This weekend 8 teams provided some fantastic entertainment at the La Manga Cricket Club end of season 20/20 tournament.
Offering touring the sides the chance to come and end their season in style the UK sides certainly made the most of all La Manga has to offer and the spirit of cricket was seen in abundance (both on and off the field)
The touring sides were from across the length of Britain with teams from Stansted CC, Penydarren County 11 CC, Menai Bridge CC, Old Tenisonians CC, Phoenix CC and Rammytraders CC making the journey across from the UK.
Reigning champions United CC from Girona came to defend their crown, and the home side, La Manga CC entered their own side in their own competition for the first time under their new structure.
Under blue skies and temperatures in the late 20’s, group matches were played across Friday and Saturday, with Old Tenisonians CC defeating Menai Bridge CC and Stansted CC defeating Penydarren on Friday morning and United CC beating Phoenix, Menai Bridge beating La Manga CC on Friday afternoon.
Following the customary late night (early morning) Saturday morning saw Rammy Traders lose their first game of the weekend to La Manga and United CC racked up an impressive 287 against Stansted, despite a wicket in the first over. The remaining Saturday games saw Menai Bridge defeat Rammy Traders, Penydarren get the better of Phoenix, United overcome Penydarren and Old Tenisonians defeat La Manga.
The final group games were concluded Sunday morning to determine who would play United CC in the final, and Old Tenisonians were victorious against Rammy Traders to secure their final spot. The final group games saw Stansted qualify for the 3rd place play off game after beating Phoenix.
Penydarren won the 5th 6th place play off, defeating La Manga, Spain’s Christian Munoz-Mills, guesting for the S Wales side, scoring an excellent 110 to round off a fine weekend with both bat and ball.
Stansted overcame Menai Bridge in the 3rd 4th place game and in the afternoon’s final, United CC were impressive winners over Old Tenisonians’s to once again retain their title.
This was arranged as a social tournament and many friendships were forged across the teams throughout the weekend. The marquee was a hive of activity, magnificently managed by Paul and Cath Brimble – I’m pretty sure Paul could sell snow to eskimo’s!
The last night dinner saw Spain’s Christian Munoz-Mills awarded the player of the tournament award from England legend “Deadly” Derek Underwood and as teams drifted away from La Manga Club throughout Monday, thoughts have already turned to October 2017 and everyone asking to play again next year.
My thanks go to Ron Graham and his team of umpires and scorers, to Allan Bailey for ground prep and general hard work, Paul and Cath for the F&B and to Ian, Hugh, Neil, Martin, Charlie, in fact all members of La Manga CC who came and worked hard to make this weekend a resounding success.