Following on from Mark Myers’ recent excellent reports on the U10s and U11s Finals Days the 31st July deadline for completing most Junior fixtures has now passed and therefore it is perhaps a good time to summarise the outcome for the various Competitions and also team / individual performances.
Under 10s / Under 11s
Firstly I would like to pass on my congratulations to the Under 11s winners, Great Eccleston (N.B. also 2017 U10s Winners), Under 10s winners Lytham and Under 10s Plate winners, Penwortham. I would like to add my thanks to all those who made the Finals Days such a success despite the sweltering conditions. In particular our excellent hosts Lytham C.C. and Leyland C.C. I often say that I have the most enjoyable role in the Palace Shield and I was proud to have witnessed some quality performances. The players were certainly a credit to their clubs and coaches. One passage of play in the U10s Final in particular was memorable for the sheer quality of the Lytham batting i.e. shot selection / execution against some good F&B bowling and some exceptional fielding, I lost count of the number of direct throws knocking over the stumps!
E.C.B. Proposed Rule Changes
With these recent Finals Days in mind it is perhaps opportune to mention that the E.C.B. are promoting changes to the rules for all cricket below U11s for next season with the emphasis on smaller teams, shorter pitches (max. 17 yards) etc. The Palace Shield, to my mind, leads the way in U10s and U11s cricket with the quality of competitions we offer not only in the level of participation but also the progression it allows to higher age groups and I think our clubs will take a lot of convincing before adopting any changes as currently outlined.
Nevertheless we must remain open minded until the final proposals are published. We had already identified a gap between All Stars Cricket and U10s hardball cricket hence last year’s softball competition and we are looking to be supportive of the ECB in introducing a formal U9s softball competition next season. To this end we have already held an U9s softball festival recently (see below).
U9s Softball Festival
Fleetwood C.C. kindly hosted the U9s Softball festival on 15th July. The date clashed with England nearly being in the football World Cup final and with coaches of several clubs also committed to other junior fixtures the number of clubs taking part was disappointing.
Having said all that the event was superbly organised by Fleetwood C.C. (Primarily Jon Amor) and we had eight very keen and very excited teams taking part in what was, for most, their first experience of team cricket . I must say a BIG thank you not only to Jon but everyone at Fleetwood C.C. including Paul, in the scorer’s tent, Linda and Derrick in the Boundary Food Bar, who kept everybody fed and watered on another hot day, and all the scorers / coaches who ensured the matches were played in a fun atmosphere. Whilst the emphasis was very much centred on ensuring the boys and girls enjoyed the day all participants did receive a medal and the final was won fittingly by Fleetwood C.C. Big congratulations to the winning team who were helped by two excellent catches in the final:-
N.B. We are looking to hold another 6-a-side Softball Competition in the Preston area on 19th August. If your club has not already entered please do so by contacting Mark Myers (Junior Secretary)
Winners - St Annes C.C. Runners-Up – Chorley C.C.
The U12s was a strong league this year with St Annes winning by just one point from Chorley. Both teams only lost one game with St Annes beating Chorley earlier in the season with just one ball to spare.
Winners - St Annes C.C. Runners-Up – Chorley C.C.
In the Under 13s competition St Annes once again pipped Chorley to the title, this time by 6 points. Both teams only lost once, Chorley defeating St Annes but losing to F&B (another strong outfit).
Some notable performances in the U12 and U13 competitions (N.B. there are too many to list them all!) include:-
U12s - Oliver Blackburn - Inns 6, N.O. 5 times, Runs 103, Avge 103
U13s - Ryan Birkman - Overs 24 Runs 79 Wkts 8 Avge 9.88
U13s - Harry Birkman - Overs 23 Runs 49 Wkts 12 Avge 4.08
U13s - Harry Birkman - Inns 9, N.O. 6 times, Runs 197, Avge 65.67
U12s - Alfie Dobson - Inns 6, N.O. 6 times, Runs 149, Avge …………
U13s - Alfie Dobson - Inns 11, N.O. 8 times, Runs 292, Avge 97.33
U12s - Zayn Wadiwala - Inns 6, N.O. 5 times, Runs 147, Avge 147
U13s - Zayn Wadiwala - Inns 10, N.O. 7 times, Runs 202, Avge 67.33
U12s - Connor Dixon - Overs 14.5 Runs 59 Wkts 8 Avge 7.38
U13s - Connor Dixon - Overs 15.0 Runs 75 Wkts 8 Avge 9.38
U13s Plate Competition
The final of this competition fell victim to the rain! It is now to be played after the holiday period between two strong undefeated sides, Garstang and Penwortham. The match is scheduled to be played on Sunday, 2nd September at Penwortham.
UCLAN 6-a-side Competition
This is taking place this Sunday at Penwortham C.C.
Winners - Lytham C.C. Runners-Up – Fulwood and Broughton C.C.
Congratulations to Lytham who ended the season undefeated. The title was settled in Lytham’s last fixture which was against F&B which was a high scoring encounter that Lytham won by 11 runs. Lytham posted 157 for 2 wickets and in reply F&B scored 146 for 3 wickets.
In Lytham’s total Nathan Evans scored 50 n.o. for a season’s average of 56.33 whilst Morgan Davies scored 40 n.o. In response for F&B, Ben Rosbottom retired on 53 n.o. (N.B. Ben was only out once this season hence an average of 155). James Lupton also retired on 50 n.o. which capped an excellent season for him with the bat; he was not out throughout and scored 188 runs in the process.
Winners - Fleetwood C.C. Runners-Up - Leyland C.C.
Congratulations to Fleetwood who completed the season with a 100% winning record. The pick of the fixtures was a low scoring affair against Longridge C.C. which Fleetwood won by 1 run! Batting first Fleetwood posted 95 for 8 wickets and Longridge fell one run short despite an excellent 51 n.o. from Thomas Douglas.
Fleetwood had some excellent individual performances throughout the season with perhaps Lewis Haworth being the pick of the bunch scoring 186 runs with a batting average of 93.0 and a bowling average of 9.71 (economy 3.24).
Runners-Up Leyland had a good season also with Michael Pallett scoring 151 runs at an average of 50.33 and Ben Weaver had 11 wickets at an average of 7.45.
U15s Plate Competition
Winners – Great Eccleston C.C. Runners-Up - Penwortham C.C.
The U15s Plate final was won by Great Eccleston who ended the season undefeated. My thanks go to Trevor Wilde and Alex Diver who umpired the final. They also adjudicated Joe Strawn (Great Eccleston) as the Man of the Match. Joe followed up his efficient wicketkeeping
display by opening the batting and he scored 40 runs from 10 boundaries before pushing a single which clearly unsettled him as he was soon out for 41 runs! Penwortham captain Sam Jones had an excellent season scoring 203 runs at an average of 50.75; he also had a bowling average of 8.2. For Great Eccleston Mail Crabtree was only out once this season resulting in a batting average of 90.0 this follows on from his batting average for the U15s last year of 40.0.
The U17s 20/20 Finals Day is to held on 2nd September. The semi-finalists are:-
Fleetwood v. Longridge
Euxton v. Thornton Cleveleys
Congratulations to all four clubs on reaching the Finals Day. The semi-finals will be held in the morning at Fleetwood and Thornton Cleveleys with one of those clubs hosting the final in the afternoon (to be announced).
Congratulations to all those players who have been selected to represent the Palace Shield in Inter-League fixtures at U12s & U14s the standard is very high and you should be proud of your selection.
I had hoped to have a full list of those Palace Shield boys and girls who have been selected in the various Lancashire squads for 2018. Your names should be up in lights but to the contrary Lancashire Cricket have not got this information readily available although it continues to be promised to me, I will upload the list when received.
National / Lancashire Cups
Big congratulations to Leyland U13 Girls who reached the U13s National final losing narrowly by 3 runs. An excellent achievement by a very talented group of players.
I am also pleased to report that we have County champions at U15s – Longridge C.C. and at U11s – Leyland C.C. (N.B. 2017 Final played at the 3rd attempt).
These results are testament not only to the quality of the junior players in the Palace Shield but also the excellent, hard working coaches that often go unheralded but who are so important for any club. Big congratulations to both clubs. Please keep me posted on the progress of all clubs in the Lancs Cups, I would like to add my support when possible.
Palace Shield Young Player of the Year
Nominations are now being sought for the P.S. Young Player of the Year. Please send your suggestions, with supporting performance details, to Mark Myers.
When I go around the grounds every club has a particular gripe about something and that is understandable due to the varying circumstances of each club. All I would ask, whilst your gripes are fresh in the memory, is get them off your chest by e-mailing Mark or myself. It may be that plenty of other clubs are of the same opinion as you and rule changes can be discussed/agreed.
You will no doubt have seen that the E.C.B. has sent out online surveys recently seeking your input/views on the future of the Game. It would be wrong of me to try and influence your response BUT PLEASE mention as often as you can how stupid the new ‘Above waist height Law’ is for the development of young slow bowlers. The more opinions voiced and, who knows, they might just see the error of their ways? I live in hope.
Thanks to all the Junior Executive for all their hard work and the Senior section for their