THE annual Bramble Bank cricket match — played on a sandbank in the middle of The Solent — returned last weekend.

The eccentric match sees teams from the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Southampton, and the Island Sailing Club, Cowes go head to head — a rivalry dating back to the Fifties, where the teams traditionally take it in turns to ‘win’ the match, cheered on by spectators anchored around the pitch.

This year, the Isle of Wight team had the bragging rights — winning with a World Cup-style ‘super over’ after both sides comfortably reached the score cap of 99 runs.

The game started at the crack of dawn — at low tide, 6.30am on Sunday — with the Rev Andrew Poppe blessing the sandy playing strip before it got underway.

Afterwards, all players, and a record number of spectators, returned to the Island Sailing Club for a full English breakfast and the awards ceremony.