Tuesday May 29th 2018

Very few results this week as it is half-term. However, I can report on the progress of the National Twenty20 competition. After a very stuttering start because of awful weather, we are now approaching the later stages. It is good to see a few new names as we approach regional finals: Charterhouse, Whitgift, Eltham, Radley and Bradfield are all vying for a place on Finals Day (Arundel Thursday June 28th 10am – 7pm). Click here to see the current state of play.

In a South West quarter-final match at Clifton, Rob Clarke hit an amazing 123 not out against Taunton after the home side found themselves 32 for three from five overs. Clarke shared a stand of 140 in 13.2 overs with Joe Millard. His hundred came up in just 43 balls and his unbeaten 123 in 58. He is the half-brother of Surrey’s Ricky Clarke.

Owen Tennant continued his good run of form for Woodhouse Grove with a match-winning innings of 92 not out against a strong Durham team. Tennant hit eight fours and three sixes in his 119-ball stay at the crease, coming in at 47 for one in the 11th over and batting throughout the innings. Captain Ali Ahmed took 4-14 in his nine overs of left-arm spin to secure victory.

The absence of schools cricket gives me the opportunity to reflect on the recent Test match. This is not really beyond my remit, as it were, because Test match players have to come from somewhere and, of course, it is from schools.

Leaving aside the not far off total absence of cricket in state schools (of which more later), it was instructive to be present at the first three days of the Lord’s Test. Yes, you get a better close-up view on TV, but you miss the wider picture.

On day one, what struck me very forcibly was that Pakistan bowled the way we all used to (decades ago): relentless line and length plus a bit of movement. This revolutionary stuff seemed to bamboozle the England team. Quite how the wicket was green after a fortnight’s near-heatwave defeats me, unless Mick Hunt got carried away with his watering-can. I’d have batted too. Cloud-cover was neither here nor there: the ball did not swing prodigiously.

I thought exactly the same in, I think, 1984, when Sri Lanka first played at Lord’s. Good Lord, I thought, this is cricket played as we at schools coach it, ie orthodox, rather than the “modern” fashions of everything from weight of bat to the grip and onwards (see articles by Tom Graveney and Ted Dexter). Wettimuni scored 190 and they made England look ridiculous, just as Pakistan have now done, even though it was a draw.

Now going beyond my remit briefly, I yearn to see Tony Nichols, captain of the Bristol rugby side in the 1970s, secretly coach a modern top team in the brilliance of their play and show how rugby used to be: a feast of running rugby by the backs. None of this “you can only score after 23 phases” rubbish = attritional warfare among the forwards endlessly scrabbling around on the ground (contrary to the Laws). They scored from first phase, because the forwards were by definition tied up, with a startling array of back moves to bamboozle the opposition and break the 5 v 5 line.

This is not just the rant of some old fogey. Believe it or not, and I shan’t rehearse my credentials here, I have always been a radical innovator in all aspects of my professional life. However, I vigorously part company when being “modern” means dumbing down, as in the proposal for a second professional competition to appeal to “mothers and young children” or in accepting that poor behaviour on the field (eg sledging or “making more noise” ie cheating) is somehow “the modern game”.

Chatting to the chairman of a quite thriving London club, I enquired where their (adult) players came from. The answer was very strange: no local state school played any cricket but they had keen cricketing parents who brought their children along to Friday night coaching sessions but only about 10% of their adult players came through this system. So where do the 90% come from? Outsiders who move to the area, really.

You rather wonder how we have a Test team at all, really, given the (exam-obsessed) obstacles placed in the way of independent schools, who really do put their heart and soul into it but serve only something like 7% of the population, plus the minute number of state schools (mostly ex-grammars) who do the same.

Where do we go from here? I really have no idea, but we seem to be driving headlong into a cricket world where games are ever shorter and, indeed, dumbed down. One serious and inevitably increasing problem is that many younger coaches and Masters i/c have never themselves played anything except overs cricket and presumably imagine there is no other form of the game worth playing. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

National Schools Twenty20 competitioncumulative

North East section group 1
Newcastle School for Boys 111, RGS Newcastle 112-4
Hymers 103-6, *QEGS Wakefield 104-1
Hymers 164-3, Silcoates 138-9
Birkdale 118-4,*QEGS Wakefield 119-1
QEGS Wakefield win the group

North East section group 3
Worksop 163-9, Ampleforth 66
Woodhouse Grove 166, Ashville 153
Woodhouse Grove 71-9, Worksop 77-3
Woodhouse Grove 165, Ampleforth 147
Worksop win the group

North East section group 4
Pocklington 129-4,*St Peter’s, York 132-5
Pocklington 103, Bradford GS 104-1
*St Peter’s, York 155-6, Bradford GS 97-9
St Peter’s win the group.

North West section group 1
Altrincham GS 114–5, Kings’, Chester 113
Altrincham GS 96–9, Birkenhead 100 – 7
The Grange School withdrew
Birkenhead win the group

North West section group 2
Hutton GS, Audenshaw HS and St. Ambrose all withdrew
Kings’ School, Macclesfield win the group (by default)

North West section group 3
AKS Lytham 86, Myerscough 90–2
Kirkham 59, RGS Lancaster 60–2
AKS Lytham 143–8, Kirkham 146–6
Myerscough 126, RGS Lancaster 73–7
Myerscough win the group

North West section group 4
Cheadle Hulme 174–3, Wilmslow HS 125 – 6
Stockport GS 137-6, Wilmslow HS 94
Stockport GS 130-7, Cheadle Hulme 133
Cheadle Hulme win the group

North West section quarter-finals
Manchester GS 172–7, Kings’ Macclesfield 173-7
Bolton 74-9, Myerscough 78-2
Birkenhead 107-8, Sedbergh 118-8
*Cheadle Hulme 162-4, Merchant Taylors’ (Crosby) 163-8

North West section semi-finals
Myerscough 138-6, Sedbergh 139-2
Merchant Taylors’ Crosby v Kings’ Macclesfield

East section group 2
*Oakham 133-6 (20 overs), Oundle 121-9 (H Tyler 5-14)
Stamford 137-7 (20 overs),*Oakham 123-8

East section group 3
Stowe 117-5, Uppingham 63
Stowe 104-6, Rugby 95-7

East section group 4
Kimbolton 113-6, Bedford 114-2

East section play-offs
Stamford 203-6, *Repton 160-4

West Midlands and Wales section group 1
Newcastle-under-Lyme 101-6, Ellesmere 105-6
*Shrewsbury 105-8, Ellesmere 96-7
Queen Mary’s withdrew
Shrewsbury win the group

West Midlands and Wales section group 2
*Wrekin 112-4, Bablake 69
Bromsgrove 155-5, Wolverhampton GS 34
*Wrekin 75, Bromsgrove 76-4
Bromsgrove win the group

West Midlands and Wales section group 3
Cathedral School, Llandaff 118-9, Dean Close 120-1
West Midlands and Wales section group 3
Monmouth 121-4, Wycliffe 100-5
Dean Close win the group

West Midlands and Wales section, group 4
King’s Worcester 125-6,*RGS Worcester 123-8
Malvern 181-2, Warwick 85
King’s Worcester 66, Malvern 67-1
Malvern win the group

West Midlands and Wales play-offs
Shrewsbury 182-3, Wrekin 82-8

South East section group 1
St Lawrence 192-5, *Ashford 128-5
Simon Langton GS 197-3 (E Fox 103 not out), *Kent College 115

South East section group 2 (reduced to 5-over matches)
Charterhouse 43-2, Reigate GS 28-1
Reigate GS 25-5, Cranleigh 29-0
Charterhouse 44-2, Cranleigh 30-4
Kingston GS withdrew
Charterhouse win the group

South East section group 3
*Bede’s 159-5, Brighton College 59
*Bede’s 144-5, Hurstpierpoint 114-9
Hurstpierpoint 144, Aldridge 96
Bede’s win the group

South East section group 4
*Tonbridge 166–4, Skinners 100–9
Eastbourne 102–9, *Tonbridge 103–5
Claremont 131-4 Skinners 98
Tonbridge win the group

South East section play-offs
Charterhouse 164-7, Simon Langton 107-9
Tonbridge 160-5, Charterhouse 162-3
Charterhouse win the South East section and now play the London winners

North London section group 1
NewVic 122-7,*Aldenham 66
*St Albans 160-4, NewVic 113-9
St Albans win the group

North London section group 2
UCS 112, Highgate 92
UCS 65, Merchant Taylors’ 68-0
Moulton withdrew
Merchant Taylors’ win the group

North London section final
*St Albans 139-3, Merchant Taylors’ Northwood 140-4
Merchant Taylors’ win North London

South London section group 1
Whitgift 207-2, Emanuel 71-5
Emanuel 92-8, Epsom 96-2
Whitgift 179-2, Epsom 81-9
Whitgift win the group

South London section group 2
Hampton 143-7, Langley 116
Hampton 188-5, Dulwich 125-7
Hampton win the group

South London section group 3
Wilson’s 106-2, KCS Wimbledon 107-1
KCS Wimbledon 93, Eltham 94-2
Eltham win the group

South London section group 4
Lingfield 99-9, Caterham 100-3.
Trinity 96, Reed’s 97-0
Caterham 96-7, Reed’s 97-5
*Trinity 152-4, Caterham 129
Reed’s win the group.

South London section semi-finals
*Whitgift 230-6, Hampton 120-5
*Eltham 171-4 (20 overs), Reed’s 153-5

South West section group 1
Downside 98-6 (20 overs),*Clifton 101-2
*Clifton 124-5, Colston’s 42-2 (9 overs); Clifton win on D/L
Colston’s 120-9, Bristol GS 110-5
Colston’s 163-4, Downside 75
Clifton win the group

South West section group 2
Stroud and South Glos 127-6, QEH 99-7
Taunton 102-6, Stroud and South Glos 103-5

South West section group 3
Blundell’s 70, Plymouth 73-4
Plymouth 85-8 Millfield 86-0

South West section group 4
Sherborne 107, King’s Taunton 108-1
Mount Kelly 67-7, King’s Taunton 68-1
Mount Kelly 153-5, Sherborne 105-9
King’s Taunton win the group

South West section play-offs
Colston’s 168-7,*Stroud and South Glos 172-2
*Clifton 189-4 (R Clarke 123 not out),Taunton 152-4

South Central section group 1
St Edward’s 175-6,*Dauntsey’s 140-3
St Edward’s 203-5 (H Ward 101), Elizabeth (Guernsey) 149-7
Elizabeth (Guernsey) 112-8,*Dauntsey’s 116-9
St Edward’s win the group

South Central section group 2
Abingdon 106 (20 overs),*Wellington (Berks) 107-3
Reading Blue Coat withdrew
Wellington win the group

South Central section group 3
Marlborough 124-4, Portsmouth GS 125-4
Magdalen College School 245-2, Portsmouth GS 103
*Marlborough 105-8, Magdalen College School 108-6
Magdalen College School win the group

South Central section group 4
RGS High Wycombe 107-8, Lord Wandsworth 109-2
RGS High Wycombe 109-7, Shiplake 110-0
*Radley 181-6, Shiplake 92
Lord Wandsworth 72, Radley 75-2
Radley win the group

South Central section group 5
*Bradfield 140-4, Winchester 68
*Bradfield 166-7), John Hampden GS 90-5
The Oratory withdrew
Bradfield win the group

South Central section play-off and semi-final
*Bradfield 161-4, St Edward’s 135-9
Bradfield 149-5, Magdalen College School 95
Bradfield now play Radley in the final of this section

 

THE CRICKET PAPER NATIONAL SCHOOLS U17 CUP

(this section is formatted by the organisers)

Regional Final Draw

Group1    Regional Final

HOME Sedbergh V AWAY Kings Macclesfield

Group 2 Regional Final

HOME Shrewsbury 160-6 BEAT v AWAY Denstone 159-9

Group 3 Regional Final

HOME Millfield 110-0 BEAT AWAY Taunton School 109-6

Group 4 Regional Final

HOME Trent 164-2 BEAT AWAY Stamford School 163 all out

Group 5 Regional Final

HOME Bedford School v AWAY Bradfield

Group 6 Regional Final

HOME Shiplake v AWAY Winchester College (to be played 7th June)

Group 7 Regional Final

HOME Norwich School   v AWAY Brentwood School

Group   Regional Final

HOME Whitgift   172-3 BEAT   AWAY Merchant Taylors Northwood 133 all out