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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Furness youngsters star in Kwik Cricket festivals

WICKETS flew and fours and sixes were smashed as youngsters took part in two Furness Kwik Cricket festivals.

Competition was fierce at Dalton and Furness Cricket Clubs, as a total of 21 schools and around 250 pupils slugged it out in eight-a-side matches for the right to represent the area at the county finals.

Alistair McDougall, cricket development officer for Barrow and Copeland, said the standard of play shown has never been higher in his time involved with local Kwik Cricket, and he commended the children on the quality of the play they produced and their behaviour, both on and off the field.

“I know I say this every year, but the standard this year, especially when we got to the semi-final stages, was as high as I have ever seen,” he said.

“There were quite a lot of club players involved as well, which helped to make it a really good, competitive tournament.

“Croftlands had quite a few Ulverston players, Pennington had Ulverston and Lindal players, George Romney had Dalton players and Yarlside had Dalton, Barrow and Furness players.

“As the tournaments progressed, it was significant how the standard rose as games were played, and their behaviour was excellent, you couldn’t fault the kids.”

In the first festival, contested by between 140 and 150 kids at Dalton CC, it was Barrow’s Yarlside school who were victorious – but there was little to choose between the four semi-finalists, who emerged from the group stages.

After beating last year’s area county final representatives Pennington in the last four, Yarlside defeated George Romney in the final, after the Dalton school had beaten Croftlands, of Ulverston, in their semi-final.

It is Croftlands who will represent the area in Friday’s county finals at Penrith, however, as champions Yarlside, plus George Romney and Pennington schools, all have prior engagements to fulfil.

McDougall has no doubts about Croftlands’ ability to represent the area, saying: “To be fair there was nothing between the four semi-finalists. They were so closely matched you were talking five runs in the end, which is just one wicket.”

Croftlands will be joined at the finals by Barrow school Holy Family and Black Combe school, Millom.

Holy Family were triumphant in the second festival held at Furness CC, where in excess of 100 pupils from eight schools were in action. A very strong Holy Family team – containing some district players – overcame a young and gutsy Dane Ghyll side in the final.

McDougall added: “Asda support the mixed festival and the girls festival as they do nationwide and have done for a long while.

“They have a stand and provide the children with food and drink, so we would like to thank them for their continued support.

“I’d also like to thank Paul Stanway, of Barrow Sixth Form College, who supplied the young leaders who umpired the majority of the games. I’d also like to thank Helen Wright, the school games organiser, who helped co-ordinate the tournament, and Dalton and Furness cricket clubs for hosting the finals.”

A girls Kwik Cricket tournament was taking place at Barrow CC’s Ernest Pass ground today (from 10am until mid-afternoon) with 12 schools expected to take part, battling for place in the county finals.

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