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Howzat for Sportbash 2019?! £11,500 is raised for the Matt Hampson Foundation

Cricket stars both past and present were in Rutland on Friday (May 31) and raised £11,500 for the Matt Hampson Foundation in the process.

Sportbash returned for its seventh edition and the sun shone on Ketton Sports and Community Centre as names such as Simon Jones and Geraint Jones from the 2005 Ashes series were joined by current Nottinghamshire professionals Jake Ball and Luke Fletcher.

The inaugural Eastern Premier Cup, a new seven overs a side tournament featuring the professionals and local players, was won by the Huntingdonshire Stags.

The Stags had ex-England, Warwickshire and Leicestershire player Darren Maddy and Phil DeFreitas, formerly of Leicestershire and England, in their ranks and defeated the Stamford Bulls, who featured Geraint Jones and Jake Ball, in a gripping final.

The Bulls had finished their innings on 80 - 4 but the Stags successfully chased the target to take the cup.

Former England international Dean Headley, the organiser and director of cricket at Stamford Endowed Schools, said: "It was a great day with fantastic weather.

“We raised £11,500 for the Matt Hampson Foundation which is brilliant.

“That’s a nice amount of money and it seems like the new format went down well with the players and spectators.

“We got a lot of positive feedback and we’ll be doing it again next year and build upon the success of Friday afternoon.

“The seven over a side format produced some really good competitive cricket.

“It’s only going to get bigger and it’s not just a cricket event - it’s an event for the whole community.

“I’d like to thank all of the sponsors because without them it doesn’t really happen.

“Also to everyone who came down to support and gave up their time to help out.”

In a dramatic opening game of the Eastern Premier Cup, the Stamford Bulls defeated the Rutland and Leicestershire Foxes, featuring Leicestershire’s Mark Cosgrove and ex-England and Surrey batsman Alex Tudor.

The Bulls finished on 70 - 6 but tight bowling by Stamford captain Chris Boor in the final over saw the Foxes defeated.

The Huntingdonshire Stags defeated the South Lincs Lions, featuring Luke Fletcher and Simon Jones in the second game to make the final.

Geraint Jones, said: “It’s good to be here supporting the Matt Hampson Foundation.

“2005 was just an amazing summer - I think it was just the way in which is gripped the whole country.

“We were travelling around the country and everywhere we went people were just talking about cricket.”

Simon Jones, said: “All credit to Deano - he’s done a great job in putting this on and it’s great to see a good crowd and atmosphere.

“Obviously the main thing is that we raise a lot of money for charity.

“I can’t believe it [Ashes 2005] was 14 years ago!

“It makes me feel old!

“That was the summer that really defined my career.”

The BGL Kwik Cricket Plate was won by the Uffington Wizards, with the Spalding Sharks taking home the BGL Kwik Cricket Cup.

Click here to see all our photographs from the event.

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