On Wednesday 29th July, RCC hosted a Jamie & Nicky Robinson Celebrity X1 to play a 20/20 match in front of a big crowd at the Riverside Ground.
It was a superb occasion for the club with a strong interest from the media for a match supporting the #StayStrongForOws campaign, a campaign established to support the injured Cardiff Blues & Wales rugby player Owen Williams. Players and representatives from Cardiff Blues were in attendance, with Scrum V’s reporter Phil Steele MC for the night.
A large crowd was in attendance to enjoy the sunshine and cricket, with a busy marquee serving local beer and cider and 20/20 style music playing to create an excellent atmosphere for the players.
A number of the clubs junior section were also present to form a guard of honour before the game.
The visitors team included Welsh rugby legends Tom Shanklin, Kevin Morgan and Martyn Williams, as well as Glamorgan wicket keeper Mark Wallace fresh from his 1000th catch for the county the night before, and ex Glamorgan player Mike Powell. Also playing were All Black Xavier Rush and the Dragon’s Richie Rees. The team was put together by ex RCC player Jamie Robinson and his brother Nicky who also came through the junior ranks but was unable to attend due to his playing commitments in France.
The Celebrity X1 won the toss and elected to bat, with RCC legend and ex Cardiff player Howard Stone opening with Mark Wallace. Wallace struck some lusty blows before being bowled by Fordy in the 30s.
Jamie Robinson came in next and rolled back the years with some powerful striking in his 45 before retiring. Mike Powell showed his class by finding the fence with some delightful drives before being bowled by Williams. Tom Shanklin came to the crease and took a liking to the leg side boundary, smashing a few fours and a big six right out the middle of the bat.
The Celebrity X1 finished their 20 over’s on 152 with Huw Williams claiming 3 wickets.
RCC opened up with Ben O’Neil and Rhodri Lloyd, but Lloyd fell first ball of the innings to Jamie Ringer. Mark Rogers followed not long after thanks to a superb diving catch by Wales and British & Irish Lions legend Martyn Williams. Shanklin then took an excellent catch in the deep at fine leg staring right into the sun to remove O’Neil, leaving the hosts in trouble.
Woolston and Walters looked to rebuild and put on a good partnership before All Black Xavier Rush bowled Walters for a quick fire 25.
Woolston was joined by Rhys Lloyd needing 10 an over from the final 6 and the former started to find the fence more regularly before being caught and bowled by Williams on 41, again taking a good diving catch. Lloyd then went on the attack and got Radyr right back into the game where they needed 10 from the last 2 balls with Shanklin the man trusted at the death.
The penultimate ball looked to be the match winner for the Celebs as Lloyd picked out Jamie Robinson at long on who was tight on the boundary. Robinson took at excellent catch however his momentum carried him over the rope. In trying to keep the ball in play and regain his balance to take the catch for a second time, he inadvertently threw the ball back over the rope. Game on for the last ball. Needing a 4 to win, Shanklin bowled full and straight and Lloyd could only gain 2 runs meaning the celeb X1 won by 1 run.
It was a truly memorable match for the large crowd and players involved, supporting an excellent cause and helping Radyr to celebrate their 125th Anniversary in some style.
Galleries from the match can be found below including a write up on Wales Online and coming shortly will be a link to the Made in Cardiff coverage who were filming during the match.
Many thanks to Jamie and the celebrity X1 for playing and all of those at the club who helped make it such a great night and something which would be brilliant to repeat in future seasons.
More pictures to follow shortly