Stoke Smash I – the Thoughts of Chairman Drew

What an event!

From Monday to Thursday, the rain was pouring down and the ‘Stoke Smash’ organising committee was contemplating a myriad of actions, including postponement, using the astro pitch for the match and renting a dozen gazebos to keep people dry.

As it turned out, Friday benefitted from the combination of a drying wind, a bit of sun and the legendary rapid-draining characteristics of the Stoke wicket and outfield. By evening we had perfect conditions for what turned out to be a splendid evening of entertainment and fund-raising.

The evening commenced with colts training that finished early at 7pm. At 7.15pm two very courageous Under-11 managers led their teams onto the outfield for the official photo shoot.

Hats off to James Cheeseman and Geoff Vinall for agreeing to do this in front of their children!

Two teams of eight each played an entertaining 48 ball innings and the result could not have been much tighter. Having posted a score of 97 runs, Vinall’s Vampires restricted Cheeseman’s Cheetahs to 91 in a last ball thriller. An account of the game from scorers’ table where Richie and Ralphie just about managed to keep up with things can be viewed here : http://www.stokecc.co.uk/2019/06/16/stoke-smash-match-report/

Throughout the match, the father and son combination of Chris and Toby Tarrant provided a humorous commentary, ensuring that every player was rinsed and praised in equal measure.

Batsmen were compulsorily retired on reaching 20 runs and the crowd witnessed some massive hits from Will Gudgeon, Tom Frost, Oli Slipper and Shawn Dyson, plus excellent fielding displays from Justin Jones and Vinall.

Before, during and after the match, sales were very brisk at the bar, the BBQ, the sweet table and the gin stall. An outstanding effort, with the BBQ and gin sales coming in with good revenue figures.

The real fun and games began at 9pm when the auction kicked off. I never cease to be amazed by the incredible generosity and commitment of Stoke parents whenever we hold a fund-raiser.

There were some excellent prizes, topped by Toby Tarrant’s offer of a tour of Global Radio, (his own Radio X, Capital, Heart, etc), including spending some time with Toby during his morning show. Three parents went head to head for this prize and the bids were effectively trebled when he offered each parent a separate tour for the same bid. Another stunner was the winning bid for the 2019-20 Chelsea shirt, signed by the entire squad. The auction was swiftly followed by the raffle where more money was banked.

The party went on till the early hours of Saturday morning, although our DJ, Fia Tarrant, very sensibly switched off her music at 11pm.

It took our treasurer, Rod Thomson, a couple of days to figure out what we had made. After deducting the cost of bar stocks, and burgers etc, the final number that came in made a healthy dent in the outstanding balance of the loan we are still paying off! This will make a huge difference to the club.

If you want to make further donations, or you were unable to attend and would have donated if you could have click here : https://www.justgiving.com/sdacc/donate/

In addition, or alternatively, you can purchase and personalise kit items via our on-line shop : https://teamwear.nxt-sports.com/shop/stokecc

Why buy clothing and kit off the peg in local sport shops when you can personalise your own? All sales generate a small commission for the Club, too.

Special thanks go to the army of helpers who made this happen. There was a large organising committee, the match-planning being a joint effort between Tim Handel, Geoff Vinall, Ian Hopton, Shawn Dyson and James Cheeseman.

The evening saw Colts parents out in force, working on the BBQ, behind the bar, selling sweets, tidying up etc. There are too many names to mention, but THANK YOU ALL – you made it very special for everyone.

Finally, massive thanks are due to all of our members for making the inaugural ‘Stoke Smash’ a night to remember.

Roll on the next one!

Drew