Bloxham's Inaugural Prep School Cricket Festival
Thursday (24th June) saw the inaugural Prep School Cricket Festival held at Bloxham which involved some highly competitive cricket between Bilton Grange, Swanbourne, Beachborough and Bloxham. A T10 format allowed for aggressive shot making and some excellent bowling from all sides as the standard of cricket shone through from all schools. Bloxham took on Bilton Grange in the first match up on Main Field, restricting Bilton to a total of 65 from their 10 overs, some frugal bowling from Sammy D and Oscar EP restricting the flow of runs alongside some excellent support in the field. Noah C and Fin C went about the run chase with positivity from ball one, striking boundaries freely and running well between the wickets to bring home an emphatic 10 wicket victory. The second round of matches saw Bloxham face Swanbourne and batting first saw them post a punchy total of 85. This proved too much for the Swanbourne batting line up and regular wickets from the fine spin bowling of Fin C halted any momentum along with tight control from leg spinner William R, resulting in Bloxham winning by 30 runs.
The undefeated sides from the first two rounds, Bloxham and Beachborough met in what was set to be a brilliant showdown and it did not disappoint. Bloxham deciding to bat first, posted 134 from their 20 overs, orchestrated mostly by the faultless innings of from Noah C. Batting with such maturity and impeccable shot selection, Noah showcased just what a talent he is, and it was a masterclass well beyond his years. Noah punished the bad ball with effortless timing and accelerated at exactly the right times, ending up on 98*, just short of what would have been a much deserved hundred. In reply, Beachborough got off to a flier, finishing the powerplay on 57-1 with some aggressive batting which showed no fear of the total. Tight bowling in the middle overs, again from Sammy D, helped to restrict the chase to increase the required rate. This increase in scoreboard pressure saw Bloxham restrict Beachborough to 105 all out in the 18th over.
The final was as good a standard of cricket as you could ask for and both sides played without fear and with such team enthusiasm, it really was a joy to watch. The future of Bloxham cricket is bright and there is every reason to be excited following this much deserved success.