A fantastic first full season of cricket has seen multiple teams from U10 to U18 taking part in softball and hardball, indoor and outdoor competitions throughout the year. The culmination of the indoor season saw the U13 and U15 teams both reach the national finals; the only school to have teams in both age groups. Initially, the county rounds were hosted by St Helen's in the sports hall, followed by the regionals at Edgbaston and the finals at Lord's. A great experience for all the students involved to visit and take in the atmosphere of incredible sporting stadia.
Having come through the county rounds of the indoor competition in nail-biting fashion, we were expecting another exciting tournament at the Regional event at Edgbaston. When the team lost heavily in their first match group, we weren’t hopeful for a successful day… Thankfully, the shock of defeat woke them up and they went on to give strong performances thereafter, beating the local Edgbaston High School in the final to go through to the National Finals at Lord’s!
The day started full of energy, with rousing renditions from the back of the bus. The mood turned to nervous excitement on arrival at the Lord’s Indoor Cricket Centre. First impressions of the opposition teams representing Kent, Gloucestershire, Suffolk and Derbyshire was that the level was a big step up from Regionals. Ashford School won the toss in our opening match and put us in to bat. Batting started well, with Honor and Kitty both retiring, but we underestimated Ashford’s fielders and lost wickets through run-outs, finishing on 89-5. In an action replay of Regionals, it seemed that the team hadn’t quite woken up yet, so despite fantastic wickets from Amelia and Sophia our fielding wasn’t up to the usual standard. In a match we really should have won, we ended up losing by a single run on the last ball.
Our next match was against Clifton College, who we knew from experience were a really strong team. Clifton chose to bat first, but our players had learned from their last match and put in a massive effort in the field, including fantastic run-outs by Sophia and a superb catch from Ceci, restricting to Clifton to 72. Our reply didn’t start well, with Clifton taking quick wickets, but up stepped Kitty and her nerves of steel, who retired and came back in to take the win.
The team then had a long break to enjoy their lunch and tour of Lord’s. Unfortunately, the break was a little too long and we weren’t quite switched on for match three versus Ipswich, who won the toss and put us in to bat first. We crumbled against their strong bowling attack and it then proved too much to defend 48, our lowest total of the day. Ipswich reached the target with ease. Two losses, one win.
Team morale needed a boost for the final game against Repton; it would take real resilience to come back after their heavy defeat. We finally won a toss and put the opposition in to bat first. Sophia showed that you never underestimate the Helkat team spirit and determination, taking a couple of great wickets and with our fielding back on track we restricted Repton to 56. Our reply started well, with openers Honor and Sophia both retiring, but there followed a mini batting collapse, keeping Repton’s hopes alive. Well done to Ceci who steadied the ship, also retiring and helping us reach 91,
our top total of the day.
Despite three teams finishing in joint second on two wins and two losses, we were placed fourth overall due to the team scoring fewer runs overall (just five runs split second, third and fourth place). To be in the top five schools from over 900 entries across the country is a huge achievement and one which all our players should be extremely proud of.
U15 Indoor Cricket team included:
- Charlotte B
- Honor M (Capt)
- Phoebe O
- Kitty S
- Cecelia B
- Sophia H
- Georgia P
- Felicity R-W
- Amelia R
Mr Herbert, Cricket Coach