Sheffield pupils shine under floodlights in Schools’ Cricket Cup

Northamptonshire County Cricket Ground was the setting for Chance to Shine’s Secondary Schools Finals Day yesterday(Friday 16th September). Schoolchildren from across the country took part in the hard-ball Under 13s competition having won their regional final rounds earlier in the summer.

Pupils from Challney High School for boys (Luton), Queen Elizabeth’s Community College (Exeter), Saltley School (Birmingham) and Silverdale School (Sheffield) competed in the tournament finale and it was a memorable experience for them. The Northants announcer, Richard Duncombe, called out the names of each batsman as they approached the wicket and bowlers’ names were announced before each over; players’ names and scores also appeared on the digital scoreboard and they were even given the opportunity to play under the ground’s impressive floodlights. Some of the young people had never played on a grass cricket pitch before, let alone on a County ground.

A good crowd of parents and school friends cheered on the players and they were given coaching tips and mentoring by four of the World Cup winning England Women’s team and Chance to Shine Coaching Ambassadors: captain Charlotte Edwards, Caroline Atkins, Beth Morgan and Jenny Gunn.

Describing the day, Edwards said: “It’s been a fantastic day, I’ve loved every minute of it and it’s great that children from secondary schools get the opportunity to play under lights at a County Cricket Club. It’ll be a day they’ll never forget.”

Sheffield’s Silverdale School beat Challney High School in the final (see match report below) to lift the cup and also to win a non-turf pitch, worth £7,000, for their local club courtesy of Exclusive Leisure.

Former England cricketer, now Chance to Shine’s Regional Manager, Jim Love organised the national schools cricket competition which involved 70 state secondary schools. He paid tribute to the staff at Northamptonshire CCC, in particular Chief Executive Mark Tagg and Cricket Development Manager Derek Styman who were instrumental in making the Chance to Shine Finals Day happen.

Speaking at the end of the tournament, Love said: “The kids have really enjoyed it and that’s the main thing. They have had their names up in lights & I’ve played a lot of cricket but I can’t remember that happening to me until I was at least 20! This competition has been a real success and our aim now is to roll it out to as many of our 550 secondary schools as possible next year.”

Match report


Semi-final 1: Challney High v Saltley

The first semi-final match was between Saltley School and Challney High School. Challney batted first and posted a high score. The opener Mohammed was one of several batsmen to reach the maximum of 20 runs before retiring and Hamza Khan also impressed with some big hits over the boundary. Despite a good final over by Saltley’s Haider Ali, who took two quick wickets, Challney reached the joint highest total of the day, 92-6. In response, Saltley’s innings got off to a rocky start when Dunyaal Khalid was dismissed in the first over. Haider Ali played well and hit a big six in the seventh over, but Saltley were always struggling to reach the target, despite having wickets in hand, and in the end were 19 runs short with 73-2.

Result: Challney beat Saltley by 19 runs


Semi-final 2: Queen Elizabeth v Silverdale

Queen Elizabeth’s Community College took on Silverdale School in the second semi-final. Queen Elizabeth’s were first to bat and were 13-1 after the second over with Ali Tonkin caught behind off the bowling of Dougal Shakespeare. Ben Harget came in at number three and immediately made an impact with some strong drives and pulls to the boundary. He shared a good partnership with captain Josh Reeve before he retired on 21 in the seventh over, with the score on 60. Louie Marven and Sharouq Khan took wickets in the final overs and after the eighth over QE’s final score was 62-2.

Marven and Khan opened the batting and made a good start. Marven in particular impressed with a variety of shots, cutting and pulling fours and sixes. He retired in the third over when the score was on 32-1. Dan Priestley kept up the momentum with two successive sixes and Silverdale reached the target comfortably with four overs to spare.

Result: Silverdale beat Queen Elizabeth’s by 7 wickets


3rd and 4th place play-offs: Queen Elizabeth’s v Saltley

In the play-off match for third and fourth positions, Queen Elizabeth’s again batted first but this time scored at a much quicker rate than they had against Silverdale and posted a massive 92-3 after eight overs. Ali Tonkin and Josh Reeve both retired after hitting 20 and only Dunyaal Khalid was able to penetrate QE’s batting, taking two wickets. In reply, Saltley made a valiant 56, but fell 36 runs short of QE’s challenging total.

Result: Queen Elizabeth’s beat Saltley by 36 runs.


Final – Silverdale v Challney High

The Final got off to a dramatic start with Silverdale’s opening bowler, captain Sharouq Khan, ripping through Challney High’s opening batsmen, taking two wickets and leaving them 5-3 after one over. Challney never recovered and wickets fell regularly. In the second over Naseeb Khan was caught at fine leg off Dan Priestley’s bowling; while Ben Jones took a wicket with his first ball in the third over. Sharouq Khan took another wicket in the fourth, which gave him impressive bowling figures: 3 wickets for 8 runs in his two overs. Matt Boreman chipped in with two wickets in the fifth over, though some gutsy batting by Hamza Khan helped Challney to a score of 27 all out.

Silverdale’s stylish opening batsman Louie Marven carried on where he’d left off against Queen Elizabeth’s in the semi-final, sweeping and pulling successive fours in the first over. His opening partner Matt Boreman also started strongly with an off-drive to the boundary. After two overs, Silverdale were 19-2 and were racing to victory, despite a scare when Marven was caught and bowled in the third over, though he was soon reprieved after the umpire signalled a no-ball. A Silverdale victory was sealed in the third over and the Sheffield players soon lifted the cup that confirmed them as champions.

Result: Silverdale beat Challney High by 6 wickets


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