Wales girls score hat-trick of ties.
Cricket Wales’ age-group teams have continued to make progress during the summer, with a mix of results, including a remarkable three successive ties for the girls U13 team. The girls tied their games with Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset to create a very unusual cricketing hat-trick. The U13 boys got their season off to a belated start with a narrow defeat by Lancashire at Shrewsbury. Wales reached a slightly below-par 140-8 off 45 overs before Lancashire got to 142-7 with seven balls to spare. Connor Davies (North East Wales) followed a useful batting display (33) with some controlled spin which returned figures of 18-1 from nine overs. They followed this with a nail-biting match against Staffordshire at West Bromwich and Dartford CC, which ended in a last-ball win for the hosts. Wales scored 173-9 in their 45 overs, with Will Sissons (Eryri) contributing a well-crafted 54. In reply, Staffordshire reached 174-7 on the very last ball. The game see-sawed during their innings, and they needed 13 off the last over. The first ball was pulled for 6 over midwicket which gave them the initiative. A second boundary, singles and dot balls meant the scores were tied going into the last ball. Despite a well-directed yorker, Gaffney was able to scamper home and take the tie for the home side. They lost to Somerset by 5 wickets in a disappointing match at Pontarddulais. Wales reached 176-7 off 40 overs, with Scott O’Leary (Gwent) (35) and Tomos Evans (Gwent) (32 not out) top scorers. However, the visitors reached the target in the 36th over. The U13 boys finally broke their duck as they beat Hampshire by 4 wickets at New Milton Hampshire reached 156 all out, with Tomos Jones (Carmarthenshire) taking four wickets for 29. In reply, 39 from Scott O’Leary and 34 from Nathan Lee (West Glamorgan) helped Wales to reach 158-6 off 33.4 overs to take a deserved victory. The U12 boys’ batting let them down when they faced Somerset at Newport. A good batting and fielding display limited the visitors to 93 all-out, with Wales spinners Ben Davies (Gwent) (2-12) and Jayden Goodwin (Cardiff & Vale) (4-21) being the pick of the bowlers. In reply Wales made a disastrous start, collapsing to 0–5 and then 1–6, before finishing on 33 all-out – 60 runs adrift. A much improved batting performance saw Wales to a 7 wicket victory against Cheshire at Rydal School (Colwyn Bay). Cheshire made 130-9 from their 45 overs. Spinners Jayden Goodwin (2-17) and Tegid Phillips (Cardiff & Vale) (2-27) were the pick of the Wales bowlers. In reply, the Wales openers Goodwin and Jack Kennedy (North East Wales) posted an 83-run opening partnership, before Kennedy was out for 34. Although batting cautiously, the partnership provided a much needed foundation for the innings. Goodwin went on to complete his half-century and Wales recorded a 7 wicket win with 3 balls to spare. Wales U17 boy beat Millfield School by five runs, after reaching a total of 281-8 in 50 overs, while Millfield managed 276-8. Openers Gareth Ansell (Gwent) (86) and Scott Thornton (Gwent) (68) led the way with the bat, while the top bowler was Luke Harris (Gwent) with 3-49 from 10 overs. In a two-day match against Gloucestershire at Pentyrch, Wales scored 299-6, with Jack Thorpe-Yon (Gwent) reaching 108, before the visitors replied with 263. The U17s scored a second victory at Neath the following day, defeating Gloucestershire by 95 runs in a 50-over match. Thorpe-Yon was again top scorer with 82, as Wales reached 258-9, while Sam Pearce (Mid Glamorgan) took four wickets, as Gloucestershire were all-out for 163. “Over the past month or so, we’ve seen another mixed bag of results,” said Cricket Wales performance manager John Derrick. “We’ve had some disappointments, but also some really impressive performances – and three ties in a row is not something you see very often!” Cricket Wales is the national governing body for junior and recreational senior cricket in Wales. It works closely with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, which governs the men’s professional game. For information visit www.cricketwales.org.uk