"The consistent level of performance required to achieve this speaks volumes for the high level of skill attained by the girls and the quality of coaching and support they receive," said Andy Barnard, Teacher in Charge of Cricket.
Report by the team's coach, Gwenan Davies:
After travelling down on the Tuesday night, our girls were ready and raring to go on the morning of the National Finals. A change to the playing schedule meant that we were up against The Perse School first, rather than Bournemouth School for Girls.
By 10:30am we were underway and batting first, our preference despite losing the toss. Our opening batters Ellie Kynaston and Izzy Morris set the tone, with both girls retiring convincingly on 15. Harriet Shuker and Alice Hughes continued the dominating display, with Harriet retiring on 15 and Alice unfortunately run out on 8.
Our lower order batters Georgie Nicholas, Lisette Barden, Ellie Corbett and Elizabeth Edwards followed suit and got us to a total of 106 from our 8 overs. We then followed up our batting performance with an even better bowling and fielding performance: The Perse were all out for 56 in 6 overs. As a team were looking incredibly focused and organised, and to have put in one of our best ever performances made for a fantastic start to Finals Day!
In our second match we were up against Queen Elizabeth High School. Winning the toss this time, we batted first once again. After some confusion and an unlucky dismissal, we were looking wobbly at 32-4. However, Georgie Nicholas steered us to a competitive total of 79, although by our standards this was a little under par. Nevertheless, the girls showed again just how ruthless they can be with the ball by bowling Queen Elizabeth HS out for 64. It must be said that Adelaide Sillar’s fielding in this particular match was second to none and she was instrumental in more than two important dismissals. The result was a little too close for comfort, but the girls had bagged their second win going in to lunch.
Over lunch we were treated to a tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground. This was a fantastic opportunity for our girls to take in the history surrounding them. With views of the ground from the home changing room, the MCC Members’ balcony and the Media Centre, plenty of photos were taken!
After lunch we were finally up against Bournemouth School for Girls. Winning the toss, our skipper decided for the third time to bat first. The girls gave another dominant batting performance, particularly from Georgie bringing up the tail, and they posted a strong total of 101. This time however, for the first time in the competition, our bowling and fielding let us down. Bournemouth were able to get 19 from our first over, which resulted in a downward spiral from there on. In the final over Bournemouth surpassed our total with one ball remaining. We now needed Bournemouth to lose a game for us to be in with a chance of walking away as champions.
In our fourth and final game, we faced Bede’s School. Posting a respectable total of 83, and finding our feet again with the ball by bowling Bede’s out for 38, it unfortunately wasn’t to be, as Bournemouth went on to win their last two remaining games versus Bede’s and Queen Elizabeth. We were crowned as Runners-Up for the second year in a row, from among 866 schools.
Although the result was bittersweet, I am extremely proud of what the girls have achieved so far this season, and even prouder of the honest and hard-working manner in which they go about their game. We now look ahead to the outdoor National Cup, hoping for a victory in our last group game against Moreton Hall on Wednesday 23rd May to head in to the next round.