SCHOLARS in the new South Dartmoor Community College Cricket Academy gave the MCC a run for their money when the two sides met in a celebration game.
The MCC sent a side to Bovey Tracey to meet the scholars in their first real game since announcing the creation of the Academy.
Officially the Academy doesn’t open until September, but players, coaches and staff couldn’t wait until next summer to celebrate.
So an all-day game was arranged with the MCC, whose side contained former Minor County and First Class county 2nd XI cricketers and a smattering with Premier Division cricketers from as far away as Hampshire.
MCC made 249 for five declared with Charlie Vickery top scoring on 130 not out.
Joe Cranch made 74 – he and Vickery put on 170 for the third wicket – then Barton’s Shaun Needham (25) joined Vickery to add another 45.
Academy captain Will Christophers used nine bowlers to get everyone in the game. Ashley Causey (2-49) and Ben Cowdry had the best figures.
South Dartmoor set off on the chase with openers Christophers (39) and Causey (38) making a 71-run dent in the target.
Three wickets went in quick succession, which brought George Pitman out to bat.
Pitman kept the chase going with a knock of 90 that came off 84 balls and was scored almost entirely in boundaries as he hit 20 fours.
Only when Pitman was seventh out at 198 did the Academy start to slow.
Needham (2-18), Jack Cooper (2-8) and James Duder (2-3) nipped out the tail enders as the Academy closed on 216 all out.
The MCC won by 33 runs – and enjoyed themselves so much there are plans to play a return fixture next year.
“We had a good game against some talented young cricketers and it will be interesting to see how they have progressed by this time next year,” said MCC skipper Alex Harris.
Steve Dinnie, the director of sport at the college, said the day had been sporting success and a great advert for the new Academy.
He added: “We have a game coming up against the Devon Dumplings in a couple of weeks and are looking forward to another challenge from a strong representative side.”
MCC 249-5 dec C B Vickery 130, J D Cranch 74, S D Needham 25; A J Causey 2-49), South Dartmoor Academy 216 (G A Pitman 90, A J Causey 38, W R Christophers 39; J H Duder 2-3, J W Cooper 2-8, S D Needham 2-18).
The two teams prior to the game at Bovey Tracey