The South Northants District U11’s became the first team in the history of District Cricket to win two competitions in the same season following their victory in the prestigious District Festival and Twenty20 Competition. This is a remarkable achievement considering that many of the players of whom are ten or eleven years old are playing district cricket for the very first time. Even more remarkable is that both Manager, Tim Barrett and Coach, Chris Lodge are also in their first season of District Cricket.
The South Northants U11’s successfull won all three of their festival matches to win the competition and remain unbeaten. The Festival began with an excellent team performance and a 24 run victory over the Northampton District at Cogenhoe CC, with George Rumble collecting the Man of the Match Award for his 39 and 2-10.
In the second match South Northants produced a brilliant comeback to defeat the East Northants by 49 runs at Stoke Bruerne CC. At one stage South Northants were 27-7 before Huw Reece and Lochie Shillington combined to push the score to 112 before then bowling East Northants out for just 63. Huw Reece collecting the Man of the Match Award for his match winning 34 and 1-11.
In the deciding match, sadly effected by the weather, South Northants picked up a third consecutive victory in the competition on run rate over the Kettering & Corby District. South Northants were 53-4 after 16 overs chasing 107 to win before the rain came.
The District Twenty20 Competition was introduced for the very first time in 2012 and was played at Burton Latimer CC. The competition took the format of two semi-finals and a final or play-off with teams drawn out of a hat to decide the semi-final matches. South Northants drew East Northants and were asked to bat first posting 88-9 off 20 overs, in reply East Northants could only manage 81-8 after 10 runs were needed from the final over.
Northampton beat Kettering & Corby in the other fixture resulting in South Northants taking on Northampton in the final. Northampton batted first and made 87-9 meaning 88 runs for victory. South Northants slumped to 26-5 but recovered to 75-6 with a partnership from George Rumble and Lochie Shillington, this soon became 85-9. In the final over South Northants needed two to win and Northampton needed a wicket, after three dot balls a leg bye and a wide followed to give South Northants victory by 1 wicket!
These two results demonstrate a fantastic team achievement for all of the players and is a justified reward for all of the hard work that both the players and coaches have put in to the programme which began indoors all the way back in January. A total of 19 boys represented the district in 2012 plus three boys represented the County Age Groups: Harry Purton (U11), Michael Wells and William Cooper-Harris (U10) and one player, Matthew Parkin, although only eleven represented the full Northants Cricket Disability Team.
The District Festival result also ensures that the U11’s District Festival has now been won by South Northants in consecutive seasons, following the 2011 victory.
Despite the weather cancelling two fixtures, the U11’s finish the season with eight victories from nine matches and remain unbeaten against Northamptonshire District and County sides. This includes a victory against the County U10’s where South Northants fielded four of their own U10 players.
Congratulations to all of the players involved for a memorable season, thank you to both Chris and Tim for an exceptional effort and to all of the parents for their wonderful support throughout the programme.