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MP’s loss is riders’ gain at Dartford MP Gareth Johnson's charity match at Hesketh Park

A charity cricket festival organised by Dartford MP Gareth Johnson raised more than £2,000 for two local charities.

The teams with Dartford Mayor, Cllr Avtar Sandhu
The teams with Dartford Mayor, Cllr Avtar Sandhu

The money raised will go to the Arrow Riding Centre for the Disabled in Darenth and the youth sections at Dartford Cricket Club.

The fun day, at the town’s Hesketh Park ground, featured the MP’s team versus a Dartford Cricket Club’s XI.

There were also youth teams and performances from local groups, as well as games and fundraising stalls.

Youngsters from right across Dartford began the day’s activities playing Kwik Cricket, which introduces children to cricket.

This was followed by performances from Fleetdown School Signing Choir, Sly Moves Street Dance and Sapphire Dance and Drama Academy and then the main senior game.

Mr Johnson said: “This fixture is now turning into a fairly large local event, which is really pleasing.

“We had lots of different groups and organisations attending and enjoying the day.

“It’s an exciting time for the cricket club at the moment.

“They are getting a new pavilion later this year which will improve the facilities and enable more local people to get involved with the club.

“Bluewater again sponsored the event but we also had great support from numerous small local businesses. I can’t claim my team was ever going to win but we had a lot of fun taking on a team from the cricket club.

“Sadly my cricket skills seem to be deteriorating year on year. Last year I was bowled out by a 13-year-old girl and this year I was taken out by an 11-year-old boy called Callum French after I had only scored a few runs! I guess it doesn’t hurt for politicians to be humbled every now and then.

“Callum took four wickets and scored 21 runs in the game and was named man of the match at the end of the day.

“He is definitely one of many youngsters at the club to keep an eye on for the future.”

Sunday's game ended in a comfortable win for Dartford Cricket Club – widely regarded as the sport’s oldest club team in continuous existence, dating from the early 18th century.

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