Winners 16 Regt, Runners-up 14 Regt 2012
The Gunner Cricket Championships took place at Larkhill and Tidworth on the 17th and 18th of May this year. We were very lucky with the weather in that it did not rain however it was certainly time to pull out the long sleeved sweater!
With the usual operational commitments and the upcoming Olympics taking their toll, participation was sadly limited to only 5 regiments (1st RHA, 14, 19, 32 and 16 Regiments). These regiments, however, competed hard throughout and the level of cricket was very high indeed. The format of the trophy was a single league round robin, with all teams playing each other once and bonus points on offer.
At the end of the first day 19 Regt remained undefeated and were the front runners for the competition however 14 Regt had 2 good wins under there belt and where feeling confident. 16 Regt had made an inauspicious start losing to 14 Regt but showed their class in the second game cruising to an 8 wicket victory over 32 Regt and positioning themselves nicely for the second day.
On the morning of the second day where the trophy was going to end up was anyone’s guess and people were getting headaches trying to sort out required run rates for extra bonus points - clearly this tournament was going to go down to the wire. 19 Regt could not produce the same form they had shown on day 1 and suffered a 10 wicket defeat to the hands of 16 Regt who were building up a good head of steam in the competition. Over in Tidworth, 32 Regt put the poor performances of day 1 behind them and produced a 9 wicket victory against 1st RHA. This meant that 16 Regt went into the last game knowing that they had to win with a bonus point to win the trophy for the first time. Their bowlers did exceptionally well in restricting 1st RHA to 113 and then it was left to the batsmen to knock off the runs in double quick time to secure the points requires. After a shaky start that saw 2 wickets fall in the first 2 overs, 16 Regt did not lose another wicket and saw off the total inside 13 overs.
14 Regt had done all they could against 19 Regt but ended runners-up as the bonus point gave 16 Regt the trophy by 1 point. An excellent finish to two very enjoyable days of cricket. 16 Regt were presented the McDonnell Trophy by Lt Col (Retd) Peter Salisbury, Vice-President RACC.
As with every year, the McDonnell Trophy offers a stage to regimental players to showcase their skills in front of the RACC management Several new finds have been unearthed who will hopefully go on to play a big part in Gunner cricket in the future. Our thanks go to Ben Hunt, the groundsman, who continues to excellent pitches in very difficult conditions, the umpires and Maj Osman for organising the competition yet again.