On a glorious summer evening a representative side from the Birmingham Law Society visited the WMP sports and social club at Tally Ho! to take on the Chief Constable and a representative side from West Midlands Police. The BLS skipper – appointed on the night on the strength of his cricket shirt – Andy Ford of Hamer Childs duly won the toss and decided to bat. Umpires were Martin Allsopp, BLS and Tony Rollason of Landmark. David Brammer from SGH Martineau and Nick Kates from Pinsent Masons opened the batting and got the lawyers off to a strong start, with David retiring on 32 not out. There were plenty of other robust contributions with the bat, playing to local rules with retirement compulsory at 30 (we all wish!) including that of Andy who reached his ‘compulsory retirement’ with five huge sixes! An imposing total of 177 was set in 20 overs.
A swift turnaround was called for and the light was already beginning to fade as the police came out to open their innings. It was apparent from the start that not all of the police team were what you might call “regular coppers” and, bearing in mind the fact that BLS had never lost this fixture in the seven years it has been held, there was even some suggestion that the Chief Constable may have sought support from outside consultants. They batted strongly through the order with several of the boys in blue (or white) retiring on 30 and playing impressive shots as the sun set over Edgbaston. James Parkes of No 5 Chambers opened the bowling and put the ball on the spot. The skipper bowled tightly and there were good performances in the field, with the wicket keeper James Allsopp, the President’s son, performing admirably behind the stumps. Another of the highlights was Pete Lowen, ex of Birmingham Law Society, now sadly closed, bowling his loopy leg spin.
At the end of the evening the target of 177 proved three runs too many for the police and the players and umpires retired to the sports and social club to take advantage of the offered hospitality. The Chief Constable made a gracious speech in defeat which was responded to by Martin Allsopp on behalf of BLS. This is a great event bringing together lawyers from all sectors in a common sporting purpose and friendly atmosphere, long may it continue in the sunshine.