Sunday, July 14, 2019



A school reunion was enjoyed in Brigg on Friday evening (July 12).
Former pupils of Sir John Nelthorpe School and one or two who attended Brigg Grammar (pre-1976) played in the annual Youth v Experience cricket match.
It was followed by a get-together at Wetherspoon's White Horse pub.
The first 'Old Boys' match is believed to have been played in the 1920s and various organisers since then have worked hard to keep this friendly fixture alive.
Many other Lincolnshire schools used to have similar matches decades ago but Sir John Nelthorpe's is now one of the few survivors.
Some good batting, bowling and fielding were on show during the 2019 fixture, played on the artificial pitch at SJN.
It is located some distance from the old grass square used by generations of pupils and also Brigg Town Cricket Club for many years until demolition of the wooden pavilion and adjoining brick canteen building where teas used to be taken.
The game ended in a comfortable six-wicket win for the Experience team, who limited Youth to 110 for seven and knocked off the required runs in quick time.
Jack Richards, now a Brigg Town veteran, was in good form with the bat for the Experience XI whose most senior member, Tony Beel, just managed to see victory achieved at 7.30pm before setting off to pick up a taxi fare!
It was evident that Sir John Nelthorpe School continues to produce some promising cricketers, as it has done since the mid-1970s.
Current holder of the Lincolnshire County Cricket League scorer of the year trophy, Brigg Town's David Baggott was among those to assist with keeping tally when not fielding or batting.
Phil Dewfall later took the book in hand to enter the winning run - a no-ball that was hit for four.
Alex Smith managed the school side, with Nick Beacock organising the Old Boys. Jon Taylor, who helped arrange the game, popped down at the start - camera in hand.
Left-arm seamer Nick, Brigg Town's opening bowler, produced the best wicket-taking ball of the match - an inswinging delivery that demolished the pop-up stumps.
Umpiring the match allowed us an ideal vantage point to report on the match, which was 16 six-ball overs a side, and to chat to some of the Caistor, Barton Town, Brigg and East Halton club players we remember from our years as a league umpire.
The weather was perfect - warm but not too hot - and we hope it proves possible to arrange another fixture in July 2020 to go in the Briggensians' Association events diary.
Many of these matches, decades ago, were played on Sunday afternoons, but a rapid expansion of Sunday league cricket in the 1980s resulted in a switch to Friday nights.
Now much less cricket is played on Sundays, could we try an afternoon game again, perhaps with a break for tea? Just a thought...
The Briggensians' Association represents former pupils and staff from SJN, Brigg Grammar, Brigg Girls' High School and Brigg Sixth Form. Find out more through this link...

PICTURE ABOVE: Matthew Bell celebrates a wicket and Andy Sharp sees the funny side.

Alex Smith, right, preparing to toss the coin for choice of innings with Nick Beacock, the opposing captain.

Youth v Experience players prior to the start of the July 2019 friendly fixture at Sir John Nelthorpe School.

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