Consett Academy are County Champions

April is usually the start of the UK cricket championships, but it’s also the time for the later stages of the indoor competition. Consett U15’s made the journey to Sunderland to continue their valiant voyage through the maze of the Lady Taverner’s Cricket competition and this time rubbing shoulders with some of the most prestigious schools in the North of England.

The girls faced up against Barnard Castle in their first game. Having lost the toss Captain Mae D informed her team they would have to bat. The instructions for this team were the same, run fast, run hard and win via attrition. Jenny A faced the opening overs with Mae and faced some rapid pace and bounce from Barnard Castle. Jenny A fell having targeting a slower ball, but Mae stood firm with assistance from the ever reliant Charli H and the master of the reverse sweep Izzy E. Consett were restricted in this game to 76\6 a modest but competitive total.

In reply Mae opened the bowling, taking a prize wicket in the process. The  girls showed each other overwhelming vocal support throughout the innings to the extent their was never a silent moment. Each one supporting each other and partaking in every ball as if it was the last. The closing overs were tense, Lilia B took the final and decisive over, the consistent line and length that Glen McGrath would be proud of was too much for the lower order Barnard Castle batters. Backed with tremendous fielding from Izzy A, there was no escape from the brakes the team applied to the flow of runs. Consett had beaten Barnard Castle, THE Barnard Castle!

With adrenaline still pouring through her veins, Mae D was dragged into another toss. This time Yarm School were the opponents, and once again Consett would bat. The openers batted well as a partnership, supporting each other throughout the opening overs offering words of advice and acting upon it. Once Jenny A fell, there was a slight precession of wickets, and Consett were up against it. Some effective rearguard action Lucy S, Ellie L and Cara S managed to drag the score to 55/7. Mae noticed the down beat morale of her players and took the new ball, and ramped up the pace… 1 wicket, 2 wickets, they couldn’t could they? Annie L bowled her mesmerising leg spin… 3 wickets, 4 wickets, spectators began to stand up to view from the other courts. Lilia bowled… 5 wickets, and a run out! All of a sudden Consett were on top 56 seemed defendable. Lucy S followed in Lilia’s footsteps with a crate line and length medium pace… 7 wickets! And it was sealed, on off the most dramatic turn around was complete. Yarm bowled out for 22! Another win!

Third match against St Leonard’s was decisive, win and play in the final, lose and await other results. Mae won the toss and decided to bowl. Early wickets and lightening run outs put Consett just ahead of the team that pipped the girls in the qualifying competition. A solid display, topped off by Izzy A knocking middle stump out of the ground meant St Leonard’s were restricted to 45/5, however, Consett knew the strength of the opposition was in their bowling. Mae and Jenny were patient and played out the first few overs without troubling the scorer. The team had begun to adapt to the pace of the surface, there’s no way they could surpass the 100+ totals the made in the qualifiers the had to readjust their sites for a lesser target. When Mae was bowled it was the job of Annie to steer the ship, and that she did with great navigable skills. The rank outsiders had done it. 3 wins from 3. A place in the final secured! 

Consett Academy U15’s had made the county final against Yarm School. No matter what happened they girls had surpassed the expectation of anyone, not just in terms of their performance, but their resilience, teamwork, bravery, behaviour and effort. Mae, won the toss and elected to bat. Here we go… Jenny struggled with extra pace, but managed to rotate the strike, before Mae hit a beautiful shot but was superbly caught! Consett had to depend on the work from Lucy S came through a stuttering start to blast a stunning six over the fielders. Ellie L and Izzy E were fantastic with the bat and as Consett hit their way to 75/4. 

This was it… one innings between Consett Academy and stardom. Mae took the new ball, ran in with pace and demolished the stumps! A wicket off the first ball! What a start! 3/2 off the first over. Advantage Consett. Annie L bowled the second over and 2 more fell with the final balls. The dream beamed the clouds and was appearing as a reality. Lilia B and Lucy S chipped in. This was it Consett one wicket from victory. Annie L took the ball, a hat trick was on the cards, the ball ripped out of her hand, fizzed through the air, exploded off the surface, pitching on leg and hitting the top of off stump, the dream leg spin delivery. Consett Academy are County Champions. 

What a performance. What a day. What a team.