With the deadline for Junior fixtures now gone and only the Under 17s Rose Trophy competition to be completed ( N.B. Final 3rd September at Chorley ) it is possibly a good time to summarise some excellent Junior team performances this season as follows:-
Inter League Cricket ( hosts Great Eccleston, Kirkham & Wesham, Eccleston )
Congratulations to all players selected this season to represent the Palace Shield U12s & U14s. Some fixtures have still to be completed but with many players still eligible to play next year the future looks bright.
Under 10s Softball 6 a side ( hosts, Charnock St James )
This tournament was held on a non-competitive basis to provide youngsters with a, no pressure, introduction to team cricket. A fun bowl-out to conclude the event was won by Longridge with Fleetwood the runners up.
Under 10s Hardball 6 a side ( hosts, Eccleston )
Winners, Kirkham & Wesham Runners Up, Eccleston
Under 10s Finals Day ( hosts, Leyland )
Qualifiers, Croston, Fylde, Great Eccleston, Leyland
Winners, Great Eccleston Runners Up, Leyland
Under 10s Plate Competition
Winners, New Longton ‘B’ Runners Up, Vernon Carus
Under 11s Finals Day ( hosts, Fylde )
Qualifiers, Blackpool, Chorley, Leyland, St Annes
Winners, Leyland Runners Up, Chorley
N.B. Leyland have reached the LCB U11s Finals Day, 10th Sept @ Highfield CC
Under 12s Competition
Winners, Blackpool Runners Up, Lytham
Under 13s UCLAN 6 a side ( hosts, Blackpool )
Winners, Longridge Runners Up, Fulwood & Broughton
Under 13s Competition
Winners, Longridge Runners Up, Blackpool
N.B. Longridge were losing finalists in the LCB U13 Competition
Under 13s Plate Competition
Winners, Gregson Lane Runners Up, Blackpool ‘B’
Under 14s Competition
Winners, Longridge Runners Up, Fleetwood
Under 15s Competition
Winners, Fleetwood Runners Up, Longridge
N.B. Fleetwood were losing semi-finalists in the LCB U15 Competition
Under 15s Plate Competition
Winners, Penwortham Runners Up, Tarleton
It is particularly pleasing to see nine different clubs featuring in the winners enclosure which reflects the current broad strength of Palace Shield junior cricket.
I add my personal congratulations to all the players and coaches who, I know, put in a lot of work both indoors as well as outdoors. Thanks also to those clubs who were excellent hosts for the various events.
The season has provided me with many personal highlights both on and off the field including:-
- A ground full of first time cricketers at the U10s softball competition
- The captaincy of Leyland U11s captain during the Under 11 Final – a very mature performance
- A beautiful reverse sweep for four from a Great Eccleston U10 player!!
- A hat-trick by Gregson Lane to ensure they won their league unbeaten
- Adam Cooper biting his tongue when the F&B batsmen, needing 3 runs to tie the match, ran 2 then tucked their bats under their arms thinking the 3rd run was not possible : ) ‘No coaching allowed Adam!’
- The sportsmanship of a Longridge U14 player walking after being given not out in the ‘heat of battle’
- The sportsmanship of the Vernon Carus U10 coach for allowing the opposition to play an extra player whilst declining the option of a forfeit, which would have provided them with the league title.
As most of you know Mark Myers has had a difficult couple of months, both with his personal health and the death of his ‘Aunty Winnie’, who was well known to the Junior club representatives, therefore we all wish him well. We have tried to take some of the considerable workload off him but it is not easy!
In closing I wish good luck to Fleetwood, Fulwood & Broughton, Leyland & St Annes in the Rose Trophy semi-finals and to Leyland U11s in the LCB Trophy Finals Day.
The mention of the Rose Trophy reminds me of when, many moons ago, I was the captain of Loxham & Bradshaws U17s ( Harris Park ). We had reached the Rose Trophy Final and my mentor, the great Arthur Rose asked me to write down the team that I thought should be selected. I chose my XI and left out Arthur’s son! Arthur immediately handed me a sheet of paper with the team he had selected and he had left out his son also! A measure of the great man and I am sure he would share my pride at being elected Junior Chairman. My cricketing life seems to have moved full circle.