County Cricket Finals
Having successfully defended the District title at the beginning of June, for the 12th time in 13 years, we took our place at the County Finals, once again being held as part of the Herts Schools Games. We had to go over to Herts Sports’ Village for an opening ceremony in the heat of the sports centre, and then eventually drove back to Welwyn Cricket Club for the competition.
We had to play four league games, and if we finished top of that league, we would go through to the final. The two teams in the final would automatically progress through to the East of England Regional Finals and therefore that was the target for the team.
Game one was against Bridgewater. It was a good game, and a perfect start to the competition. Fran and Tom both batted well and we secured a 38 run win. Game two was against Bernards Heath, and there was a little controversy towards the end of the opposition’s innings. When James bowled the last over, thinking that we had done enough to secure the win, the opposition teacher sent in the last two batters. The umpires hadn’t realised that an earlier pair had batted for four overs, and neither had their teacher. Fortunately, that wasn’t our fault and the 23 run was awarded to us. The third league game was against Little Green, who are a very strong cricketing school. This was going to be a very tough game. Everything seemed to go perfectly! Ryan bowled very well, as did Leighton, our Year 4 player, and when Fran hit 31 runs off about ten balls, a 44 run win sent us to our final league game with a great deal of confidence, and the knowledge that we had already done enough to get through to the final. The final league game against Little Reddings should have been a formality, but we managed to make it far more difficult that it should have been. Ryan batted well as did Leighton, it was fortunate that they did. A few fielding and bowling mistakes meant that scores were checked VERY carefully before a two run win went our way!
The final was against Bengeo, who we have met at this level before. It was a very low-scoring game and one where our bowling was not as accurate as it might have been. The final result was a 14 run win to Bengeo, but we were very pleased with the overall performance and James led the team up to collect their medals. We were also going to take our place at the Regional Finals in Mildenhall at the beginning of July.
Having enjoyed very successful District and County Competitions, the Cricket Team, led by James set off early for Mildenhall Cricket Club and the Regional Finals. We knew that this was going to be a very tough tournament, although with everyone playing to the best of their ability, and no mistakes being made at all, then anything was possible!
There were three league games to be played against teams from Huntingdonshire, Norfolk and Essex during the morning, and then the top two teams would go through to the main competition, with the third and fourth placed teams going through to a separate ‘Plate Competition’.
The first game was very tough. Leighton and Fran were our leading run scorers, and as always, James rounded off the bowling with an excellent display of line and length. Although it was close, St Annes won by 10 runs. The second league game, against Hillside, was equally as close. Our bowling was good, but it was our batting that was letting us down. We were giving wickets away which was affecting our net run rate. Another defeat, by 15 runs, meant that we were probably going to be taking part in the Plate Competition later in the day. Game three was against a very strong team fielding at least three County players. Engayne from Essex had been hitting ‘sixes’ for fun in their earlier games, but again, our bowling was very good and they found it much harder. Once again we gave a few too many wickets away and ended up with the third defeat of the morning.
Our Plate quarter-final match was against Downside School from Bedfordshire. There is history between William Ransom and Downside, as it was Downside we beat in 2006 to win the National Title. This time, it was Downside who came out on top. Francis and James needed to score 31 runs in the last two overs to win, and despite a great effort, scoring 25, we ended up losing and finishing our cricket for the season.
Well done to all the players and in particular to James for leading the team very well. There were three younger players in the team this year, and so we look forward to using their experience when the new season starts in 2013.