The Wales U12 boys cricket team has won the prestigious Taunton Festival , scoring victories over Yorkshire, Somerset and Cornwall on their way to the title.
“This is a fantastic achievement and was reward for the effort and hard work that the boys had put in throughout the season,” said team coach Mike Knight. “The win over Yorkshire was undoubtedly the team’s best performance of the year.”
Wales U12 v Somerset
A measure of the improvement in the Wales batting was clearly evident in this match. Having been 1-6 wickets earlier in the season against Somerset before being bowled out for a paltry 33, Wales made an excellent 171-3, with Jayden Goodwin top scoring with 77 not out, ably supported by Matt Jones on 30.
The Wales bowlers were determined to get revenge for the early season defeat and Callum Collins-Davies took 2 early wickets, including that of the highly rated Will Smeed for 12, well caught by Robbie Crawford. Only S. Reed with 33 offered any real resistance as the Welsh spinners Teg Phillips 2-16, Ben Davies 2-17 bowled miserly spells, reducing Somerset to 116 all out. Wales won by 55 runs and picked up 17 Festival points.
Wales U12 v Worcestershire
Match abandoned without a ball being bowled. Wales gained 4 Festival points.
Wales U12 v Essex
On a rain-affected wicket, the Welsh seam bowlers bowled too short and too many boundary balls (19), allowing Essex to score 154-9. Sam Jardine (3-24) and Teg Phillips (2-33) were the main wicket takers, with Ben Davies (1-16) and Jayden Goodwin (1-18) bowling economically.
In reply, Jayden Goodwin was dismissed in the first over and Wales never recovered. Opener Jac Kennedy with a painstaking 29 not out batted throughout the Wales innings to leave Wales on 117-7 at the close. Wales hung on for a losing draw to pick up 9 Festival points.
Wales U12 v Yorkshire
On a damp wicket, Wales were put into bat and found runs very difficult to come by, scoring 130-5 from the allotted 50 overs against a very good Yorkshire bowling attack, which was backed up by some outstanding fielding. Jayden Goodwin was the pick of the Wales batsmen with a hard earned 52 not out, batting throughout the innings, being well supported by James Archer who scored 36.
In reply the Yorkshire batsmen found runs equally difficult to come by with all of the Welsh bowlers bowling well. But at 101-4 off 31 overs it looked as though Yorkshire would gain a comfortable win. However, the wicket of Revis for 39 in Phillips’ last over changed the game.
Left arm spinner Ben Davies took two further quick wickets and the introduction of off spinner Harri Turner, who took a match winning 4-14 from 8 overs turned the game completely on its head. Wales eventually bowling Yorkshire all out for 120, with the last 6 wickets falling for just 19 runs. It was the Wales spinners who won the day with Harri Turner 4-14, Ben Davies 2-40, Teg Phillips 2-15 and Jayden Goodwin 1-36 bowling very good spells. The 15 run win saw Wales pick up 16 Festival points.
Wales U12 v Cornwall
Needing to gain maximum points from their final match to win the Festival, it was important that the Wales team remained focused after a long week. They didn’t disappoint, bowling Cornwall all out for 95 in 37.3 of the 40 allotted overs. Jayden Goodwin (3-9), Callum Collins-Davies (2-15) and Sam Jardine (2-22) being the pick of the bowlers, with two run-outs. In reply, openers Jayden Goodwin (44n.o) and Matt Jones (41n.o) had little difficulty in securing a 10 wicket win. The win gave Wales a maximum 18 points, to win the Taunton Festival for the first time.
“Everyone at Cricket Wales is delighted with this result,” said Cricket Wales chief executive, Peter Hybart. “The Taunton Festival is a prestigious and highly-competitive event, and this really is a significant achievement.”
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