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Bourton Vale and Stow Rugby Club to play for the John Wright Trophy

All Areas > Sport > Cricket

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Monday, 20th June 2022, 09:00

The Bourton Cricket Festival gets under way on Monday 27th June The Bourton Cricket Festival gets under way on Monday 27th June

Two of the biggest and best run sports clubs in the Cotswolds will compete for the John Wright Trophy at the start of next month.

The inaugural match between Bourton Vale Cricket Club and Stow-on-the-Wold Rugby Club will take place on Friday 1st July and they’ll be meeting on a cricket field.

That would appear to favour the cricket club, of course, although Bourton chairman Kevin Langley does not necessarily agree.

“It’s sure to be quite competitive,” he told The Local Answer. “Stow have got quite a few players who also play cricket for us – Jake Collett, Charlie Slatter and Gus Hayward.

“They’ll have to decide who they’re going to play for but as we can call on a few more cricketers I think they’ll probably play for Stow.”

The format is T20 with the game scheduled to start at 6.15pm and Langley continued: “We hope it will become an annual event. The match is in honour of John Wright who was a stalwart member of both Stow and Bourton Vale.”

Langley is hoping that his widow Jane will be at the game and the trophy is expected to be presented by either John Milner, a former Gloucester rugby player who is a member of both Stow RFC and Bourton Vale, or Mike Collett, the president of Bourton Vale.

The game will bring down the curtain on this year’s Bourton Cricket Festival, five fabulous days of cricket that will see the host club play Gloucestershire Gipsies on Tuesday 28th June (noon start), Warwickshire Imps on the Wednesday (noon) and the MCC on the Thursday (11.30am).

The MCC fixture has now become an annual match at the festival and, like the other two games, is played in a traditional format with the final 20 overs, certainly for the first two games, likely to start at 5.30pm.

And while the cricket is obviously the main focus for each of those three days, there is plenty more going on besides at the club.

“It’s the Gloucestershire Gipsies’ centenary this year so to mark the occasion we’re inviting some of the more mature ex-Gipsies and ex-Bourton players to join us during the day and for a barbecue at the end of the day,” said Langley.

And rest assured it won’t be your ordinary barbecue.

“There’s a small South African community in Bourton and we’ve invited them to do a South African Braai,” explained Langley.

And for anyone who doesn’t know, Braai is the South African equivalent of a barbecue, with South Africans generally using wood and charcoal to cook their meat – wood being the better method – because they say it brings out the best flavours in the meat. A gas grill is most certainly not considered!

“It should be fun,” said Langley with some understatement.

Thursday’s game against the MCC will also double up as the club’s sponsors day, something that Langley is very excited about.

“We’ve got about 20 sponsors and we’re putting up a marquee,” he said. “It was Tom Arkell’s idea, he did all the work attracting the sponsors.

“He’s a first-team player and does all our social media. It was also his idea to have the game against Stow Rugby Club.”

And that game against Stow isn’t the only T20 match taking place at Rissington Road over the five days because the festival gets under way on Monday 27th June with a match between Bourton Women and Girls and Cricklade Cricket Club.

That game is scheduled to start at 6pm and Langley said: “Our women and girls’ team play regularly, usually on a Monday evening.

“We’re gradually building the team up. Jack Galpin who plays for the first team is now coaching them and that has helped a lot.”

And with Stow RFC hoping to form a women’s team of their own this season it could be that the aforementioned Tom Arkell is already thinking that they could run a women’s T20 alongside the men’s T20 in 2023.

As for the men’s cricket match between Stow and Bourton, does Langley have any plans to reciprocate and take Bourton to Oddington Road in November or December and play a game of rugby?

“I think we might lose a few bodies,” he laughed. “I’m not sure how you play social rugby, I think we’re better off just sticking to the cricket!”

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