The U15 girls cricket team travelled to Rugby for the National Cup Finals Day

The U15s travelled to Rugby on Sunday 3rd September in preparation for the National Cup Finals Day at Rugby School.

First up was the Semi-Final, in which we were drawn against Canford School from Dorset, the champions of the Southwest Region. Batting first, the girls set about posting a daunting total. Amelie H opened with 28 runs, seeing off the best of the bowling, with Georgia D hitting a quick 18 off 8 balls at the other end to set the tone for some rapid scoring. Georgia was replaced by Grace H-K, which precipitated the most impressive innings of Finals Day, as Grace hit a remarkable 95 runs off 63 balls, including eleven 4’s and three 6’s. Etta C and Liv M finished off the innings as the team posted 175 off their 20 overs. Canford simply couldn’t match the run rate and could only manage 130, with wickets falling to Alice H, Esther B, Grace; and Georgia taking 2 for 12 off her 4 overs.

That put us into the National Final against Repton School. It was a quick turnaround for us after the long midday match in searing heat, while Repton had despatched their semi-final opposition quickly and had a 2-hour break in the shade. Georgia again started brightly with an impressive 17 off 13 balls, but was unluckily run out while looking set for a large total. With our opening three batters out, our strength in depth was then on display: Etta scored another 20 before Liv M hit 32 from 30 and Esther B hit 24. Lottie Bowden finished off the innings as we posted a competitive 120, the highest total anyone had scored against Repton this year. However, their batting was incredibly strong, with 2 girls in the U18 regional academy – although both fell to the pinpoint bowling of Alice H, who took 2 for 12. The trophy slipped away, but the girls showed remarkable character to keep taking wickets and catches to the last ball.

The squad was completed by Isobel C, Ella J, Ruby P, and Molly R, all of whom have played a significant part in a 9-game unbeaten outdoor season (to add to the 13 of 14 indoor victories that saw us become runners-up in the region) leading up to the National Cup Final.

It says much about the girls’ character that they were so saddened in defeat and have returned determined to strive for even greater honours in the years to come. The girls can be incredibly proud of their absolutely justified title as the second best cricket team in the country.