The great and the good of Yorkshire cricket made the trip to Sheffield on Monday evening to mark the club’s 150th anniversary.
Dignitaries including Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird, as well as captain Andrew Gale and the majority of the Yorkshire first-team squad, signed autographs and entertained corporate guests, before some swapped their suits for shirts and took part in a Twenty20 game between a Yorkshire XI and a Sheffield Collegiate Invitational XI at Collegiate’s Abbeydale Park home.
With two Ashes winners on show - Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow guested for the Collegiate XI, while Tykes coach Jason Gillespie turned back the clock and opened the batting for Yorkshire - there was sure to be action, and the strong crowd at Abbeydale were not disappointed.
Alex Lees, the youngster who made 275 for Yorkshire in the County Championship earlier this season, showed his strengths in the limited overs format, too, with some huge sixes, helping the Yorkshire XI post a total of 195.
In reply, Collegiate never looked in trouble and helped by a half-century from Billy Root - the younger brother of Ashes winner Joe, who was also in attendance - they strolled home by six wickets.
Billy, a former Yorkshire second-teamer and ex-Sheffield Collegiate man, revelled in the chance to face his former teammates at his hometown club, and showed his skills with a range of shots.
Indeed, the stylish left-hander even hit a few maximum sixes - batting right handed!
“This is my first visit to this club,” Gillespie said afterwards.
“But it’s a wonderful facility, and I’m sure it won’t be my last.”
Several of the young stars in the Yorkshire line-up were facing Collegiate players for the second time in three days, after Yorkshire Academy’s Yorkshire League win over Collegiate on Saturday.
The defeat leaves Collegiate seventh in the Yorkshire League table, with two games of the season remaining.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Collegiate were dealt an early blow when Jacob Waterson departed with the score on 23.
A mini-revival saw the score move on to 57 before Simon Guy was dismissed, and only Daniel Walton showed any real resistance as Collegiate collapsed from 100-4 to 180 all out.
Walton hit seven fours in his patient 55, from 121 balls, and Josh Varley hit a late, useful 25.
Jonathan Tattersall and Elliot Callis, a former Collegiate junior, put on a half-century opening partnership before the latter was trapped lbw by James Scholfield.
But Tattersall continued unperturbed, and finished unbeaten on 76 as the Academy romped home by eight wickets.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, remain bottom of the Yorkshire League after slipping to a six-wicket defeat against Rotherham Town.
After winning the toss and batting first at Bawtry Road, United fell to 184-9, and last pair Shaun Johnson (23*) and Jack Roberts (5*) held on to deny Town full bowling bonus points.
Andrew Heron top-scored with 39, supported by Bilal Anjam (35) and Mark Cummins (32).
United were given early hope when Rory McInnes-Gibbons dismissed James Moorhouse for 1, but 52 from Gareth Purshouse and 44 from Chris Purshouse saw Town home by six wickets.
Paul Cummins took 2-34.
Doncaster Town routed Scarborough for 104, to win by nine wickets, and Barnsley beat Appleby Frodingham by 120 runs thanks to captain Steve Nuttall’s 89, and a spell of 3-3 from Ali Jahangir.
This weekend United travel to Scarborough, and Collegiate host Castleford.