With the school holidays out of the way and everyone back from their summer adventures, Sunday 10 th September was the day that 24 teams had been waiting for... their chance to battle it out to become the 2017 Countrystyle Recycling U9 Mini Super 8’s champions!
Prior to the day teams had played in localised cluster groups at tournaments throughout the summer, to earn their chance to play on finals day at the prestigious County Ground Beckenham. Winners of the 13 clusters were joined by runners up and best qualifiers to make the 24 teams.
Teams were divided into 4 groups of 6 teams, playing each other once. This lead to some fantastic cricket being played and a lot of close matches, several coming down to the last over and being won by the odd run or wicket and also the occasional tied match.
After a brief lunch break to refuel, the top 2 from each group played quarter finals, semi-finals and finals to decide 1st to 8th place whilst 3rd and 4th from the groups played for 9th to 16th place and 5th and 6th played for positions 17 to 24.
Last year’s champions, Bromley Fury, were one of 3 sides to make it through the groups with a 100% record, along with Tunbridge Wells and Castle Hill Spitfires. They were joined by Chislehurst and West Kent, who also won their group, and the 4 runners up, Beckenham Broncos, Plaxtol Pirates, Rising Cranbrook Supergiant’s and Old Wilsonians Tigers, to compete for the top 8 places.
Castle Hill Spitfires, Bromley Fury, Tunbridge Wells and Plaxtol Pirates won their respective quarter finals, to set up a repeat of the 2016 semi-final line up.
2015 champs, Castle Hill Spitfires took on 2016 champs, Bromley Fury whilst Plaxtol Pirates faced Tunbridge Wells CC.
Plaxtol Pirates again denied Tunbridge Wells a place in the final, having to settle for a 3rd /4th play-off instead. Bromley Fury continued their unbeaten run at finals day to overcome Castle Hill Spitfires and set up a repeat of last year’s final.
Would Bromley Fury stretch their unbeaten run at the finals day to 16 matches? The Pirates seemed determined to get revenge after losing to the Fury in the 2016 final and earlier on in the day during the group stage, could they make it third time lucky?
The Fury took to the field as the Pirates began their innings and some tight bowling from the Fury attack restricted them to a conservative start, the first 2 pairs taking the score on to 209-0 after 4 overs.
The Pirates third pair accelerated the run rate, scoring 14 runs in their 8 balls moving the score on to 223-0 after 6. The final pair tried to take the score over the 230 mark and would have achieved
this, but for losing a wicket last ball of the innings, restricting them to 225-1.
The Fury were confident that they could chase down their target, having scored 236-1 in the previous meeting between the 2 sides. However disaster struck early with the Pirates taking a wicket with the first ball of the innings and the pressure was on. The Fury’s first pair did well to recover from their start and added 10 runs in the next 7 balls moving the score to 205-1.
The Pirates again fought back with some tight bowling, the third over was a maiden, and a wicket in the fourth left Bromley struggling at the half way stage on 203-2. The Fury’s third pair started well adding four runs in 2 balls before another wicket again piled the pressure back on them, three runs from the next over left their last pair requiring 19 runs from the last 8 balls. The final pair made a valiant effort to chase this down but good bowling again from the Pirates restricted them to a final score of 213-3 and they got their revenge!
Congratulations to Plaxtol Pirates for being crowned the 2017 Countrystyle Recycling Mini Super 8’s Champions, undoubtedly it’s a relief to all at the club after coming runners up for the last 2 years.
The final places for the finals day were:
- 1st Plaxtol Pirates
- 2nd Bromley Fury
- 3rd Tunbridge Wells CC
- 4th Castle Hill Spitfires
- 5th Old Wilsonians Tigers
- 6th Chislehurst & West Kent CC
- 7th Rising Cranbrook Supergiants
- 8th Beckenham Broncos
- 9th Hayes Hawks
- 10th Lordswood Lazers
- 11th Tunbridge Wells Borderers
- 12th Sissinghurst Scamps
- 13th Bromley Lightning
- 14th St Lawrence Peregrines
- 15th Otford Stars
- 16th Town Malling Tigers
- 17th HSBC
- 18th Chestfield Bears
- 19th Mote Thunder
- 20th Marden Minis
- 21st Dartford Sapphires
- 22nd Kings Hill Defiants
- 23rd St Lawrence Merlins
- 24th Bidborough Bashers
All teams that made it to finals day received medals for their achievement along with Kent Cricket goody bags, containing stickers, posters, wristbands, clap banners and hats, whilst the winners Plaxtol Pirates and runners-up Bromley Fury received presentation medals, trophies for their clubs and extra goodies.
Congratulations must go to all the teams for making it through their clusters to reach the finals.
Team managers were invited to nominate players for ‘Champagne Moment’ Awards to celebrate examples of individual brilliance at the finals. We received more than 20 nominations on the day, with the 6 winners being selected at random, congratulations to all nominees for their performances.
A raffle for a Men’s and Women’s Kent Squad signed bats and T20 tickets for next season helped to raise over £270 going towards the Kent Cricket Development Trust- helping to fund community cricket projects throughout the county.
Thanks to Kent & England U19, Ollie Robinson for taking time to attend the presentations and take a few pictures with fans. Ollie himself remembers playing in the competition and competing in finals day at Gore Court as a youngster, hopefully some of the day’s participants will follow in his footsteps.
Thanks also to Emily Geeson of Countrystyle Recycling for assisting with the presentation ceremony and for their continued sponsorship of the Kent Cricket Community Team, helping to take the cricket to all corners of the county and inspiring the next generation of young cricketers.
The finals were supported by young leaders from Mersham Sports Club and the MET Kent young leaders program. The volunteers were fantastic throughout the day, umpiring the matches and getting stuck into other jobs, a real credit to their clubs, Kent Cricket and themselves, we hope they continue to volunteer at other events.
Lastly thanks to all of the 80+ clubs that entered the county wide competition this year, we hope you enjoyed your cricket and continue to support the competition in future.