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Somerset four help South West to win at Bunbury Festival

Four young cricketers on the Somerset Pathway took part in the Bunbury Cricket Festival recently where they helped the South West to victory in both the 50 and 20 over competitions.

Jack Harding, James Rew, Charlie Sharland and George Thomas all took part in the 2019 Bunbury Festival at Felsted School in Essex, which features the best Under 15 cricketing talents in England.

The Somerset quartet helped the South West to win all five of the games played. In the 50 over trophy competition the South West beat the North, the Midlands and London & South East while in the T20 they beat London & South East in the Final.

Each of the boys has played up through the county age groups and are involved in the Somerset Pathway youth system. All four have also appeared for Somerset Second XI this summer.

Rew and Thomas play their club cricket locally for Taunton St Andrews, Sharland plays for Taunton Deane while Harding plays for Clevedon.

Sharland went onto represent Bunbury Festival South in two T20 matches against the West Indies, scoring 28 in the first and an unbeaten 51 in the second.

Somerset Cricket Board Performance Head Coach Matt Drakeley said: “All of the boys made a big impact during the week and got to contribute in the games and helped the South West to win both the 50 and 20 over competitions.

“The week will have certainly have given each of them some memories that they can take into their cricket going forward. Hopefully they have also learned a lot that they can bring back into the Somerset programme both for themselves and their team mates.

“It was great to see them have the chance to show people how hard they have worked during the winter on the EPP (Emerging Player Programme) and school programmes and be able to demonstrate that on a national stage.”

Matt went on: “We are in a good position that we have got quite a strong Under 15 side so there are also players outside of the four who were disappointed not be chosen.

“However the four who went off to Bunbury allowed some of the others in the Under 15s to have exposure in the Under 17s, someone like Max Horton who was involved in the Bunbury assessment but didn’t get in. During the week that Bunbury was taking place he played for the Under 17s he took a five wickets.

“It’s great for the Somerset Pathway to have four involved but it also shows that we have got real strength around those four players and it allows us to expose those guys in other games of cricket that are going.”

Regarding Charlie Sharland getting picked for the Bunbury team Matt said: “This is Charlie’s first year on the EPP and has worked incredibly hard. He has been able to demonstrate this in a game that should in theory be even tougher for him.”

He added: “This is the good thing about the Bunbury process is that opens up avenues for the boys to play more games of cricket that are tougher both mentally and from a skill level perspective which is brilliant for him.”

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