1981 RNC Hereford beat Avon Sports

BRITISH BLIND SPORT National Knockout Cup Final 1981
By George & David Simmons
Article taken from “Participation” magazine Autumn 1981

Avon Sports v RNC Hereford

This year’s final was between the RNC (Hereford) and the Avon Sports & Social Club. The venue on Saturday 11 July, was at the Granby Sports Ground, Elmstead Lane, Chislehurst, Kent. This, of course, was a neutral ground.

Avon won the toss, and asked RNC to bat first. Their two opening batsmen started hesitantly, and in the fourth over of the match RNC lost their first wicket. Ian Kirby stepped up the run rate considerably. His partnership with Steve Carpenter was the mainstay of RNC’s innings. The partnership ended with S Carpenter being caught for 37 runs, but Ian Kirby went on to make 70 runs in 55 minutes before he was run out. Tony Hegarty made an unbeaten 21 to hold up the batting during the final overs. The RNC after their permitted 24 Overs made a total of 194 for 6 Wickets.

After a break for tea, Avon began their momentous task. They lost a quick wicket, but then Robbie Bryden joined his Captain Mike Butler at the crease. Their total increased to 41 before Mike Butler was caught for 25. Now Robbie Bryden stepped up the run rate with good support from John Thomas. With Avon’s score standing at 114 for 3 Robbie Bryden was caught for 62. then David Le Poidevin hit out in the last few overs making 17 before he too was caught. In these last few overs a good many runs were needed, so risks had to be taken, and RNC capitalised on Avon’s desperate plight. Avon were all out in the last over; they made 160 all out.

RNC won by 34 runs in a very exciting day’s play. The glorious weather brought out plenty of spectators who thoroughly enjoyed the high standard of cricket on display by both teams.

Mr Douglas Osborne, the Director of the London Association for the Blind, was invited to present the awards. The Winners received the “Lord’s Taverners Shield”, a £50 cheque and individual trophies. The Avon Club were presented with a 5 star cricket bat, and again individual trophies.

A Sports Bag was awarded to the best totally blind player, Ian Kirby of RNC, for his excellent batting, he hit four 6’s and seven 4’s in his total of 70 runs. A Sports Bag was awarded to the best partially sighted player, Robbie Bryden of the Avon Club, for his steadfast batting, hitting ten 4’s in his total of 62.
Trophies were also awarded to Mr Bruce Clarke and Mr Mike Ireland for their first class Umpiring throughout the match. BRITISH BLIND SPORT would like to thank them and all the other Umpires who have given their time to officiate throughout the previous rounds, and without whose help this year’s competition would not have taken place.
BRITISH BLIND SPORT would also like to thank everyone at the Granby Sports Ground for the use of their ground and facilities and for the excellent tea. Our thanks also go to Mr & Mrs Osborne for giving up their time to present the awards, and I am sure they join with BRITISH BLIND SPORT in congratulating the Royal National College for the Blind (Hereford) and commiserate with Avon and the other Cricket Clubs who did not make it this year. Good Luck to all the Cricket Clubs taking part in the 1982 competition.