This week I received an e-mail which stated that in Northamptonshire there are two centres of excellence in schools cricket. Northampton School for Boys and Oundle & King’s Cliffe Middle. This was really gratifying as ten years ago cricket was not high on the agenda at the latter. Now we play more matches across our age groups than most in the state sector and in the last four years have contested five county finals against N.S.B. On a couple of occasions we have secured wins and this season the Year 7 team has just made the County Final and guess who we play…….. N.S.B. The Year 8 team are in the county semi-final against NSB in a couple of days time.
This season a cricket league has been established by the county split into two sections with six teams in each section. The Fred Trueman League has also been run in neighbouring counties.
Yesterday the winners of the West section, Sponne School played the winners of the East Section, Oundle & King’s Cliffe Middle. Both teams reached the final undefeated. The final had been scheduled for the County Ground on July 9th but due to the British weather- was postponed and the Final was finally played at Great Oakley Cricket Club.
This particular Oundle & King’s Cliffe Team have played together since they were foetuses (well it feels like it!) and the way in which they play suggests they have confidence in each others ability. Sponne School batted first, and OKCMS by doing the basics right found themselves chasing 81 runs to win.
Telling George Davies to bat through and we would win was about the only thing I could think of telling them. Looking at the batting order I knew we batted to at least 7. Ben Milborne has been Captain this Year simply because he has grown up, Peter Foster & Jonathan Dalley have also shown they can bat. What I didn’t expect was the way in which they would bat. George actually listened! He never looked like getting out and ably assisted by Patrick Croker who is a very competent player (Brigstock.C.C.) and Peter Foster the runs kept coming.
Winning by 9 wkts was fantastic. Winning, with what was a mature performance beyond their years, was one of the proudest moments in 20 years teaching. There are many reasons why success continues at OKCMS on the cricket field. The input of Merwe, Martin and others who have supported cricket at the school, the parents who follow their children and have taken them all over the county. The Club and their coachng programme over the years.
Above all though it’s about the boys. This team which finally won a title should have won two previously, but have had to continue to work at the game. They deserve this and they also deserve to win the County Cup too. OTCC boys who played : Ben Milborne (Capt), George Davies, Peter Foster, Jonathan Dalley, Toby Snelling, Ben Groom. The others were Patrick Croker (Brigstock) Bradley Freeman, Matt Sewell & Daniel Hauck (Kings Cliffe).
Man of the Match: George Davies 29.n.o batting through to secure the win. Although they were all fantastic!