Merchant Taylors’ 1st XI wins annual fixture against MCC
Merchant Taylors’ 1st XI won its annual fixture against MCC by 7 wickets. The School’s bowlers worked very hard in the morning session to restrict MCC to 110 for 3 at lunch. With the temperature pushing 30 degrees this was a fine effort. After lunch MCC improved their scoring rate but the School bowlers stuck to their task very well. Isaac Lea with 2 for 50 and Jackson Darkes-Sutcliffe with 2 for 53 were the wicket takers. MCC declared on 221 for 4 – a challenging but simultaneously inviting target.
Openers Ehren Agarwal and Kunal Mahambrey put on a splendid partnership of 110 which set up what proved to be a straightforward victory charge. When Ehren (63) and Kunal (41) were out Isaac Lea (33) and Alex Rankin (50 not out) continued to play positively and the game was won by 7 wickets with 8 overs to spare. After the game Chris Bell awarded the Simon Bell Trophy to Merchants’ winning captain Tom Barker in memory of his son Simon.
Simon was a student at Merchant Taylors’ from 1982 to 1987. He had two passions in life – Liverpool Football Club, and the game of cricket. He represented Merchant Taylors, the Northern Club and Lancashire in his age group. He was a more than useful batsman and an extremely accurate and skilful medium paced bowler, who honed his skills with hours of dedicated practice, often spending summer evenings bowling at one stump in the nets at Northern until it got dark. Simon very sadly lost his life in the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989. As a mark of respect and in his memory the Northern Club and the Camels Club (former MT cricketers ) started playing an annual match for the Simon Bell Trophy. In recent years this fixture has happened only intermittently, so Mark Edwards, who was a friend of Simon’s at school suggested switching the focus of the trophy to the School’s annual match against MCC. From now on the winner of the game will be awarded the trophy at the end of the game. In the event of a draw it will stay, like the Ryder Cup, with the team which holds it. It is an appropriate way to remember and honour Simon Bell.
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