Despite the rain dampening the start of this game to mark the significant contribution Mervyn Brooker made both to Bolton School cricket and that of Edgworth Cricket Club, the occasion proved to be very enjoyable for the sizeable crowd that had gathered to pay tribute to the former Headmaster and boost funds for his Nepal Appeal.
After a minute’s silence, the School XI batted first with school Vice-Captain Joe Ball laying the foundation for a challenging total with an enterprising 41. Further consolidation by Old Boltonians (and former school cricket captains) Tom Liversedge (61) and Liam Watkinson (49), who were keen to impress against familiar opposition, enabled the School XI to post a healthy 199 off 35 overs. For Edgworth, J Lea (3-16) and T Simpson(3-42) were the most successful bowlers.
An opening stand of 60 between overseas amateur C Smith and Old Boltonian Alex Hughes, made a close finish likely but, once a speculative throw from Mike Hobbiss ran out their professional, Edgworth were unable to maintain their momentum and fell short of the target, being dismissed for 161. Mark Millhouse was the pick of the bowlers (3-16) aided by two further wickets for Mike Hobbiss.
Mervyn’s wife Brigid presented the trophy to winning captain Liam Watkinson after the game and everyone was appreciative of the strong family presence and support from the school and club communities.
In his memory, the Mervyn Brooker Trophy will be contested each year and it will also be used as a School prize for the Sports Player who plays in the spirit of the game.