Bures & District Cricket Club

Match Report - Bures vs. Great Bentley 1845 - 22/06/1957

    This quite extraordinary match, in which the respective sides' innings spanned some 112 years, was finally concluded on this date under the watchful eye of the national and local press. The match was completed as far as possible under the Laws of 1855, with four-ball underarm overs and appropriately garbed players complete with top hats. The visitors covered the last mile of their journey to Bures in a vintage harvest wagon, making a triumphal entry to the ground. To put matters in order, Bentley captain Mick Allington formally declared the Bentley innings, and agreed with Harry Morton of Bures that 302 runs would be required for victory.

Souvenir Programme & Team Sheets 1845 & 1957

Besmocked Messrs. V. Rodgers and J. Eaves umpired and Messrs. B. Cohen and W. Dennis recorded the notches as they had been called over 100 years before. Carl Morton opened the bowling for Bentley, his second delivery being a wide and his fourth being hit for six. Harry Morton was quickly into his stride for Bures, scoring a quick 50 in just 41 minutes, with more than a ball or two going into the Stour. Seven notches after he was caught at point but 18-year-old bakery student Dennis Hume carried on the good work and only just missed century partnerships with Leslie Binks and Pat Baker. Binks, who was out with the score at 199 after 90 minutes play (!) was the first clean bowled victim,  but Hume continued the good work and refreshments were taken with the score at 265 for 4. After the resumption, a determined counter-attack from Bentley saw Hume caught at mid-on, having scored, in 111 minutes, 124 including 16 fours and a six. At 300 for 5, it looked as if the 112 year old match was drawing to a close, but an extraordinary hat-trick from Bentley bowler Phil Nevard brought the finish down to the wire. Finally however, Maurice Cansdale of Bures hit the final ball of the hat-trick over for four, to settle the matter in Bures favour. Play continued until Bures had scored 351 for 9, whereupon the innings closed having lasted just two-and-a-half hours.

The Bures team prepares to do battle..............err..........it's supposed to be fun, chaps!

Left to Right  - Les Binks, Great Bentley umpire, Maurice Cansdale, Norman Cudmore, George Austin, Edgar Warden, Dennis Hume, Harry Morton, Robin Springett, Frank Bullivant, Harry Munson, Pat Baker, Bill Dennis (Bures umpire)

(With thanks to Alan Beales who, in May 2009, managed to track down Robin Springett and name every player!)

After the game a scroll was presented to Bures who responded  with the offer of a casket made by Harry Morton, in which the ashes of the bails used in the game were to be placed. This will constitute a trophy and it was hoped that this would cement an annual fixture between the two sides. This hope was fulfilled until recent years, when the annual fixture disappeared from the fixture calendars of both sides but was reinstated in 2014 with the visit of Bures to Great Bentley and Bures return with the casket, following an excellent day's cricket.

This most unusual game was widely reported in the press at the time, with entries in the October 1957 edition of East Anglian magazine, the June 26 edition of the Suffolk Free Press, the June 28 edition of the Chronicle and Mercury and the Essex Chronicle and last but not least a front-page mention in the News of the World (which I must say, was a rather different publication in those days...!!). There is even a mention in the "Late News" section of The Star dated June 22 1957, in which the latest score in the Centenary match is shown alongside the England/West Indies Test result!

I am most grateful to David Warden for having provided the press cuttings and photographs from which this page has been prepared.

The ladies enter into the spirit of the occasion



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