Indoor school cricket update
For many, the start of April marks the start of the cricket season as clubs come out from hibernation with a flurry of activity and the sport is back on the school curriculum for the summer term.
However, the Somerset Cricket Board’s indoor cricket formats have provided more and more opportunities for the game to be played through the winter months.
For a growing number of secondary school pupils January marked the start of their cricket season. With the addition of another age group this year, there were competitions for both boys and girls in under 13 age groups and under 15.
In total 81 teams were entered across the four competitions, a fantastic increase of 25 teams on last year’s entries. This increase ensured that the majority of teams had to compete in two play-off rounds before making it to the County Finals.
The local area play-off rounds were all organised and run by the SCB newly appointed community cricket coaches and they both reported good standards of cricket as well as a growing awareness of the intricacies involved in playing the indoor version of the game.
The format is fast paced with quick running and athletic fielding both vitally important. This can only help to develop the next generation of players, let alone the fact that they are playing the game for a further three months of the year.
It was little surprise then that during the month of March when all four County finals were hosted at the Centre of Excellence, Taunton there were some extremely competitive games of cricket.
First up was the Boys’ Indoor Premier League under 13 finals on the 5th March. Broadoak, Gordano, Stanchester and Wellsway competed in two semi-finals leading into a third place play-off and the County Final. Wellsway impressively saw off all-comers and were crowned 2015 champions.
The following week in the Boys’ under 15 County Final, Haygrove took the top spot, beating Wellsway’s more senior boys into second place. Whilst St Katherine’s and Sexey’s finished third and fourth respectively.
The Girls’ indoor Lady Taverners competition has now been running for a number of years and this was evident by the quality of cricket on show. The Castle School, All Hallows and King Edwards all attended the under 13 County Final with one intention, to take the crown from last year’s National Champions Hazlegrove.
However, despite their best efforts, the Hazlegrove girls once again put on a couple of fantastic performances and won the competition, progressing to the Regional Finals which take place in mid-April.
The most competitive Finals day of all was left until last. The four teams met on 26th March for the chance to lift the Lady Taverners under 15 trophy and represent Somerset in the Regional Finals. All four games were great contests. The battle for third between Hayesfield and Broadoak was won by the former by the narrowest margins, just two runs. The final itself came down to the last over with Taunton School marginally squeezing out their opponents, and 2014 Champions, Millfield by just five runs.