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Anglican team eases to victory against Vatican XI

The Vatican XI congratulate an Anglican XI player (Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

The long-awaited cricketing showdown between the Church of England and the Vatican has ended in a comfortable victory for the Anglican team.

The Anglican XI scored 108 for 4, winning with 5 balls to spare. St Peter’s XI had earned 106 for 4 from their 20 overs. The match was close until the 18th over, when the C of E team gained the advantage.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, presented the trophy to the winners as night fell at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.

The match marked the end of the Vatican XI’s tour of England and raised funds for the Global Freedom Network, which fights human trafficking.

The game began with a prayer led by the Anglican Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, and Catholic Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark. The encounter was sponsored by the Church Times.

Speaking earlier, Vatican XI captain Fr Tony Currer, who earned an impressive 32 runs, promised the teams wouldn’t sledge each other – cricketing parlance for cheating.

“If one of the boys gets hit in the face by a ball, it could set back ecumenical relations by decades,” he joked.