Schools cricket in Yorkshire is continually a hot topic and it made perfect sense to share, with help from the Yorkshire Cricket Board, what has happened over the last school year.
The 2021/2022 academic year has finally seen the return of the Yorkshire Cricket Board’s schools cricket competitions that were paused for the past two school years, due to Covid.
There were rebranded outdoor competitions (Dynamos Schools – no longer Kwik Cricket) to be run for both Primary and Secondary schools across the region.
Along with these outdoor events, there were the traditional ECB Indoor Cricket competitions and Lords Taverners Table Cricket for secondary schools. Some of Yorkshire’s schools have seen success at national finals in previous years.
Indoor Secondary School Programme
ECB U13 Girls Indoor Cricket – ECB U15 Girls Indoor Cricket – YCB U13 Open Indoor Cricket – Lords Taverners Table Cricket – YCB SEND Inclusion Indoor Cricket
These competitions ran through the winter period across the county with each area having the County finals at Headingley Indoor Cricket Centre. Around 80 schools entered indoor events at the earlier stage advancing through cluster and the regional rounds to reach the County Finals; all being played to a high standard.
Both girls competitions are part of the ECB’s indoor cricket program which culminates in a national final. The Yorkshire County finals were both won by Wakefield Girls High, the U13’s defeating St Aidans and the U15’s beating Meadowhead in their finals and going unbeaten throughout.
The U13s made it all the way to the National Finals at Lords, finishing 5th in the country at the finals day. A great achievement by the girls doing our county proud.
The U13 Open competition ends at county level and was highly competitive. South Craven were crowned County Champions going unbeaten throughout the day and defeating South Hunsley in the final.
The Table Cricket finals were a wonderful event to host with children of all abilities showcasing high-quality skills.
This event was run by the Lords Taverners team who have provided some great opportunities for children of all abilities over the years and the opportunity for our eventual County winners Ralph Thoresby to take part in the national finals at Lords in June was a memorable experience for all of the children involved.
Ralph Thoresby did fantastically well at these national finals, finishing in 2nd place to eventual winners Beech Academy of Nottinghamshire.
The final indoor event on the calendar this year was the Inclusion County Finals seeing five schools compete against each other in fantastic spirits and showing some fine sportsmanship throughout.
Cambian Spring Hill were crowned our County Champions on the day, with St Mary’s claiming 2nd place.
Chance to Compete Cricket Programme
Chance to Compete U13 Girls – Chance to Compete U15 Girls – Chance to Compete Y7 Mixed
The secondary school outdoor programme saw the revamp in rules that had been played in previous years, now linking to the national programmes.
The competitions were using a variation of the Dynamos Countdown Cricket format. The U13 Girls and Y7 Mixed events used the pairs format and the U15 Girls played the ‘last batter stands’ rules.
Over 80 schools took part in these competitions, each starting at cluster level, moving onto area finals and reaching the County Finals which were superbly hosted by Ampleforth College.
The children, staff and parents were well looked after by the school throughout the Finals week and it was a fitting venue to host our prestigious County Finals.
The Girls competitions again advanced to a further round after the County Finals, as there were Regional finals around the county that were linked to each Women’s Super League team, ours being the Northern Diamonds.
The U13’s Girls County Finals were won by Acklam Grange defeating Mercia by just one run in the Final. Mercia (below) had the last laugh, however, as they got their revenge over Acklam Grange at the North Regional finals and went on to be crowned North Regional Champions!
The U15s Girls Finals were dominated and eventually won by Kirk Balk Academy with South Hunsley finishing in 2nd place. And it was Kirk Balk dominant again in the North regional finals as they were crowned North Regional Champions!
The Y7 Mixed competition, a new age category this year in our competitions program finished at the County Stage but was a highly competitive event and saw an all-South Yorkshire Final where Mercia defeated King Ecgberts by 19 runs.
Dynamos Schools Programme
Dynamos Schools 3/4 Mixed – Dynamos Schools Y5/6 Open – Dynamos Schools Y5/6 Girls –
Dynamos Schools SEND
Another rebranded event from the ECB that has gone down very well with the teachers and children throughout the summer. Dynamos Schools (formally Kwik Cricket) has some new rules to it that the children have learnt throughout the competitions and excelled at.
Free hits, bonus runs to the bowling team for wickets taken, countdown in balls and scoring apps that teachers and pupils can easily use so they can learn and understand the game
quicker than before and get the buzz of playing cricket.
Over 200 schools entered club & SGO cluster events in May which fed through to area finals and culminated in County Finals week in early July.
The first of which was the Y3/4 Mixed Finals where the four schools reaching the County finals were in for a special treat as the finals took place on the hallowed turf at Headingley during the day.
The schools were invited to stay for the evening to watch Yorkshire Vikings take on Birmingham Bears with the County Champions (Pannal) and 2nd Place (Tranmere Park) giving the players the guard of honour as they took to the field at the start of the game. A real day to remember for the children.
The other 3 County Finals took place a stone’s throw away at Hunslet Nelson Cricket Club over the space of three days. The first up being the Y5/6 Girls finals where 13 schools took part from across the county, all of which thoroughly enjoyed the experience, with one teacher commenting:
“None of our girls play cricket outside of school until this term when they gave it a go so we have been really impressed with how quickly they have taken to it and how much success they have had.”
The spirit of cricket was certainly shown throughout the day. Dore primary were crowned County Champions defeated Archbishop of York in the finals by 32 runs.
The SEND County Finals followed the next day where four schools took part and Outwood Shafton came out victorious overcoming St Mary’s in the final, going right down to the last ball where either team could have won it.
Lastly, the Y5/6 Open competition ended the County Finals week with a blast as 14 schools took part and played in high spirits with a great amount of skill on show (4 balls were hit out of the ground in the first round of fixtures).
The final was between Todmorden (above) and Kirkburton, and before the game took place, the boys took it upon themselves to sing the national anthem whilst having a pre-match photo taken with the umpires, a great way to start a befitting final.
It was Todmorden who held their nerve in the final defeating Kirkburton by 26 runs and were duly crowned our County Champions.
An excellent way to finish off the Yorkshire Schools competitions programme for 2022, a few month’s respite and
the planning for 2023 starts all over again.
Cricket in schools
Beyond county school competitions, there has been Chance to Shine schools programmes delivered across the region by Yorkshire Cricket Board (YCB) staff.
This might consist of a full school programme, an engagement day or inter-schools competition. To that end, it’s been full steam ahead with 2,338 schools involved.
Thanks to Dean Smith, YCB Lead for Competitions, for his insight and input into this schools feature as well as the YCB Heads of Region.
**This is a sponsored article for Yorkshire Cricket Board through our partnership – if the mood takes you, click to read Cricket Yorkshire’s policy on sponsored content**
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