The La Manga resort played home to a Junior Cricket Festival last week with six teams taking part in the event.
Five teams came from the UK (Danes Hill “A”, Danes Hill “B”, Kingswood School, First Cricket Academy and Barlastan CC) and the sixth team Ceylon Cricket Academy returned again this year to complete the teams on show.
The tournament was categorised as an Under 13 tournament of mixed genders, but players as young as eight competed throughout the four days of cricket.
The format was two groups of three teams and each group treated the parents and spectators to some entertaining games of cricket.
Ceylon Cricket Academy and Barlastan CC went unbeaten in their respective groups, so took two of the semi final spots available. Unsurprisingly, they both dominated their semi final games to ensure a showdown between the two top clubs in the tournament.
Star players in the final was Redshaw for the Ceylon Cricket Academy whose 40 not out helped his team post a score of 114 off their twenty over allocation. The same player then took over with the ball, bagging five wickets for just twenty runs to dash any hopes that Barlastan had of winning the event. This outstanding performance with both bat and ball earned him the unanimous decision of the man of the match award.
Both the winners and runners up received medals at the Gala dinner, which also gave time to all concerned in the event to reflect on the cricket and the excellent spirit in which all of the matches were played in.
All in all, it was an fantastic advertisement for Junior Cricket and the idyllic surroundings of La Manga resort just added to the spectacle.
Special mentions go to the following. For First Cricket Academy the top batters were Hayden Rodgers and Harry Brindle. Fielding went to Matthew Keys, whilst Harry Ellan´s four wickets in his first game was the highlight for the First Cricket bowling group.
Kingswood School were well led throughout by their captain John Bean, and consistant batting by the whole team ensured they got to the semi final stages.
The two Danes Hill squads had many high points during the event but arguably Jack Joyce´s 50 was at the top of the pile along with Alex French, whose consistency throughout the four days, gave him three scores of 40 plus throughout the tournament. Finally, a worthwhile mention for Harry Boote who proved himself to be a top tourist, and very enthuisiastic team player.
Barlastan were well served by their key personel, Joey who took twelve wickets, Ollie, their best all rounder of the tour and Alfie for some good bowling and fielding that resulted in a broken finger due to his fierce commitment for his club.
Finally, the winners Ceylon. Great leadership from the captain, Saber who took it on himself to look after the younger players with greatr distinction. He was helped and supported in his mentorship duties by Jack, Tom, Jacob and Josh.
Finally, Rico would like to thank all the teams for a fantastic event, played in a super friendly atmosphere. Special thanks go to Stuart the groundsman, helpers from Cricket España, all the coaches and teaches for their help and the two umpires for the latter stages of the competition Richard Eames and David Riley.
FIRST CRICKET ACADEMY