U13s reach National finals

29 July 2022

U13s reach National finals of ECB U13 Club Championship

Our U13As, who have been unbeaten all season, have reached the ECB U13 National Club Championship finals day, where just four U13 club teams from England & Wales will battle it out for the Ken Barrington Trophy.

At the regional final’s day on 27th July, our U13 team first defeated Hampshire County winners, Burridge CC in the semi-final, and then went on to win a very tight final against Wiltshire County winners, Wessex Warriors. Below are short match reports on each match.

The Semis

The regional finals day took place at South Wiltshire Sports Club near Salisbury, and Bath made a great start in the morning semi-final by restricting Burridge CC to just 94 from their 20 overs with opening bowlers, George Warden and Peter Biggs bowling with both pace and control to set the positive and aggressive tone for the rest of the day. Bath’s reply did stutter as they lost both openers without troubling the scoreboard, but Fred Stappard (29) and Peter Biggs (retired on 30) steadied the ship and accelerated the innings to create a strong base to knock off the winning runs in the 16th over of their innings to win the match by five wickets.

The Final

After knocking out Cirencester in their morning semi-final, Bath faced Wessex Warriors in the final.

Captain Fred Stappard won the toss and chose to bat, deciding that it was important to build pressure by putting runs on the board. Once again, Bath lost an early wicket to Wessex’s pace attack, and although it was a slow start by the batters, from the sixth over the accelerator button was pressed as Jamie Gearing (retired on 31), Peter Biggs (21) and Luke Welsh (23) top scored to take the Bath side to a competitive 119-7 from their 20 overs. Wessex’s reply started very aggressively, but an excellent piece of fielding by Sam Simmons was crucial as the opener that looked well set was run out with a direct throw. Wessex’s reply was largely built around their number three and four batters, who scored freely and got their side up with the run rate, and at the mid-point in the innings, the Wiltshire side were almost exactly halfway to their target, on 59-2.
From the start of Wessex’s final ten overs, a combination of tight bowling, excellent fielding with two run outs, and some superb keeping by Fred Stappard changed the game.

Although the match was incredibly tight throughout, in the end our U13s ran out winners by 17 runs to take them to the national finals on 9th August. All the bowlers shared the wickets around and kept their nerve to ensure we made the finals for the first time since our U15s picked up the silverware in 2012.

Mark Watts, Bath U13A coach, said:

“It has been an unbelievable season for this group of very talented young cricketers. We have had a number of tight matches on route to finals day and although we have had some consistent performers, when the pressure has been really on, we’ve found that other players from our side have stepped up, absorbed the pressure, and helped take us to victory with either bat or ball. This is always a good sign of a great team. We’re all really looking forward to finals day and the challenges that it will bring for the team. Above all, we will relish being at the finals and use this stage to have some fun!”

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