United toast their success by clinching the Community Cup in style

NO MORE BLUES: Jordaan Fourie of Victoria Cricket Club bowls, with Giovani Joseph of the Olympian Wanderers at the crease at the Buffalo Flats grounds.
NO MORE BLUES: Jordaan Fourie of Victoria Cricket Club bowls, with Giovani Joseph of the Olympian Wanderers at the crease at the Buffalo Flats grounds.
Image: MIichael Pinyana

United Cricket Club celebrated their 25th anniversary in style over the Heritage Day weekend as they triumphed in the preseason Community Cup tournament held at Alfred Schoeman Park in Buffalo Flats over three days.

The annual pre-season tournament, that United have competed in over the last few years, usually held in Cape Town and Kimberley, took place in East London for the first time.

“It went extremely well. We were blessed with the amount of sponsors we had, with the amount of community members who showed up to come and watch the event. The games went well and fortunately we had very good weather throughout the event,” said Calvin Brown, who was a part of the local organising committee.

“We must express gratitude to our LOC chairman Burton Brown. He did an outstanding job, as well as the committee.”

In all six teams took part in the event, with Victoria from Cape Town bringing two teams, Wanderers from Kimberley and local sides Willows and Super Eagles were invited to join United.

Willows played well but were unable to come away with a win, while Super Eagles made the third-fourth playoff but were edged by 17 runs by Wanderers.

“There was a lot of exciting cricket. A lot of good batting and bowling in the various matches, so it was definitely United beat Victoria firsts by 8 wickets to win the Community Cup final entertaining,” said Brown.

“I think Willows and Super Eagles enjoyed the experience.

“Willows had a very young team, so I think the experience will have done them a world of good in the long run, while Super Eagles played very well, coming close in their games, and were unlucky to lose their third-fourth playoff on Sunday.”

United cruised through the competition unbeaten, starting the tournament with a thumping 94-run win over Victoria seconds.

They received a much stiffer test from Super Eagles in the second match, but managed to seal a comfortable 29-run win in the end.

In the final they came up against Victoria firsts, and a top bowling effort set the side up for a powerful eight-wicket win to seal the title.

“It is the second time we have beaten them after we beat them in the final last year, so we were very happy to do it again this year,” said Brown.

“We are hoping that the team will carry this momentum into the season, because we are starting our T20 campaign this Saturday.”

In all it was a fantastic weekend enjoyed by many who celebrated the occasion with United.

The team will continue to play in this pre-season tournament and will look forward to when it returns to East London in the near future.

“I think this tournament will continue to rotate, so it will head to Cape Town next year, where Victoria will be celebrating their 80th anniversary, and then we will head to Kimberley or Free State the following year, so we expect it to be back here in about four years time,” said Brown.

“I think it was a great weekend for everyone, especially the fans and spectators who came out. They thoroughly enjoyed it. We had guys who came out every single day. There was a great atmosphere, largely due to our sponsors who assisted us with quite a bit.”

United will now hope to enjoy a solid 2018-19 club season.