20/20 Cricket Festival at Christ College delivers a feast in more ways than one!

02 Jul 2013

Sunshine and the promise of cricket is what makes the summer and with the forecast set fair and four schools arriving for the 20/20 Festival at Christ College, there was a buzz of expectation in the air. St Patrick’s College from Sydney, Australia , Hereford Cathedral School (HCS), Gower College, Wellington were our guests for two and a half days of good cricket and good company! With St Patrick’s arriving from Ireland in the afternoon it was up to the English and Welsh schools to get the festival off to a start. Christ College played Wellington and Gower took on HCS in the opening games.

A high scoring encounter was seen on the back square as a strong HCS outfit piled on the runs reaching a huge 239 in their 20 overs. Gower though were a good match and with the help of a century from opener Lloyd, responded with an excellent run chase, scoring 220 in reply. On the main square Wellington contained CCB to a modest 101 and were able to overhaul that total with the loss of only 2 wickets

In the second match of the day St Patrick’s A played Christ College and in a devastating opening spell had the home side 4 for 3 at the end of the second over. Wickets continued to fall and at 27 for 7 the home side looked dead and buried. However some courageous batting from James Dale saw the total to 71 but this was not nearly enough and St Patrick’s ran out easy winners with overs in hand. Meanwhile Gower played Wellington and St Patrick’s B side took on HCS. In a close game Wellington were pipped to the post by Gower College and Hereford overcame St Patrick’s B.

Tim Trumper, Festival organiser, had dutifully arranged sunshine for Thursday morning and a prompt start was made at 10.30am. Christ College took on Gower College in what again was an excellent game. Gower put on an impressive 193 from their 20 overs with the Christ College boys replying with some big hits of their own. Having got off to a good start they maintained the rate but lost wickets at the crucial moment and finished on 163 for 9, thirty short.

HCS meanwhile were continuing in the same vein as the previous day and beat St Patrick’s A with a dominant display restricting the tourists to 65 in the field and knocking off the runs with overs to spare. Wellington also beat the St Patrick’s B side with another solid display.

With the forecast deteriorating the afternoon games were brought forward and play resumed at 2pm. St Patricks B took on Gower College, whilst their A side played Wellington. Christ College would play HCS. This game was dominated by Hereford who made a steady start but accelerated well in the middle of the innings to post a strong 187 for 3. Christ College responded positively by the loss of wickets soon spelt trouble and HCS ran out comfortable winners. The two other games though were getting very interesting as the drizzle turned to rain. In both games the St Patricks’ boys had batted first and posted modest scores of 111 and 101, A and B respectively. In the Game against the Aussie B side, Gower looked well set on 57 for 2 with 9 overs left by some excellent spin bowling started a collapse and our overseas visitors triumphed by 8 runs to the delight of the Australian contingent.

Meanwhile as the rain got heavier and play continued for the final 3 or 4 overs on the main square, the Australian boys ( A squad) and supporters must have thought wondered what on earth was going on – conditions totally alien … welcome to Wales!! The Wellington boys, trying hard to maintain their grip on the surface as well as holding the bat, were finding it harder to score as the outfield slowed and the pace of the wicket changed. It was a tough ask but they battled on in bravely, St Patrick’s running out winners by 12 runs.

Thursday evening saw all the boys assemble to enjoy some traditional Welsh fayre in honour of our overseas visitors. Staff and parents were treated to some traditional Welsh cuisine, Cawl, Chicken and Leek Pie, Snowdon Pudding and of course Welsh Cakes excellently prepared by the Christ College Catering team and then to round it off the boys of the Christ College Male Voice Choir performed Calon Lan and led a communal singsong with ‘Delilah’ to round off a memorable evening.

Friday morning had thankfully seen the rain clear and the final matches resumed. Christ College would take on the St Patrick’s B side whilst Gower played the St Patrick’s A side and HCS attempted to complete the clean sweep against Wellington. They HCS boys again proved worthy winners and are to be congratulated on the quality of cricket throughout the Festival, bowling good lines and batting well all the way down the order. St Patrick A found it tough going against the Gower side struggling to score on the slower outfield after the previous days rain. They ended on 70 after their allotted over but Gower were too powerful with the bat to be contained and ran out easy winners.

On the back square CCB were in a close fought encounter with the Aussies, a sign of things to come for the forthcoming ashes this summer perhaps! Having posted a creditable 137 in 20 overs with good contributions from Elis Barnett Smith and Ian Mitchell as well as a decent wag of the tail CCB set out trying to contain the visitors. However some good early strikes from the Aussie boys meant that they were up with the asking rate despite losing a couple of early wickets. With 57 required off the final 10 overs it looked as though they would get home but vital wickets added to the pressure and left St Patrick’s needing 16 off the final over with only a wicket remaining. It proved too much so CCB took the honours.

Our thanks to all the boys and coaching staff for their commitment and the way they conducted themselves … first rate! Thanks too to the team of umpires, the caterers and ground staff as well as all the admin start for producing brochures and menus etc and particular congratulations to Mr Tim Trumper festival organiser on his herculean efforts in organising the event.

It is always fantastic to host other schools and build relationships and make friends with boys and staff from other schools. It was a pleasure to host our Australian visitors who play with typical Australian commitment and who are great ambassadors for their school and country both on and off the field. We wish them well for the remainder of their tour and visit to the UK.

Festival Summary

Wednesday 26th June

Christ College v Wellington School (Win for Wellington)
Hereford Cathedral School v Gower College (Win for Hereford)
Christ College v St Patrick’s College A (Win for St Patrick’s)
Hereford Cathedral School v St Patrick’s College B (Win for Hereford)
Gower College v Wellington School (Win for Gower College)

Thursday 27th June

10.30 am
St Patrick’s A v Hereford (Win for Hereford)
Gower College v Christ College (Win for Gower)
Wellington v St Patrick’s B (Win for Wellington)
2.30 pm
St Patrick’s A v Wellington (Win for St Patrick’s)
Gower College v St Patrick’s B (Win for St Patrick’s)
Christ College v Hereford (Win for Hereford)

Friday 28th June

10.30 am
St Patrick’s A v Gower College (Win for Gower)
Christ College v St Patrick’s B (Win for Christ College)
Wellington v Hereford (Win for Hereford)

Report by Mr Ali Copp.