Dark Fruits FC vs Once Upon a Smile charity cricket game raises over £1,000

Date published: 07 September 2019

Celebrities and a local football team took part in a cricket match which raised over £1,000 for charity at Redbrook on Saturday (31 August).

Undeterred by the weather, people turned out in their droves to help raise money for the Stephen Gartland Foundation, set up in the memory of a local rugby coach, and Once Upon A Smile a bereavement charity.

Radio DJ Dave Sweetmore generously gave up his time and started the day with a setlist of Manchester classics to keep the crowd entertained and Casa Rustica kept everyone fed with quality Italian street food. After a delayed start due to rain, the players eventually got out on the pitch with Once Upon a Smile winning the toss and electing to bowl.

Considering the weather conditions on the morning of the game the ground staff at Redbrook managed to produce a great wicket. Hornets rugby player Aidy Gleeson opened the bowling for OUAS and could potentially get scouted for his bowling exploits after a great show along with Matt Calland holding up the Bury Road end managing to hold Dark Fruits to 139.

The weather began to brighten up as Dark Fruits took to the field with Emmerdale’s Danny Miller opening the batting for OUAS. There was an early shock as Darryl Cryer managed to clean bowl the soap star with his first ball only to be denied by the very stringent umpire Jack Duffy. The wickets came tumbling down as the experienced bowlers of the Dark Fruits side began to rattle through the middle order.

With 8 wickets down and requiring a run rate of 10+ per over, Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road star Ben Ryan Davies managed to score 48 not out ably supported by David Kennedy (Hollyoaks) and win the game for Once Upon a Smile.

The day wouldn’t have been possible without support from Rochdale Sports Club and the sponsors.

The Flying Horse Hotel was the main sponsor for the day with other event sponsors including local businesses Performance Doorset Solutions, Icon Sports and Butterfly Print, UAP hardware, Exitex joinery seals and Cricket Asylum.

Organisers Jordan McKinley and Ben Davies thanked everyone for attending, giving up their time and donating prizes to support the event, which raised over £1,000 for the two charities.

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