4 March 2024

U13s and U15s cricket teams through to regionals

Sam Herbert, Head of Cricket

It was a pleasure to host the U13s and U15s ECB Indoor Cricket County Finals – and what a result.

Half of each tournament was made up of teams from St Helen’s, with three of our U13s teams and three of our U15s teams competing. But, despite some strong performances from the Bs and Cs, it was our U13As and U15As that made it through to regionals.

U13As, Bs and Cs

With three teams progressing through to the county finals from St Helen and St Katharine, we looked to have a strong half. A lot of lessons learnt from round 1 in both victory and defeat.

Our A team started with a tough fixture against Oxford High but, unlike the previous county round, we came out firing on all cylinders, quickly bowling them out for 63, and comfortably chasing down inside 6 overs.

Our Bs and Cs were set for a challenging day playing against all A teams, but in every fixture they played, they held their own, showed their future potential and can take away huge positives from the day placing 5th and 6th.

Our As continued their day after victory over the Bs, with Cranford House and a similarly excellent bowling performance, saw Alice (8M) come to the crease to hit 48* to see us comfortably home after a nervy start.

In our final external game, we faced Dragon School, with both teams going into the game unbeaten knowing a victory would probably see them through. We batted first and got off to a nervy start, 36–3 after 4 overs. Before some middle order acceleration and a huge 31 off the last over saw us up to a competitive total of 87. Our bowling innings started well with both Dragon openers falling cheaply. Some nervy middle overs and some big game panic to make coaches’ hearts race meant Dragon needed 18 to win off the last over. 1, dot, 4, 3, wide, 1 followed and 6 to win off the final ball, bowlers nerves held strong, and a play and a miss led to mass celebrations from players, supports and schoolmates alike.

Five victories in five games, player of the day Alice (8M) for 116 runs in 4 games, but a true team showing with all contributing toevery game. We roll on to regionals at Edgbaston on 23 April.

U15As, Bs and Cs

The turn of the U15 saw an extremely experienced A team take to the stage, with all nine members of the team having been to national finals in one of the two previous years. Our Year 10 B team and Year 9 C team also made up half of the teams in the County Indoor Finals.

In a contrasting day to our U13s, our U15As had comfortable victories in their first two games against St Edward’s B and SHSK B, before a break and then a run of three crucial games.

Our C team turned around their first-round result against St Edward’s A with a huge 30-run victory after superb all-round performances from Eloise (9L) and Flo (9K), as well as a screamer of a catch from Olivia (9L) for the last wicket. Our B team’s day got off to a stuttering start with losses in their first three games, but they would show grit to turn it around in the last two.

With our A and C teams going into the afternoon unbeaten, they both faced Headington A in their next game, with the C team falling short by just five runs it was the turn of the A team. Headington set 82, a score we felt confident chasing, and that proved to be the case despite two early wickets our middle order held strong finishing on 102 runs from our 8 overs. The Cs then faced the Bs and a change of fortune as the Bs came out victorious again a five-run loss for the Cs in a game which could have gone either way, the two teams showing the depth of talent across the board and finishing the days with two victories apiece.

To finish the day, our A team faced St Edward’s A, who had had a mixed day to this point – but we knew to be a strong side from past experiences. An emphatic bowling performance and clinical fielding display saw us skittle them for 43, and a comfortable chase, with every batter scoring double figures and only one wicket being taken saw us finish on 147. A phenomenal performance took the As to touching distance of regionals with our C team the only team left to try and spoil the party.

With great fight and again displaying great depth, the As came out victorious 102–63, with all A team batters retiring a classy display to finish the day and sign off a truly professional show, highlighting all their experience and game management from previous years.

The U15s, too, roll on to regional finals on 30 April at Edgbaston, and for the third consecutive year St Helen and St Katharine progress through both age groups county finals.

We roll on!

We were thrilled to welcome England and Wales Cricket Board CEO, Richard Gould to St Helen and St Katharine for the U13s county finals. We spoke to Richard about the rise in women’s cricket and the opportunities it presents to young athletes.

Read more on the Oxfordshire Cricket website:

ECB CEO visits Oxfordshire

Sam Herbert, Head of Cricket

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