Gloucestershire Under 13 boys at the Taunton Festival
Gloucestershire U13 boys matched the achievement of the U14s by winning the Taunton Festival, with three wins in three days.
It is the first time ever two Gloucestershire teams have won the prestigious competition in the same season.
Their road to silverware began with a hard-fought two wicket victory over Oxfordshire.
Oxon batted first and were in a commanding position at 140-4, before an excellent spell of off spin from Zach Campbell (5-16) (Lechlade), reduced them to 182 all out.
In reply Gloucestershire had to endure some hostile bowling from Luke Charlesworth, but Max Trotman (Thornbury) and Will Naish (Frocester) batted sensibly with a partnership of 68 for the second wicket.
When Naish was caught for 34, Campbell supported Trotman with a good innings of 25, taking the score to 120-2.
Trotman deservedly reached his first half century in county cricket, but when both he and Campbell fell in quick succession it brought about a collapse that saw four more batsmen dismissed for single figures.
With the nerves beginning to jangle, Owen Lingard (21 not out) (Winterbourne) and Charlie Davison (12 not out) (Cirencester) kept cool heads to see Gloucestershire to victory.
Next up were London Schools who won the toss and batted first.
But they came up against Will Naish (Frocester) in top form with the ball.
Both he and Davison captured an early wicket, but it was a brilliant run-out by Fuzael Ahmed (Bristol YMCA) – to dismiss a centurion from the previous day – that proved the turning point.
Naish returned to knock over the middle order and finish with a brilliant analysis of 10 overs 5 maidens 3 wickets for 11 runs.
Davison then ran through the tail to finish with 3-57 as London were dismissed for 199.
Gloucestershire then produced a very disciplined batting performance to knock off the required runs, recording a six wicket victory with seven overs to spare.
Lingard saw off the pace attack with a fine innings of 41 and was well-supported by Naish (20) and Campbell (18). But it was a fine partnership of 82 between Michael Burger (35*) (Parkend) and Kunal Barman (45*) that took Gloucestershire to victory.
The final game against Berkshire, with so much at stake, was a very tense affair.
Having won the toss Gloucestershire batted first with Trotman and Lingard facing a 13 year old pace bowler who had recently bowled against the Gloucestershire CCC professional squad.
Trotman fell early on but Lingard again held firm, accompanied by Naish who played a very fine innings of 72 from only 64 deliveries and included 10 fours and a six.
When Lingard was dismissed for 35, Burger (16) and Davison (26) lifted the final score to 211-7 from 45 overs.
Berkshire put up a strong fight to reach the required total and at 140-4 with 12 overs remaining were well-placed.
But Naish captured the vital wicket of his opposing captain and then Max Shepherd (Bourton Vale) bowled his best three overs of the week, taking two wickets in the process.
It came down to the wire with 11 runs needed from the final over with two wickets remaining.
The tension among the parents was almost unbearable, with some hardly able to watch.
But Davison stepped up to the mark, clean bowling the final two victims to spark scenes of huge celebration.
Gloucestershire Manager, Eric Woodmason, said: “This was a fantastic effort by the boys. They worked really hard throughout the three days and played better cricket every day. Their performance in the final game against Berkshire was high-quality cricket, under pressure too. They fully deserved their success.”
Gloucestershire Women v Cheshire Women (at Gloucester City Winget CC) September 4
ECB Women’s County Championship Division 3
Cheshire 75 all out (33.2 overs)
Gloucestershire 75-2 (21 overs)
Gloucestershire won by 8 wickets
Gloucestershire Women ended their season with their ninth win in a row after comfortably beating Cheshire by eight wickets at Gloucester City Winget CC.
The result means they finish in second place in Division 3 of the ECB Women’s County Championship, just missing out on promotion.
Heavy rain the day before had left the square very wet, but sterling efforts from groundsman Phil Jordan meant that play started 2 hours late with the game reduced to 40 overs a side.
Captain Charlie Walker (Bristol Phoenix) won the toss and asked Cheshire to bat on a damp surface.
Eve Alder (2-7) (Cirencester) struck twice with the total on 12, removing both Phoebe Cottam and her replacement Charlotte Williams – the first caught behind by Nat Wraith (Frenchay) and the second by Sidra Khan (Bristol Phoenix) at mid off.
Opener Ellie Mason batted positively and was particularly clinical in dispatching the bad ball.
But she kept losing partners at the other end as Charlie Phillips (3-13) (Bath) continued her excellent form in 2016. The off-spinner took two quick wickets to reduce Cheshire to 29-4.
With the total on 49, she also took the important wicket of Mason who hammered the ball at Danielle Gibson (Dumbleton) who held onto a very sharp chance at short extra cover.
The scoring rate slowed as Mollie Robbins (Hanham) tied the batters down with a miserly spell of 2-7 from seven overs. She bowled Natalie Lyons without scoring and then had Kathryn Jackson caught at mid off by Walker. In between, Gibson (2-20) once again showed her athleticism in the field by running out Afzal. The allrounder then came back on to finish the innings with two wickets as the visitors ended up on 71 all out in the 34th over.
In response, Abby Evans and Bethan Moorcraft (Newport) found the slow wicket challenging to begin with but soon picked up the pace. They took the score to 32 in the 10th over before Moorcraft was LBW to Lyons for 11.
Evans drove to cover to be caught for 15 as Gloucestershire were reduced to 35-2 at the end of the 12th over.
Naomi Forecast (28 not out) (Bristol Phoenix) came in and was positive from the start. She struck six boundaries in double quick time as the total was reached at the end of the 21st over to give Gloucestershire an eight wicket win.
Coach Steve Dent said: “We showed again today how we are growing as a team by getting on top and keeping the pressure on in a very clinical and ruthless fashion. Once again the bowlers were excellent and backed up by excellent catching and ground fielding. Charlie Phillips has been so consistent this year and her spell at the start meant that Cheshire were always on the back foot.
“Despite the difficult wicket, Naomi’s innings was a great show of clean striking and it was good to see her playing so positively. After losing our first league game, we’ve responded by winning our next nine games. This demonstrates how the team is progressing. This is an exciting group of players and I’m excited about what the future holds as they mature and develop.”
Gloucestershire Under 15 Girls v Somerset Under 15 Girls (at Cirencester CC) August 24
ECB Women’s U15 County Championship T20 Group 6
Gloucestershire 146-5 (20 overs)
Somerset 81 all out (16 overs)
Gloucestershire won by 65 runs
Gloucestershire Under 15 Girls v Devon Under 15 Girls (at Cirencester CC) August 24
ECB Women’s U15 County Championship T20 Group 6
Devon 131-8 (20 overs)
Gloucestershire 117-8 (20 overs)
Devon won by 14 runs
Gloucestershire Under 15 Girls finished the season with a win over Somerset and defeat to Devon in their final T20 double-header.
Against Somerset Glos got off to a flying start through Naima Milhofer (Frenchay) and Danielle Gibson (Dumbleton).
The opening pair put on 50 from just 35 balls before Gibson was caught by Molly Vellacott off the bowling of Hannah Delbridge (2-25) for nine.
The same bowler had Molly Thomas (Bristol Phoenix) caught and bowled for six but the home side recovered through a 58 run partnership between Milhofer and Natasha Wraith (Frenchay).
Milhofer brought her 50 up off 40 balls and went on to make 66 (52 balls, 10 fours) before being caught by Ollie Hayes off Harriett Dimdore-Miles to make it 120-3.
Wraith (27) and Emily Kibble followed in quick succession to Jodie Filer (2-20) leaving Chloe Skelton (6*) (Newent) and Phoebe Pearce (12*) (Charlton Kings) to see Glos to 146-5 after their 20.
In reply Somerset lost their first wicket in the fourth over with the score on 12 thanks to a stunning catch by Thomas in the gully off the bowling of Milhofer (2-6).
The visitors fought back to 35-1 before Maddie Hughes (2-11) and Maisie Hunkin (2-14) (both Frenchay) tore through the middle order taking two wickets apiece.
With Somerset falling further and further behind the rate, wickets for Millie Ashford (2-11) (Corse and Staunton) and Ellie Fleck (Dumbleton) saw the visitors slip to 50-8
Somerset salvaged some pride with a ninth wicket stand of 26 between Delbridge (10) and Hayes (15). But the return of opening bowlers Milhofer and Gibson sealed a 65 run win with a wicket each.
In the match against Devon Gibson (3-22) struck in the first and third over to leave the visitors on 1-2.
Devon fought back with a partnership of 84, between Rebecca Halliday (49) and Sophie Florides (21) before Gibson claimed her third wicket of the afternoon when she had Halliday caught behind by Wraith.
From this point wickets fell at a regular rate with Milhofer (2-16), Helen Cutler (1-9) (Claverham) and Maddie Hughes (1-13) (Frenchay) all getting in on the action.
Devon finished on 131-8 from their 20 overs.
In reply wickets tumbled from the start of the Gloucestershire innings as they slipped to 31-5 after six overs.
Chloe Skelton (20) (Newent) and Emily Kibble (40 not out, off 43 balls) (Parkend) battled hard to get their side back into the game with partnership of 42.
Kibble then combined with Cutler (7*) to set up an exciting finish but they couldn’t quite do enough to reach their target – eventually falling 14 runs short.