THE LARGEST crowd in Valley End’s 128-year history watched the AJ Sports Surrey Championship outfit defeated by a galaxy of stars last Friday.

Rain threatened to ruin the Woodlands Lane club’s big day against the PCA England Legends. 

Fortunately, the rain stopped, the sun finally came out at lunchtime and the Twenty20 fixture went ahead, pulling in an attendance of 700.

The Legends put out a side filled with famous names.

They were skippered by former Surrey player Alex Tudor, and also included the likes of ex-England one-day captain Adam Hollioake, Ali Brown, Saj Mahmood, Rikki Clarke, Philip de Freitras, Mark Ealham and Owais Shah.

In addition to dazzling with their skills on the pitch, the Legends provided coaching sessions for youngsters. 

Valley, who fielded a representative XI, won the toss and asked the Legends to bat. 

Opening pair Brown (57 off 37 balls) and Loye (52 from 30 deliveries) put on 99, but thereafter the leading scorer was number eight Mahmood (20 not out). 

The Legends finished with 203-7 from their 20 overs, Hollioake (4) caught by Nick Wellman off Ed Walters after playing only one scoring shot. 

Walters and Sam Reedman each took two wickets, and there was one scalp apiece for Austen Reedman, Tom Nevin and Josh Dodd.  

Valley lost opener Josh Chauhan cheaply in the reply. 

But Ed Young (51 from 42 balls) and Dodd (32 off 17 deliveries) added 60 for the second wicket. 

And then Young and Jayden Clark (48 off 33 balls) shared a 70-run stand for the third wicket. 

However, with Tudor snapping up four wickets and Brown and Stuart Meaker each grabbing two, the home side were restricted to 182-8 in their 20 overs, handing the Legends victory by 21 runs.

Valley’s man of the match was Walters – and former Northamptonshire batting ace  Loye was named the Legends’ best player.

A hospitality package including lunch in a marquee proved extremely popular, with 200 Valley End members and representatives of the local business community taking part. 

After the match, live music was provided by Tim Newman.

Event organiser Alastair Murray told the News & Mail: “Hosting the England Legends has been a huge success for our club and community. 

“It was great to see so many people come down to enjoy the hospitality and watch the boys and girls have fun playing cricket. It’s certainly the biggest crowd we’ve had in our club’s 128-year history. 

“Days like this aren’t possible without all the amazing volunteers that exist at a great community club such as Valley End. 

“We hope to do something similar in 2024 – but without rain interrupting play.”