Children take their Chance to Compete on county stage

Eight school teams had the opportunity of a lifetime last week (13th September) as they took part in the Chance to Compete national finals at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.

The eight teams, from two age categories (under 13 and 15), had won through to the finals by progressing through their regional heats. The competition was hard fought between all competing teams and Vyners School from Ickenham, London, emerged victorious in the Under 13’s final, whilst Prince Henry High School won the Under 15’s category.

Chance to Compete is a secondary school competition aimed at giving school children from across the country the opportunity to play competitive cricket. Matches are played in under an hour and all participants play a significant part in the game. This year saw the introduction of an under 13 girls’ tournament for the first time and the final was played on the same wicket as the Ladies Ashes Test, after play finished on the fourth day.

Speaking from the event Jim Love, Chance to Shine Regional Manager for the North said, “The competition has been fantastic, congratulations to the winning sides, but also to the other teams. The children have played cricket to a very high standard, and in the right spirit. It’s a credit to themselves and their schools.”

Since 2005, Chance to Shine has brought cricket and its educational benefits to 7,000 state schools and has reached over two million children. The programme costs £5million a year to run, the equivalent of £15 per child.

Match Reports:
Under 13 Final: The under 13’s final saw Vyners School from Ickenham beat Altrincham Grammar School by 15 runs, in a game that also saw Vyners opening batsmen walk after the umpire hadn’t heard the faintest of edges. Looking back on the game, Vyners School Head Teacher James Heale commented, “We’re really pleased to have entered and won, its great for the school, we’ve never been national champions in anything before!”

Under 15 Final: Woldgate School from Yorkshire took on Prince Henry High School from the Midlands in the other final. Woldgate batted first, and were limited to 37 in their seven overs, in an excellent bowling display. Matt Knight, Brent McOmish, Michael Towey and Harry Bermingham bowled well; they created pressure and regularly took wickets meaning Woldgate could not score freely.

In response the Prince Henry captain Charlie Banning batted well and showed great potential as he carried his bat in a high pressure situation. Despite the loss of a few wickets Prince Henry won the final with eight balls to spare.

Prince Henry Head Teacher Tony Evans, said “It’s absolutely brilliant to win this competition. All the lads in all the teams have played brilliantly. I am overwhelmed about what they have achieved. They’ve been looking forward to this competition for weeks. It has brought them so much joy. This win has made my weekend!”


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