Howzat for a great fund-raiser?

Ian ClarkeA bumper crowd is expected on bank holiday Monday as a team from the Light Dragoons takes on Dereham cricketers in a match to boost funds for two Army charities.Ian Clarke

The summer weather may have tried its best to stump the big match.

But in the end the bank holiday sun came out - and teams from the Light Dragoons and Dereham were able to battle it out in a match which raised about �2000 for two Army charities.

After heavy rain on Sunday and early yesterday, the wicket was very wet when the players arrived,

However, in true British spirit it was all hands to the pump to help get ready and the action was able to start at lunchtime.

Dereham won the two innings 20/20 match by 25 runs, with Tom Head taking a hat-trick to secure the victory.

The match - which it is hoped will become an annual fixture - was the idea of Dereham chairman Neil Irons and proceeds will go to Help For Heroes and the Light Dragoons Charitable Trust.

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'I felt that Dereham Cricket Club needed to put something back in to the community and this was an ideal opportunity to support the Dragoons who do a fantastic job.'

Mr Irons - who was unable to play due to an achilles injury - said: 'The weather was a pain and I did not sleep the night before worrying about it and all I heard was rain. But it was all hands on deck and both sets of players have been fantastic to get ready for play.'

Light Dragoons commanding officer Lt Col Gus Fair said: 'The support we get from Dereham is immense an an event like this develops the links with the local community. It was a fantastic game and a shame we lost!'

The toss before the game was done by captains - Dereham's Joe Marczewski and Jamie Bower from the Dragoons - and in the presence of two soldiers in ceremonial uniform.

Capt Bower said: 'Neil Irons and everyone at Dereham have been fantastic in organising the day and it has been all about raising money towards helping injured soldiers and their families and the families of those who have paid the ultimate price.'

Trooper Russell Emmanuel, who has been in the Army for two years, said: 'It is a brilliant idea to have the game and great that we were able to play after the rain.'

Before the action started both teams were put through their paces by army physical training instructor L/Cpl Jimmy Tynan and dancers Jade Wallis and Rachel Smiley - from Norwich club Platinum Lace - also joined in.

Two Army tanks were on display and DJ Karl 'Tina' Turner provided music and live commentary during the game.