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Boys Cricket Report 2023

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The boys’ cricket season saw us reach two finals and win one. Our U14s and U15s drew very tough opposition in Lancing College and Hurst College, respectively. Henry A made 36 against Lancing College, but neither side could chase down the big targets set. The U13s beat Cardinal Newman in their County Cup game but succumbed to Windlesham House in the quarter final, losing in the last over of a very close game.

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With the County Cup done, we concentrated on the State School competitions. The U15s rather disappointingly lost to Patcham by just 2 runs! Having one last game against BACA to finish the season, in a high scoring game, we fell just short of our 178 target. Calvin C-R was 36 not out, while Henry A made a quick 53 not out. I’d like to say a really big thank you to all who have played since they have been at Blatch, especially Eli B who has played and captained brilliantly.

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The U13s had a really good State School Cup campaign. They made the final after beating Dorothy Stringer by nine wickets, with both Billy and Fred making unbeaten 30s. In the next round, they beat Forest School by 49 runs, with Corey making an unbeaten 56 and Billy 36 not out. In the quarter finals there was another comfortable nine wicket win, with Corey unbeaten again on 37 and our two Year 7 bowlers, Tom G and Felix W picking up a couple of wickets each.

The semi-finals and finals were played on the same day at Lancing College. In the morning, a brilliantly well paced 60 not out from Billy saw us chase down St. Oscar Romero’s 95 run target, which was a low target due to a great team bowling effort. Billy, Fred, Archie and Josh all picked up two wickets each and in the final later that day, we were beaten by a very strong BACA side. Billy scored 35, taking us to 104 for 8, but with BACA having two very good openers, that was never going to be enough. Despite a good effort, the final was a bridge too far. The team should be very proud of the cup run. Well played everyone.

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The disappointment of losing that final was washed away for some of the U13 players when they represented the school in the U14 competition and went on to lift the trophy. There was a first round bye followed by an impressive 52 run in a second round win against Steyning Grammar School. Henry made 40 and Billy, 26, with Albie, Aryav and Will all taking two wickets each. In the quarter final the boys beat The Weald by five wickets, Aryav’s three wickets and Fred’s two, restricting our opponents to 87. In a slightly nervy run chase, Henry’s 33 saw us home safely. The semi-final was against Shoreham Academy, who made 107. We reached the target with a couple of overs to spare thanks to 40 from Henry, taking his State School Cup runs to 115 in three innings and Billy’s to 36.

The Blatch U14 final team, made up of six Year 9s and five Year 8s, won the final in overcast conditions and the odd light shower of rain. It was a hard batting day at BACA Cricket Academy against our opponents Sackville School from East Grinstead.

Blatch won the toss and decided to bowl. We started well, with Fred B picking up two wickets and Billy H one. The Sackville number three batted very well, making 70 runs before Josh L bowled him out. That was a massive turning point because, with that batter at the crease, they were looking at scoring around 140 runs. Once their ‘gun’ bat was out, it was down to Aryav D to come on to bowl, where he picked up four wickets. This allowed us to keep them to 107 all out, putting us in a great position at the halfway stage.

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Our normally, ever reliable captain and run machine, Henry A was caught out for 5 runs giving our opposition plenty of hope they could win. However, a brilliant partnership between Corey J (21) and Billy H (29) kept the run rate up. It was always going to be a tense finish and when Corey was bowled out, the game swung in Sackville's favour. That was until Sam C walked to the crease! He hit 36 very quick runs, including a six and six fours.

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With one over left and three runs needed, Billy was caught out and Fred B came in, getting a single, therefore leaving it to man of the moment, Sam. He struck the third ball of the over for 4 runs, giving us a 7 wicket victory.

A much deserved win for the team, who have been brilliant all season and have represented the school immaculately. Year 8 player of the match was Aryav and Year 9 player of the match was Sam. A special mention goes to Henry A who captains the side in such a mature and calm manner.

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We finished the U13 season with some friendlies, introducing some new Year 7 and 8 players to competitive hard ball cricket for the first time. Big thanks to the regular Year 8 players who stepped up to help out with these games; Billy, Corey, Josh, Hayden, and Felix CR. It was great to have these games and see Dexter W, Will H, Zach I, Jamie B, Ben W and Alfie B-B score their first runs and take their first wickets, with the highlight being Anglo A hitting the winning boundary in our win against Patcham. Hopefully, these boys will be back playing again next season. In the other two games, we beat Cardinal Newman and lost to Varndean; these games being all about the experience and exposure to hard ball cricket.

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Aside from the games, we had our annual cricket trip to watch the Sussex CCC first team. This year our players got to see the former Australian captain Steve Smith play, although it was Sussex youngster Jamie Coles who stole the show, scoring a century. Our cricketers also helped out at Sussex CCC Foundations Disability Day and some primary school cricket tournaments. It has been a busy but very rewarding season. I look forward to doing it all again next year.

Well done to all who represented the school this season.
Year 7: Felix W, Tom G, Alfie B-B. Zach I, Will H, Jamie B. Year 8: Billy H, Corey J, Fred B, Aryav D, Josh L, Will C, Hayden B, Felix C-R, Archie H, Alfie G, Dexter W, Anglo A, Ben W, Year 9: Henry A, Lenny E, Gus H, Seb S, Sam C, Albie C. Year 10: Eli B, Ziggy R, Calvin C-R, Clara P-N, Callum S, Harry S, Roel S, John L, Charlie L and Jim M.