Wine Trade vs On Trade for the Pol Roger Bowl
And so it was in typically English summer weather that the ‘Wine trade’ took on the ‘On trade’ in the inaugural Pol Roger cricket match at Swinton Park on Wednesday 4th July. This ‘clash of the titans’ saw 22 men of the Wine and On Trade don their sparkling whites, in some cases for the first time in 20 years, all in aid of this, the ultimate grudge match.
It was a 30 over-a-side game, Batsmen had to retire at 25 (but could come in again at the end if their team was All Out), everybody (excluding the Wicket-Keeper) on the fielding side had to bowl at least two overs and the two trees on the field acted as ‘extra fielders’, which turned out to be crucial.
The Wine Trade XI, Captained by John Moorhouse (Hallgarten-Druitt), won the Toss and inserted the opposition on what looked a bowler friendly wicket. Nevertheless the On Trade XI, got off to something of a flyer with Matt Henshaw (Les Caveaux) hitting a punishing 21, with Paul Wicker (Talbot Hotel) stroking an elegant 30no (before having to retire) and Tom Binns (Les Caveaux) neatly accumulating his 25 no (before retiring) all in quick time. Momentum was maintained for the On Trade with 15 from Mark Cunliffe-Lister, Captain of the On Trade XI (Swinton Park) who rotated the strike well on his home ground and Ben Nami (White Hart Hotel) who powered to a quick-fire 24, before the Wine Trade XI put the brakes on. Some tight bowling from James Goodhart (Bon Coeur FW) 1 for 6, Joe Ward (Penistone Court) 2 for 18 and Andy Langshaw (Harrogate FW) 1 for 11 slowed the advance. The On Trade XI again put bat to ball in latter overs, however, with some lusty blows from Richard Finney (Harrogate Brasserie) 19, and Andy Carter (Sous le Nez) 20no, getting the On Trade XI to an imposing 187 for 7 from their 30 overs.
A well-earned afternoon tea was taken with a glass or three of Pol Roger Brut Reserve helping to rehydrate the athletes before the second innings.
The second innings got underway with some excellent bowling from Andy Carter (Sous le Nez) 1 for 14, David Straker (William & Victoria) 2 for 19 and Vikash Soundur (Rudding Park) 1 for 18 keeping a tight squeeze on proceedings. Thankfully a patient 26 no from Pete Maclennan (Yorkshire Vintners) and an initial 25no from Richard Blakey (Yorkshire CCC & England) got the Wine Trade innings back on track. A breezy 25no from John Moorhouse (Hallgarten Druitt) and a well worked 21 from Joe Ward (Penistone Court) continued the progress, but the early damage had put us behind the run rate with 39 runs required from 22 balls as the seventh wicket fell (not including retirements). Richard Blakey (Yorkshire CCC & England) came back in and managed a further 25 runs in imposing fashion before having to retire again to leave the Wine Trade needing 5 off the last ball to win. So with the last ball to be bowled, a Six would win it and a Four would tie the game. A magnificent blow by Joe Ward crashed the ball up over mid-off…only to see it smack flush into a branch and stop dead, the batsmen managed only a single and the On Trade XI won by 3 runs!
The Players came off and congratulated each other on a hard-fought and tight contest, but justice was done and the best team won. Along with the victorious On Trade XI we concluded that ‘Cricket was the winner!’ (and many other clichés as the night went on!).
Players and guests then enjoyed a delicious Dinner in The Library at Swinton Park, along with the following wines and spirits from the Pol Roger Portfolio.
- Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV
- Joseph Drouhin Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru ‘Champ Canet’ 2007
- Maison Nicolas Perrin Cornas 2009
- Crown Estates Tokaji, 5 Puttonyos 2002
- Hine Rare VSOP, Cognac or Glenfarclas 15 Year Old, Single Malt
After Dinner the Pol Roger Champagne Bowl was presented to the winning Captain of the On Trade XI, Mark Cunliffe-Lister.
A Magnum of Pol Roger Brut Reserve was awarded to the Man of the Match, Matt Henshaw.