TOWN players tried their hand at cricket this past weekend in the Wilf Harrison Memorial Challenge, all for a worthy cause.

Workington Town faced Workington Cricket Club in an unfamiliar sport at the Ernest Valentine Cricket ground on Friday.

The event, set up by Workington Cricket Club chairman Kristian Moffatt with his ex-teammate and town board member Graeme Peers, raised vital funds to support both clubs through the coronavirus pandemic, a challenging period for sports teams of all varieties.

A select Workington Cricket Club team took on a mix of Town players.

The cricket club won the toss and elected to bat first, but there was a twist: for every wicket lost they would be dealt a 10-run deduction. The special stipulation meant that Workington Cricket Club racked up a catchable total of 107 with the batsmen playing in pairs and changing every three overs. There were some massive hits from Liam Hazzard and ex-Town trialist prop Grant Reid who were leaving fans running for cover as the sixes rained in.

Town had mixed success when they batted in reply but Conor Fitzsimmons and Andrew Dawson surprised the crowd with their cricket prowess. It was a close-run game, coming down to the last over with Town needing five to win... and then just four off the last ball. A packed-out socially-distanced crowd were surprised to see Town almost make it against their experienced opponents but the game ended in a tie.

Graeme Peers, Town’s director of community engagement, donned the wicketkeeper's gloves for the first time in 13 years.

He said: “Kristian and myself came up with the idea as we chat regularly and both clubs have a special place in our hearts.

"We wanted to try and create a safe outdoor based event that would allow some fun and entertainment and we talked about how we could make it a fair contest and the Town players and staff were up for taking on the cricket club.

“It really couldn’t have gone any better and with Wilf Harrison being such an influential and popular person at both clubs it all fell into place. I’d just like to thank everyone at Workington CC for their hard work as a lot of preparation went into making the outfield playable from very early in the day and their hard work was rewarded with a great night’s entertainment.”

Workington Cricket Club skipper Matt Lowden said: “It was good fun. It was good to see so many people down. I don’t see why we can’t make it an annual event.”

Two hundred spectators attended as two Workington teams came together for the benefit of sport in the town.