Posted: Thu, 6 Jul 2023 09:00
Congratulations to every school that made it to the Team Leicestershire Secondary Cricket County Finals, which were on held at both Crown Hills Community College and Loughborough Grammar School at the end of June. It is a fantastic achievement to make it to this stage of the competition, and there was some great skills on show over the course of the finals. Additionally, we'd like to thank all teams for demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship and resect throughout each competition, every team did themselves proud.
Having fallen foul to the weather the previous week, the first girl's final took place in the Under 15 age group at Crown Hills Community College. Oakham came into the final having beaten Loughborough High School in the Semi-Final and were keen to set another challenging target for Crown Hills as they batted first. Despite some very accurate bowling from Crown Hills, Oakham were able to post a very good score of 119 in their 12 overs. There was some strong hitting throughout the innings, particularly from the opening batters, with a few of the girls retiring along the way having scored their 20 runs.
It was a tough ask for Crown Hills in response, but they had gained a lot of confidence from their win over Leicester Grammar in the Semi-Final, and they set about trying to eat into the Oakham score with some big hitting 4's of their own! To their credit, Crown Hills never gave up the chase and continued to show great determination and resilience all the way to the end of their innings. In the end, Oakham's total proved too much to overturn. Congratulations to both teams for putting on such as great final.
The following day, Crown Hills travelled to Loughborough Grammar for their second final in as many days as they took on Loughborough Hill School in the Under 13 final. There was some outstanding batting on show, along with some fine fielding skills. Both teams clearly had put a lot of practice in preparing for the final! The format of the competition has changed this year, including using a soft ball to encourage more girls and schools to take up the game. Hopefully this will lead for more opportunities for girls to play cricket and develop their skills in the future.
Once again, despite their very respectful efforts and admirable resilience, Crown Hills just fell short in the final with Loughborough High being crowned the winners.
Crown Hills 51
Crown Hills 211
Loughborough High School 285
A total of three boy's finals also took place at Loughborough Grammar School at the end of June, in the U12, U14 and U18 age groups.
In the U12 final, Loughborough Grammar batted first against Soar Valley. In the boys' competitions both sides bat for 20 overs, with no bowler bowling more than a fifth of the total. Loughborough clever manoeuvred the balls in to gets, running lots of quick singles on their way to a total of 130. Soar Valley did extremely well to restrict the score, fielding impressively on several occasions to save boundaries. In reply, Soar Valley tried valiantly to keep up with the run rate imposed upon them by their opponents, hitting some impressive boundaries themselves. However, the chase just proved a little too steep in the end.
There was another fantastic final in the U14 competition, Loughborough Grammar once again batting first against their opponents from Uppingham. Uppingham bowled a tight line throughout the Loughborough innings, who were made to work hard for their runs! Credit to Loughborough for posting the total that they did. Uppingham also batted extremely well, both opening batsmen confidently scoring on both sides of the wicket. Despite some solid bowling efforts of their own, Loughborough were unable to take that all important first wicket, and Uppingham went on to win the match without losing a wicket, a tremendous performance.
Finally, in the U18 final we were treated to all sorts of impressive cricket skills, including some huge 6's and some of the best catching we've seen in a final!
Leicester Grammar batted first in this one, getting off to a quick start WQE had to work hard to stem the flow of runs. Some hard running between the wickets, as well as several big boundary hits took Leicester Grammar to a challenging total of 163. In response, WQE worked hard to keep up with the run rate, with Leicester Grammar taking regular wickets to keep the score down. Needing a run rate of around 12 form the last few overs, WQE started to hit some big boundaries and at one point looked like they may do it, before they lost another wicket to an outstanding diving catch from the Leicester Grammar fielder!
Congratulations once again to all schools and teams which made it to the finals and thank you for entertaining us.
Loughborough Grammar 130
Soar Valley 80
Loughborough Grammar 110
Uppingham 111 (for no wicket)
Leicester Grammar 163
Our thanks in particular go to: John Weitzel from the Leicestershire Schools Cricket Association. To Crown Hills Community College and Loughborough Grammar School for hosting the finals. All the staff for their support with bringing teams and umpiring matches, and players of all schools who competed.
We hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and we look forward to hopefully seeing you at future Team Leicestershire events.
Pictures of the events can be found on our Facebook photo album.