Tuesday June 1st 2010

Spare a thought for Wilf Marriott of Radley who was run out on 99, looking for his maiden century. Many players have done that, but on this occasion he was the non-striker going for a second run for his partner. He was run out by a direct hit from Tristan Allen of Bradfield. Radley scored 279 for two in their 50 overs and the visitors were dismissed for 126. Earlier in the week, Jonny Gaffney for Bradfield, bowling off-spin, took eight for 54 in 12 overs to defeat Butterflies CC.

A combination of half-term weekend plus appalling weather for most schools on Saturday means that there are very few results to report.

The new National Schools Twenty20 competition, sponsored by HMC schools, Oxbridge balls and MKK sportswear, is reaching its final stages before the finals day at Lord?s. The date may have to be changed because of clashes with this year?s changed exam timetable. As always, the problem is that all cricket arrangements are done during the Autumn, whereas the exam timetable is not published until the Spring.

The best thing the new government could do in the education world is to put an end to the tyranny of University entrance. This means that the whole academic year for all schools is geared towards the needs of one year-group, namely the Upper Sixth, or Year 13. Start University terms in January and then we could revert to the sensible pattern of having three terms of roughly equal length, with public exams at the end of July, all University applications being made once results are known. Alternatively, end the school year in December.

It is a national scandal that for the last thirty years or so (and only then), there is no real teaching done in the Upper Sixth in the summer term; merely brief preparation for exams. It is not that long ago that we used to start new material in the summer term, eg study a new set book. Fat chance of that now. The similar Lower Sixth scandal (Year 12) is even more recent, with the introduction of the AS exams in 2001, not to mention re-sits.

Back to the National Schools Twenty20 competiton. There are four regions: North, South, East and West and the schools representing them will appear on the semi-finals and finals day at Lord?s. For assorted reasons, Scotland and Ireland are not included in this first year.

In the North, The Royal Grammar School Newcastle, Worksop, Sedbergh and Shrewsbury are the semi-finalists; in the East, Bedford and Trent have reached theregional final; in the South, Abingdon and Dulwich will be fighting it out with a play-off still to be decided from St Bede?s, the Judd School and Reigate Grammar School; in the West, Clifton , King Edward?s Bath, Millfield and King?s Taunton are the semi-finalists.National Twenty20: see below for scores, but also click here to see the state of the competition.

Results:

MCC 216-4 dec, *Glasgow Academy 143-9

*St Peter?s, York 216-9 dec, Scarborough College 140 (W Peet 5-21)

Berkhamsted 222-5 dec, *Merchant Taylors’, Northwood 174-8

*Bradfield 143-6 (20 overs), Pangbourne 144-2

*Shrewsbury 254 (A Blofield 100), Sedbergh 190

MCC 205-6 dec (T McBride 114 not out), *High School of Glasgow 88 (K W Morton 5-21)

MCC 221-3 dec, *Taunton 222-4

St Edward?s Oxford 183-8 (50 overs), *Winchester 184-2

*Eton 185-4 (20 overs), Bradfield 112

*Millfield 165-5 (20 overs), Eton 102

*Merchiston 250-4 (40 overs)(P Baker 106), Merchistonians 190-9 (P Glennie 104)

National Twenty20 competition: East section A final

Felsted 171-5, Bedford 174-4

National Twenty20 competition: South London section final

St George?s Weybridge 124-9, Dulwich 125-2

National Twenty20 competition: North West Section A play-offs

Sedbergh 169-8, Bolton 159-7

Sedbergh 172-7, Lancaster RGS 128-7