15th October 2015

 

Dream Day for Indoor Team

Dreams came true for Sway's Sunday indoor team when they got the chance to play a days cricket with a host of cricket superstars, past and present.

When the 5-man team of Pete, Dan, Dave, Atty, Steve D set off on the train, however, nothing was known about the day, what it might involve or who might be there. Skipper Pete Bennet and Groveley Engineering supremo had generously "won" the event in a charit auction previously, but the details were sketchy at best. The journey up was spent contemplating who the "celebrity skipper" of the team might be. A "D list" ex-Big Brother wannabe with a liking for cricket seems the most likely option or perhaps PEter Andre bowling his famous "mysterious ball".

On arrival at Lords, one thing became clear - we were going to be playing in the indoor school and the Nursery Ground was already in use that day. As the coffee and bacon sarnies were being consumed, the lads took to the balcony to watch Cross Arrows (Lords Groundstaff) take on the Frogs, just the smallest smattering of spectators were witting in the stand. One sharp-eyed person observed that from behind one of the spectators looked like Eoin Morgan. Sure enough, it was - but it was concluded that he was not doubt just filling in time before some kind of boring meeting in the ECB offices. Equally suprising was when the person sitting next to him turned around and was revealed to be Chris Woakes.

The initial briefing followed and all became clear - it was in fact a special day to raise money for Graeme Onions and his chosen charities as part of his testimonial. Many of his friends and colleagues from the world of cricket turned out to support him. So many in fact that there were too many pro cricketers to have one captain for each team, so the remainder made up a 4-man team on their own. These "leftovers" did however have a bit of talent - Steve Finn, Eoin Morgan, Paul Collingwood and Michael Carberry!

Sway's captain turned out to be Middlesex and England's Nick Compton - and nick duly became the first England player to pull on a Sway shirt. The game themselves were great fun with a mixed standard. Certain of the celebrities are by there very nature hopelessness competitive so before long they were all going for it despite the prospect of a long tour to the UAE just two days hence.

In Sway's first game, Graeme Onions side were comfortably brushed aside. Next followed amore tricky encounter against Graeme Swan's team ,but again Sway were victorious. Sway were now just one win from the final but were narrowly beaten the by the eventual winners, who were pretty handy even before the addition of their captain - a certain Ben Stokes!

The results really didn't matter though as there were so many glorious moments. For example it is probably the only time in cricket history that a score card will read:

G. Swann   Caught  N. Compton Bowled S. Drayton

Likewise Atty was unlucky not go dismiss Stokes first ball, the umpire getting in the way of the ball then even worse Compton managed to put down tow further chances off Stokes on the back way - and Sway were certainly made to pay by the big guy! Dave Marshall engaged with some tit-for-tat banter with Swann...and had the last laugh smashing the ball over his head for six and also contrived to square cut Stokes' bowling.

Just watching Morgan batting, Finn bowling or Collingwoods amazing overall fitness and skills was a pleasure in itself so the Sway boys were quite happy to sit out the final.

After the competition everyone brushed for superb and entertaining dinner in the Thomas Lord suite followed by a charity auction. Sway had the pleasure of Steve Finn's company - a delightfully down to earth guy.

For anyone who is interest in the 4 charities that Graeme is raising money for which are very close to his and his wife's hear more details can be found here: grahamonionsbenefityear.co.uk

Huge thanks Pete Bennet & Grovely Engineering, Graham Onions, all the star players and UnderThePosts event management for what was the event of a lifetime for the humble amateurs present.

 

The Sway CC boys in a poorly executed selfie!

The team with skipper Nick Compton

Eoin Morgan and Steve Drayton

Pete Bennet keeping to Paul Collingwood....well almost!

Graham Swann leisurely backing up!

Ben Stokes before he smashed us around!

Steve Finn needing a rest!

Steve Finn about to bid!

Ben stokes in fine form

Carbs appears to be bursting out the seams of his shirt!

Chris Woakes

Alas, numerous bottles of MCC Pino Grigio gave their lives during the evening