A new season and a winning opener for the Diocese of Leeds cricket team

Clergy from the Diocese of Leeds came together for the start of a new cricket season and cruised to victory in their first match of the 69th Church Times Cricket Cup.

Every year dioceses compete against one another to win a cricket competition which was first held in 1951. It brings together teams from across the country, with just over half of English Dioceses submitting them. Teams can consist of both men and women and the tournament is famous for its friendly rivalry.

On a beautiful, sunny afternoon at Romiley Cricket Club in Stockport the Diocese of Leeds played their first match against a combined team from Liverpool and Chester.

Leeds batted first against a patient Chester and Liverpool team, who waited as Leeds players arrived in dribs and drabs due to the chaos created by closure of part of the M62. Two of their players took 5 and a half hours en route and only arrived in time for the second innings.

Happily for them, the Leeds openers scored heavily with a first wicket stand of 153, which only ended when Richard Carew retired on 103. His opening partner, Richard Earnshaw, scored more steadily and was the first and only wicket to fall when he was out for 80. Leeds finished on 246 for 1 in their 30 overs.

Chester and Liverpool scored steadily but lost wickets rapidly and were all out for 98 in 18 overs. Graham Buttanshaw took 3 for 34, and Dan Christian 2 for 30. Leeds won the match by an impressive 148 runs.

This year you will be able to follow the teams progress via a video blog, sharing their time together and journey to try and win the Church Times Cricket Cup for the first time. Watch the teams first vlog here.

The second match will be against the Diocese of Manchester on Monday, May 20th followed by further fixtures against the diocese's of Lichfield, Carlisle and Blackburn.  

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