Somerset County Cricket Club ground at Taunton, Highbridge batted first having lost the toss.

After a steady start, Highbridge totaled a competitive 343 for 1 wicket. In Walking Cricket you start with a score of 200 but lose five runs each time a wicket falls.

In reply, a more experienced Taunton team started well but faltered and lost wickets as they took risks, ending up on 309 for 6 wickets – in the end a comfortable win for Highbridge by 38 runs.

Highbridge skipper Mark Berry says: “We batted well and then tied them down with consistently good bowling and a very good fielding performance.  Our batting tactics of preserving our wickets and taking scoring opportunities when they came, turned out to be just right. Taunton played well and in the right spirit, but it was our day.”

Highbridge player Mark Banczyk-Gee adds: “We haven’t been playing Walking Cricket very long and we all started it to get exercise, have some fun and socialize when we meet every week.  Of course, the longer the tournament went on, the more competitive we became! We are delighted with winning this inaugural competition!”

Another Highbridge player, John Perry, adds: “The Somerset Cricket Foundation has done a tremendous job getting Walking Cricket under way in the County.  All of us at Highbridge are very grateful for the time and effort put in by Steve Gass and Mustafa Shaikh in particular, as well as the scorers and umpires who made the League matches possible.  Thank you everyone!”

A recent news story here on Burnham-On-Sea.com led to seven new people joining, including two ladies.

The Highbridge squad meets and plays every Thursday at Highbridge YMCA, 10.00-12.00. Walking cricket is for adults aged over 55 and suitable for both males and females – and you don’t have to have cricket experience to take part.

To attend the sessions or for more information, contact Mustafa Shaikh by email at:  mustafa.shaikh@somersetcricketfoundation.org.

Pictured: Top: Highbridge Walking Cricket Squad – Back row left to right; Mark Banczyk-Gee, Tony Williams, Dave Harman, Simon Coles, Jim Evans, Mark Adamson Front row left to right Paul Barrington, Mark Berry, John Perry, Fraser Cambell.  Above: Mustafa Shaikh Walking Cricket Lead Somerset Cricket Foundation presenting the trophy to Team Captain Mark Berry

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