The OP Summer Reunion took place at school on Sunday 21 June 2015. A quieter affair after the excitement and record numbers for the quincentenary the previous year, but nonetheless an enjoyable and successful day.
The OPs put out two sides to take on the school at cricket and thanks go to the umpires: David Byas and Tristan Hymers for the school and, on rotation, Malcolm Milne (55-62), Neil Readman (74-76) and Graham Thurlow for the OPs.
A superb roast lunch was served in the dining hall by Andrew D’Arcy and his team. The Headmaster, Mark Ronan, updated OPs on recent successes and developments at the school including the plans for the new art and design centre. OP President, Andrew Wilson (89-99) gave his thanks to everyone for coming and to those who helped out on the day. He then presented Catering Manager, Gwen Walton, with a bouquet of flowers on her retirement as a small token of thanks from Old Pocklingtonians. Gwen has worked in the school catering team for 39 years and is known to many OPs, particularly those who were boarders. In all those years at school she has not missed a single OP event.
In the afternoon, Trevor Loten (70-80) and James Sweeting (81-88) coordinated the OP tennis. An OP men’s IV played against the school in the main OP tennis competition. Also for the first time this year a ‘fun’ mixed doubles tournament took place at the same time. This was open to OPs as well as current and former parents and was enjoyed by all who took part. As the feedback was so positive, it is hoped that this will now become a regular event to run alongside the main OP v School tennis matches.
There was less demand this year for school tours, although those that did look round enjoyed seeing the many changes, in particular the recent addition of tiered seating and general upgrades in the Music School (Assembly Hall). The school archive proved to be as popular as ever and Angie Edwards, School Archivist, was kept busy for the whole time it was open.
The afternoon finished with tea in the dining hall before visitors departed or retired to the pavilion to watch the end of the 1st XI match. A successful day which also finished with wins for the OPs in both cricket matches and the tennis!
Pocklington School 1st XI vs OP 1st XI
OPs won by 116 runs
OPs 230-9 from 50 overs (Lambert 70, C Suddaby 46, Bolam 37)
Pocklington School 114-10 (Atkinson 63, Burn 16)
A 116-run partnership between Chris Suddaby and Charlie Lambert was instrumental in rescuing the OPs from the precarious position of 45 – 4, Tom Loten and Lewis Medley hitting good lines early in the innings.
A typical robust, punchy 37 from Jack Bolam gave the OPs the slight edge at half-time.
Exceptional seam bowling from David Suddaby soon put the boys on the back foot with Foster, Loten, Hanley and Stephenson all back in the pavilion with single figures. Jonty Atkinson, playing his finest innings to date, and Will Burn gave the school a glimmer of hope but upon their dismissals the end was nigh.
An invaluable learning curve for the boys played in great spirit and a game enjoyed by everyone – it would be nice to have warm, balmy weather!!
Photo: back row L-R: Dan Helliwell, Jack Bolam (95-05), AJ Clarke (01-09), Richard Readman (97-05), David Suddaby (98-05), front row L-R: James Flint (00-11), Chris Suddaby (02-10), Charlie Lambert (01-08), Guy Brumfield (01-08), Tom Sowersby (08-13), Charles Rook (87-97).
Pocklington School 2nd XI vs OP 2nd XI
OPs won by 125 runs
OP 271-5 from 30 overs (Lewis 87, Rook 55, Benthall 51)
Bowlers: Stephenson 2 – 24, Blackburn 1 – 39.
2nd XI 146-6 from 30 overs (Stephenson 44, Varley 23)
Bowlers: Heppel 3-29, Sowersby 1-10, Moorhouse 1-10.
A great day of cricket enjoyed by all takers and spectators. OPs set the pace early on with a strong partnership between Rook and Oliver before first change of bowl, Stephenson claiming both opening wickets for the school.
The remaining 2nd XI bowlers struggled to contend with the depth of batting in the OP squad with a dominant 87 and 51 following down the order from Lewis and Benthall respectively.
Chasing 271 runs the school had an unenviable task against a solid and uniquely varied bowling attack. Sowersby and Moorhouse proved economic and difficult to hit as the opening pair of bowlers, with an aggressive and assertive spell from Heppel to follow as he claimed the lion’s share of wickets.
Stephenson again proved to be the thorn in the side for OPs as he patiently picked out the stray balls to take 44 runs, predominantly down to fine leg before being run out in a rare moment of madness.
Play finished with the school trailing by 125 runs as the OPs wrung out their victory and closed an age old story of men versus boys on the day.
Photo: back row L-R: Edward Rook (91-01), Jonathan Dixon (88-99), Mark Sanderson (95-03), Andrew Wilson (89-99), Andy Oliver (92-99), Ed Heppel (88-99), front row L-R: Jack Sowersby (06-13), James Lewis (02-09), Tom Benthall (08-13), Iain Moorhouse (06-12).
In the men’s match, the OPs, as expected, proved far too strong for the school side, who were without three of the normal top 4 due to cricket and illness! A mixture of singles and doubles sets were played, with the OP team of Will Peeke-Vout (01-08), Max Los (98-09), Louis Los (99-10), James Sweeting (81-88) and guest Patrick Dare gaining a comfortable 9-0 overall victory.
Unfortunately there were not enough female former pupils available to make up an OP ladies IV for the main OP competition. However, a ‘fun’ mixed doubles event for current and former parents and OPs took place alongside the main OP competition. This was won by John Medforth and Cristel Wake. The runners-up were father and daughter pair Stuart and Olivia Turner (06-13). Those who took part really enjoyed it and it is hoped that the mixed doubles event will become a regular feature of the annual OP tennis event.
Photo (L-R): John Medforth, Ben Bronizki, Oliver Peeke-Vout, Edward Walker, Will Burns, Diane Flint, Will Peeke-Vout (01-08), Trevor Loten (70-80), Louis Los (99-10), Patrick Dare, James Sweeting (81-88), Max Los (98-09).