ON Friday a team from Evenlode Primary School, Penarth, travelled to King Edward's School, Edgbaston, where they represented South Wales in the national Midlands Kwik Cricket finals.
Supporting the boys on their fantastic achievement of reaching this stage of the competition, the team coach was full of family and friends.
In the group stages, Evenlode, comprising three Year 6, five Year 5 and two Year 4 boys, faced some tough opposition from schools whose teams were made up solely of Year 6 pupils.
Digging in, Evenlode showed true Welsh spirit with two successive wins. With some sound wicketkeeping from Rhys Knapper and some fast and straight bowling from Kreshay Bharwani and Aaron Noormohamed, the team comfortably beat their first opponents and went straight into a second game where good fielding from Devon Tyso and Luc Thomas and a solid batting performance from Ben Mulchahy and Lewis Ingram (putting on 35 runs between them) secured a place in the semi-finals.
Last four opponents Leigh Primary School (Warwickshire) had a strong batting line-up and very quickly scored 244 runs despite some brilliant spin bowling from Elys Johnson. In reply, Evenlode began well, with captain Greg Cross securing 16 runs, and it was left to Lewis to defend his wicket for the last ball which he did in style to take Evenlode into the final by just two runs.
Once again, without a break, the boys were up against a strong Year 6 Buckinghamshire team in the final. The young Penarth side faced some expert bowling and lost wickets and then produced a brave bowling and fielding performance. But, with only one wicket being taken by Elys and despite some solid quick bowling from Zac Essenhigh, the tired Evenlode side missed out. However, finishing runners-up was a brilliant achievement and the boys must be very proud of their performance.
A big thank you to Mr Barton and all the family and friends who supported the team and, more importantly, to the boys for the way they conducted themselves and the manner in which they played.
Indeed, it's roll on next year when seven out of the 10 boys will still be eligible to seek further success.