On a damp windy morning the U11 Cricket Team set off for the National Finals at Oakham School. After a 2 hour journey we finally arrived at Oakham and had little time to prepare for the first game against Lochinver from Potters Bar. The game was decided really by the amount of wickets the teams lost with BCS losing 6 and Lochinver House only losing 1. As the sun came out the second game against King’s Hall Prep from Somerset was a run fest with both teams scoring a heavily off their 12 overs. King’s Hall set a mammoth 118 runs to win and although we probably scored more runs, again wickets cost us as we fell agonisingly about 20 runs short. The third game in our group was against Whitgift who had won both of their opening group games. The lads bowled first and bowled beautifully with James setting the tone with early wickets and everyone bowling with a bit more energy. We managed to restrict Whitgift to a total of 68. The boys batted with much greater responsibility and accumulated better with all pairs doing well. Greg and Aarya got us off to a strong start and this was followed with some excellent work from Toby and Aditya. The third pair of Kanav and Hugo again accumulated well and it was left to Remy and James to try and get us over the line. They managed to get us 5 ahead with James facing the last ball and despite an appeal for LBW the umpire shook his head and we had won! Due to our head to head record against King’s Head we ended up playing New Beacon from Sevenoaks in the play off which we won reasonably comfortably and it was a great opportunity to allow all the Year 6 Boys to play together one last time from the school.
Whitgift meanwhile went on to win the whole competition beating Manchester Grammar in the Final, and whilst I think both staff and players had that “what could have been” feeling at the end, the boys should be incredibly proud of their achievements. They have been instrumental in putting BCS cricket on the map, to win not one but two regional tournaments, and beat the eventual winners shows there are some outstanding cricketers in the team and as I’ve said to them many times, the biggest success for me would be to see they are still playing cricket somewhere in 10 years time. It has been a privilege to work with these boys over the last 3-4 years and see them develop and I wish them all the success in the future.