A glorious summers day on Sunday 28thJuly saw the hosting by Minal of the annual 6 a side cricket competition on the sports field and the “duck” races on the Kennet River nearby. Phil Miles who used to captain the Sunday cricket team calmly and efficiently sorted the cricket teams and organised the matches on a round robin format. There was an excellent entry of 4 teams for the cricket including young and old, good and not so good and pleasing to say, some very capable females! The sounds of bat on ball and the occasional “How’s that?” mixed with the sizzle of delicious burgers and sausages on the BBQ and steady chatter of families and friends relaxing in the afternoon sun made up for a lovely atmosphere. Cricket was played enthusiastically but always in a great spirit of fun.
At around 4pm the much anticipated Duck Races commenced. Over 400 numbered yellow ducks were introduced into the river just above the bridge, in two heats with the fastest 20 from each heat making it into the final. All ducks had been pre-sold via a raffle and people watched from the bridge hoping their duck would win the race! In the final race the ticket owners for the first 3 ducks won cash and the next 12 won consolation prizes of drink, biscuits or sweets. Thanks to John Hounslow for providing waders, and for clearing the rivers edge allowing access.
On a more serious note, this event has been staged for the last 15 years in memory of Gary Giles, a keen Minal cricketer, who died unexpectedly as a result of cardiac arrest. As in previous years a donation arising from raffles, entries and food sales will be made to CRY ( Cardiac Risk in the Young). The whole Giles family were present all day and Gary’s mother Mrs. Diane Giles kindly presented the medals for the winning cricket team, and prizes for duck race and raffle winners and emotionally thanked all for their generosity, time and participation and particularly to the organizers and helpers.
All in all a great day ensuring that the Minal Sports and Social Club is alive and well!!