The 2016/2017 cricket season has drawn to an end and before we get to involved in the start of an exciting Academic year, let us close off the exciting cricket season just gone.
We started our season by taking 15 Aldridge Cricket Academy players to Dubai over the February half-term. If you are interested in reading our match reports, you can find them here. This was followed by two very enjoyable pre-season matches against Seaford College, which proved to challenge both teams.
As the season kicked off, we took part in the National T20 where an incredible bowling performance restricted Bedes to 110 from their 20 overs. Unfortunately, Aldridge fell 10 runs short but still added value experience to all players that took part. The following week, after some reflection and more outdoor training, we hosted EICA at the Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre. This proved to be an incredibly competitive match, as both teams bowled and batted well. The day was briefly interrupted by some rainfall, but that didn’t stop the Aldridge and EICA boys from playing a high standard of Cricket with EICA winning by 3 wickets.
This match was followed up by two inter-academy friendlies, which consisted of the PACA cricketers versus the BACA cricketers. Players who have spent an entire tour and played numerous games together were now expected to become competitors. The first clash saw the return of former Aldridge players, such as Tom Haynes and Tara Norris. Despite a strong bowling performance from BACA, PACA managed to end the match as victors. The second clash was equally as competitive and intense with PACA having the opportunity to win the “series. BACA had other ideas and marched to victory to level the series 1-1.
Aldridge then hosted the Sussex Martlets at the Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre for what promised to be an incredibly competitive match-up. After hours of competitive cricket, numerous wickets and countless boundaries later, Aldridge were the victors. Will Sheffield was the stand out performer for Aldridge with a quick fire 28 before the declaration and a devastating opening spell off 3-12 off 6 overs. Their next match against the Old Aldridge team – cricketers from previous Aldridge Cricket Academy years – proved to be an interesting competition. Old Aldridge consisted of star players such as Bryce Hounsome, Jordan Shaw and Oli Collins but unfortunately this would not help them as Adam O’Brien and Tom Morrissey took Aldridge to a 10 wicket victory.
Pleased by their victory, the Aldridge team were excited to host the Refugee Council in a 35-over match. After batting first and putting on a decent total, Aldridge came out with the ball in hand and looking for early wickets. Despite a few quick-fire 40s, the Refugee Council finished their innings falling just a few runs short of the total. Another good performance by the Aldridge cricketers, but still being challenged throughout the match.
We were scheduled to play against EICA in Hampshire but unfortunately it was curtailed by rain. So, instead, the Aldridge team diverted to the Ageas Bowl to play in an Indoor Competition, which saw both PACA and BACA coming in first and second, respectively.
Aldridge then hosted Lansdowne at the Sir Rod Aldridge Cricket Centre, which once again, was going to be an incredibly competitive match. Lansdowne had previously lost to the Aldridge squad of 2015/2016, so they were coming into this game, looking to equal the score. Fortunately for us, we were able to finish the match as the victors, despite the very impressive performance by the opening batsman from Lansdowne.
As the school year comes to an end, the Aldridge cricketers took to the field for the last time as a squad, as many of them will be heading off to University/Employment, at the Arundel 8-a-side tournament. An exclusive, highly competitive tournament which saw some brilliant matches, determined teams and beautiful scenes (until the rain arrived!) throughout the day, giving Aldridge players a valuable experience and great memories as a squad. Their former professional player for the day was Chris Adams (former England and Sussex cricketer) who was impressed with the skill level and passion displayed by the whole squad. The perfect way to finish the season!
After an incredible successful, challenging season, we all came together for our end of year function. After inspiring speeches from Simon Funnell (Director of Sport), Alexia Walker (Director of Cricket) and John Spencer (Aldridge Cricket Academy Ambassador), we awarded the following:
Aldridge Cricket Academy End of Season Awards
Players’ Player – Matt Graves
Most Improved Player – Matt Graves
Player of the Year – Finley Coddington [208 Runs (Avg: 34.67), 8-66 (Avg: 8.25)]
Performance of the Year – Will Sheffield [47* v Zayed Academy, Abu Dhabi)