Cornwood's continuous cricket event raises £1,000 for community project

Phil Gibson and friends ready to get the 24-hour cricket marathon under way
Phil Gibson and friends ready to get the 24-hour cricket marathon under way

HOWZAT for a cricket marathon? Non-stop action, round the clock for 24 hours.

Cornwood members and supporters came up with the idea for a continuous cricket match as a way of raising money for a community project.

Villagers in Cornwood and nearby Lutton have ben keen to obtain a defibrillator that can be used in emergency should someone suffer a heart attack.

Cornwood member Phil Gibson, otherwise known as ‘DeFib Man’, successfully applied for a grant from the British Heart Foundation earlier this year towards a defibrillator.

Before the life-saving, community resource could be put in place, another £600 towards the costs had to be found. That’s where Phil came in.

Phil roped in friends and family to organise the 24-hour cricket marathon and also generate some awareness of the importance of a quick response if someone should collapse. 

A large number of members, parents of junior players and keen enthusiasts supported the event, which started at 5pm on Friday evening with the Colts sessions. 

A barbecue and friendly matches against the squad of fundraisers keep play going until dark, then the floodlit sessions in the nets kept cricket activity going until dawn.Indoor cricket kept the marathon going

Emma Gibson, one of the red-tee-shirted marathon players, said response to the event had been fantastic.

“A keen group of eight members kept the overnight sessions in play with huge amounts of support from locals turning up at all times, including four in the morning to keep spirits and cricket activity high,” said Emma.

“Even rain at seven am didn’t stop the activity as players moved inside to create different forms of cricket, including ‘chair’ cricket which kept everyone involved and awake.”

A raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses and members, drew in the cash with Brittany Ferries kindly providing a 24-hour overnight trip to France.  

The players also watched training videos of how to use the equipment and practised on the supplied dummies through the night.   

The input of the red tee-shirt brigade ended when Devon League fixtures started at the club at 1.30pm. It is notable that at least five players who had participated since 5pm the previous evening played in matches the next day.

The fund raising carried on after the marathon finished thanks to the generosity of the teams.

“Cornwood first team, who were at home to Ivybridge, donated their fines money to the fund,” said Emma.

“We were also grateful to Ivybridge and Lewdown, who bought raffle tickets, and to St Marychurch Old Boys who were informed of the event by our fourth team at their away game and gave back the tea money as a contribution, an extremely kind gesture. 

“We would like to thank all those who helped organise, fed players, played, sponsored, donated prizes and bought tickets and tee shirts over the 24 hours.  

“The club raised more than £1000 in the end, which will be used to provide weather-proof housing for the equipment and on other club improvements.”

Learning the basics with a fun drill before going out to play