This is an excellent achievement for a very talented team, although the victory was gained under rather unusual and some might say controversial circumstances. The early rounds of the competition are played in a 20/20 over format and the final is normally played as a 35 overs per side match on a grass pitch, however, after heavy rain caused the match to be postponed 3 times the competition organising committee decided that the final be played indoors.
The final, therefore, took place at the Headingley Indoor Cricket School in a 20m by 40m indoor cricket pitch with netting sides and ceiling, a softer than normal ball and batsmen wearing gloves and helmets but no pads.
Each school fielded two 6-a-side teams who played each other in two 10 over a-side matches, where different amounts of runs could be scored for hitting different walls or for running between the wickets. The winning school would be the one that scored the highest amalgamated total from their two innings.
After the first frenetic match - where good line and length bowling, deft batting, fast running between the wickets, quick reactions in the field and intelligent decision making were key (and being run out seemed to be the main mode of dismissal!) - QEGS (87 runs for 2) trailed St Olaves’ (98 runs all out) by 11 runs.
The outcome of the final, therefore, came down to who won the second 10 over match, with St Olaves’ starting with an 11 run advantage. QEGS started the match well and bowled and fielded tightly to restrict St Olaves’ to 65 all out, leaving themselves needing 76 to win from their 10 overs.
Having learned from the first 3 innings that both driving the ball straight at the far wall for 4 runs and playing “tip and run” for 3s were both effective strategies the QEGS lads kept their cool, despite a couple of run outs in the tense atmosphere, to scramble home to win with 10 balls remaining and become Yorkshire Champions.
The boys had needed both their skills honed in many hours of traditional nets and practices and those picked up from all of those lunchtimes playing QEGS school yard cricket!
The team will now represent Yorkshire in the national U13 David English/Bunbury Cup competition against the other best school teams from around the country next season. This team is a very strong one with real strength in depth and so they will hopefully go far into the competition. Can they even surpass the exploits of the QEGS U13 team of 2014 who got to the semi-final stage of the competition?
The successful U12 QEGS team was Alex Cree (Capt), Scott Godden (V Capt), Ed Leonard, Josh Riding, Max Field, Dan Fleming, Archie Stancliffe, Max Hutchison, Charlie Dissanayaka, Sam North, Max Grant and Charlie Wightman.
Thank you to Dr Rhodes and Mr Davies for accompanying and encouraging the boys yesterday .. whilst trying to make head or tail of the rules!