Earlier this month Keyworth Cricket Club held their 14th Annual Schools’ Festival – for primary aged children. The event has grown considerably from 8 teams back in 2008, to the current 16 team tournament. On a suitably fitting sun-drenched day at Platt Lane, 160 children from Keyworth, Bunny, Cotgrave Willoughby, East Leake, Edwalton, Ruddington and West Bridgford served up a cricketing treat. Unlike the usual pairs format associated with this aged children, the 10/TEN format is based on the T20 style of the game encouraging big hitting and entertainment: If you’re out, you’re out but with prizes and rewards for boundaries. As with everything at KCC, the spirit of cricket was central to the day.
Two qualifying rounds before lunch determined whether each team would be playing for the Shield, Trophy, Cup or Salver, based on the combined batting totals of the first two games. Brookside, of East Leake, and Edwalton Primary caught the eye early each amassing a combined 300 runs for both of their games.
The highlight of the day saw a visit from Steven Mullaney and Georgia Davis from the Trent Rockets over the lunch time break. A series of question and answers, before some fielding masterclasses and taking the lead in a series of catching competitions – Steven in particular putting the ‘extreme’ in the extreme catch. Perhaps the most excitement was the Trent Rockets signed merchandise, definitely whetting the appetite and sparking the excitement the upcoming Men’s and Women’s Hundred starting in August. With tickets at £5 for Under 16s, there’s definitely going to be plenty of support from Keyworth. For further details on how to get tickets for The Hundred, visit www.thehundred.com
Before leaving, Trent Rockets’ Georgia Davis told us ‘It was a real privilege to come and join in with the kids at Keyworth today. It’s great to see cricket thriving in so many schools in the area and I hope we’ve inspired some girls and boys to keep working hard at cricket, and maybe we might be playing alongside them in The Hundred one day!”
With the 8 semi-finals drawn and all to play for in the leading wicket taker, leading run scorer and Most 6s hit the afternoon commenced and the crowds increased. No shortage of drama saw the 3 local Keyworth Schools, Keyworth Primary, Crossdale Drive and Willow Brook, each make finals against facing up against 2 teams from St Edmund Campion and Willoughby respectively. In the main draw it was indeed Brookside and Edwalton left to battle it out for the main prize. A continued batting masterclass saw Brookside total 112 runs, before bowling Edwalton out for 54, becoming champions for the first time.
In the other finals it was perhaps fittingly a Keyworth clean sweep with Willow Brook winning the Tuckwell-Cottee Trophy, Keyworth Primary the Cup and Crossdale the Salver. Two of the individual awards went to pupils from St Edmund Campion. Vikram Venkatalchapathy, winning the most sixes hit (12) and Archer Warrington most wickets taken (8) while Charlie Oxspring, from Brookside, ended the day with 132* from his 4 innings to win the highest run scorer trophy.
To finish the presentation Chloe Williams, Founder and Managing Director of Little Wickets, presented 4 vouchers for a free day at a Little Wickets Camp over the Summer Holidays for children who encompassed ‘The Spirit of Cricket’ over the day. Little Wickets work in close partnership with Keyworth CC along with many clubs in the area providing cricket coaching and holiday camps throughout the East Midlands. Keyworth will be hosting 3 days of camps from the 1st– 3rd of August. Visit www.littlewickets.com to find out more.
Simon Tuckwell, KCC School’s co-ordinator and organiser, told us, ‘We are very proud at Keyworth to offer the chance for children to play cricket, connect, make memories and bring communities together, especially in light of the pandemic. To have the facilities and the commitment of all involved to put on such a day is very special. Being joined by Steven and Georgia added that extra sparkle to a magnificent day.’
This was echoed by Trent Rockets’ Steven Mullaney who said: “It was brilliant to see so many boys and girls having fun playing cricket at Keyworth. There was some great talent on show too – maybe we’ll see some of them in a Trent Rockets shirt one day! Hopefully some of the kids come down to support us at Trent Bridge this summer – the atmosphere is going to be amazing for families and I hope we can put on a great show on the pitch too.”