FROCESTER U15s have been crowned ECB National Club T20 U15 champions for Gloucestershire.
The finals day were held at Cirencester Cricket Club. They now go on to represent Gloucestershire in the national stages of the competition playing the winners of the Wales section on Sunday, July 8.
In the semi-final Frocester were drawn against Poulton. On a day when winning the toss was going to be all important, it was Frocester who won it and put Poulton in on a slow wicket.
It was the Frocester bowlers who took first blood by taking early wickets of Gunn, Hall, Irving, Tate and Barnes leaving Poulton on 28 for five off the first 10 overs putting the pressure on Poulton’s lower order to get them to a competitive score.
Some courageous batting from Armatage 33 helped Poulton post a total of 82 for 9 off their 20 overs with Mark Glew finishing with four wickets for 12 runs off his four overs. Ben Tegg was in outstanding form behind the stumps with four dismissals; two stumpings and two catches.
It then fell to the opening bats of Alex Ireland and Ben Hopkins to get the innings off to a good start, but with some tight bowling from the Poulton opening pair it was hard work making seven runs off the first four overs.
With both batsman playing themselves in, Frocester made steady progress to get themselves back on track to the required run rate, when they eventually lost Hopkins for 10 in the 10th over leaving the score 38 for one.
Tegg joined Ireland and together they took Frocester to the brink of victory. Ireland made an excellent 53 before retiring and despite the dismissal first ball of Glew it was only a minor hiccup as Frocester cruised home with three overs to spare with Tegg 11 not out.
The other semi-final saw between Bishopston compete against Thornbury. Bishopston emerged winners in a close contest.
In the final Bishopston won the toss and elected to bat hoping to replicate their 109 against Thornbury but disaster struck when both Frocester opening bowlers Henry Day and Hopkins picked up the wickets of Cook for 0 and the big threat of Rajh Prevan for two. With Bishopston forced to regroup it fell to Mason and Waller to steadily rebuild the innings at a cost to the run rate with Bishopston reaching only 34 off the first 10 overs.
With the opening bowlers seen off Bishopston were hoping to capitalise against the other bowlers but seemingly every time they tried to up the run rate a wicket fell. Waller fell for 10, Kerry five and eventually Mason 24 in the 18th.
It was easy to see that it was going to be a tough ask to win, defending a low total when the innings closed on 60 for six.
Frocester set about their task in a professional way, scoring off the bad ball and playing straight and true to the rest. They reached their target only losing the wicket of Ireland for 13 in the 8th over, with Hopkins 19 and Tegg 18 both carrying their bats to earn a comfortable victory in the 13th over.
Thanks must go to Cirencester Cricket Club and in particular their chairman Nick Price for organising and hosting the event in such difficult conditions.