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Match Report STORY
More Than Just A Friendly

There are points to prove all over the place at the Weetwood ground in Leeds this week, where the players of Lancashire and Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities are playing out a three-day friendly.

For Lancashire, the likes of Stephen Moore and Kabir Ali are bidding to prove form and fitness respectively.

And for Leeds/Bradford, their players will be desperate to put a performance in that gets them noticed, most notably captain and all-rounder Luis Reece, a first-year professional at Emirates Old Trafford.

But this fixture is not just about the wickets and runs. It is also about remembering a player who played for both teams before passing away last December at the age of 21.

All-rounder Tom Hardman played two first-class matches for Leeds/Bradford last summer and 16 second XI matches for the Red Rose county in 2009 and 2010. He would have captained the hosts in this fixture.

“He was a wholehearted cricketer,” said all-rounder Reece, who captained the hosts today because he is in the final stages of a Sports Performance degree at Leeds Met University.

“He was a very competitive player who desperately wanted to win, but he was a shrewd and honest man. If things weren't right, he'd tell you. But if there was praise to be given, he would give it.

“He was just one of those blokes who you love having in a dressing room because you know he'd always run in even if things aren't going well for you. He was a brilliant team-mate, a brilliant player and someone I miss dearly.

“Both sides know what a special person Tommy was. I'm sure he'll be watching down and wishing he could get involved.”

Both sets of players observed a minute’s silence in memory of Hardman before the start of play today.

After Stephen Parry elected to bat first, Moore and wicketkeeper Alex Davies were the main contributors to the visitors’ total of 309 all out inside 92 overs. The duo hit contrasting half-centuries during an entertaining day’s cricket.

Davies top-scored with 69 off 119 balls, including six fours and a six, while Moore notched 58 off 72 with ten fours.

Reece’s side certainly played their part. They enjoyed their best period after lunch when Lancashire slipped from 121-3 to 163-6 as Moore was trapped lbw by James Lee (4-40), Jordan Clark bowled an under edge to Zafir Patel and Liam Livingstone caught behind off Harry Rouse.

Moore, who reached fifty off 62 balls, played powerfully either side of the wicket. He shared 96 for the third wicket with opener Karl Brown, who scored 49, after the visitors had slipped to 24-2 in the eleventh over.

Davies dug Lancashire out of a bit of hole, and shared 71 for the seventh wicket during the afternoon session with Parry before pulling a long hop from part-time leggie Nick Gubbins to mid-wicket.

He had earlier smashed Andy Laws over long-on for six. Parry and Kabir Ali notched 41 and 40 respectively as Lancashire pushed their total beyond 300.

The students then closed on 11-3 from nine overs of their reply.

Kabir Ali had Gubbins caught at mid-on by Gavin Griffiths before Oliver Newby struck twice in two balls. He had Henry Thompson caught at second slip by Andrea Agathangelou and Charlie MacLeod caught behind. Both players offered no shot.

Graham Hardcastle

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