U11A Rounders Team runners up in IAPS National Rounders Finals

03 Jul 2017

The U11A Rounders team were ecstatic and just a little bit excited when they beat Millifield in the quarter finals of the IAPS Rounders competition. After a long and hot journey to Bromsgrove (central location) they were faced with a long walk to a very distant pitch that had been kindly organised by Mr Marie! The Millfield and Witham teams were very evenly matched in the first innings with Witham leading by just half a rounder at the half way point (6 ½ - 6) due mostly to the solid scoring from Rose A, Bella, Poppy and Sophie despite the challenge of the Millfield fast bowler. In the second innings, despite the sweltering heat, it became a different game with Witham showing far greater tenacity and confidence with the bat and pulling away to 30 rounders. Lilia, Millie and Matilda H batted as a final three for over half an hour just refusing to succumb to the Millfield fielders – it was a fantastic effort and despite early pleas from Millfield for us to declare they hung on and on. Lilia scored 11 ½ rounders ably supported by Matilda H (4) and Millie (2) who ran between the posts with speed and decisiveness supporting the team effort to great effect. The girls were ably supported by some brilliant parents who were ready with umbrellas to shade them from the sun and much needed refreshments.

In the end Witham did declare, but were fired up by then and ready to field. There was then some excellent bowling with the triangle getting four girls out – their best batsman on her first go! Millie inspired all with a dynamic throw from behind first to third post to get another girl out. It was a tight fielding innings from all – a real team effort with superb leadership from Bella.

The IAPS Nationals at Windlesham Prep, Sussex

The U11A girls enjoyed an amazing trip to the south coast for the National Finals. After a decent journey south they checked into the Comfort Inn near Arundel before heading to the beach. It was amazing to sit on an English beach late afternoon/early evening and swim and eat fish and chips without there being any suggestion of chill! The girls had great fun!

After rather a warm overnight stay the girls arrived at Windlesham all set and ready to go – but were now faced with rain and hail and a delayed start! In order to get to the Final they had to win their semi-final game against Brighton College. This they did, in the end with an innings to spare! Lilia led the way with the bat (5 ½) but was well-supported by Bella and Rose B (2), Rose A and Matilda H (1). Some of the girls did have a rather nervy start in the field and hence the score at the half way point was 13-9 to Witham after a few mistakes. However, on the up side six of the Brighton batsmen were out at first base with the triangle of Matilda C or Poppy bowling, Bella at Backstop and Charlotte at first base working very well. To cap it all Gigi took an awesome catch deep in the field! In Witham’s second fielding innings there was no reticence, and the girls only allowed Brighton two rounders. Witham won 13-11 with an innings to spare.

This took the girls into the final v Bedford Girls’ School. This was a very different match against some very tough opposition. The Bedford girls were accomplished in all departments in the field and it was very difficult to score. Previous hits that had been certain half rounders or rounders were now fielded into posts at speed making it difficult to even get past first base! Lilia really raised her game and somehow managed to score 4 rounders; Bella, Rose A and Gigi supported her, but it was tough going and the team only reached 7 ½. However, the Witham girls were very tight themselves in the field and the Bedford girls also found hitting with depth into space a challenge. There were some fantastic throws into second from Rose B and great catches from both Rose A and Rose B. However, destroying the rhythm of the batsmen was heavy on ‘no balls’ and in the end we found ourselves down 7 ½-9 at the half way point. In the second innings the team lost Lilia early on, which was a blow, and although Gigi, Bella and Matilda H in particular tried their hardest we only managed to increase our score to 12. Nevertheless Witham came back in to field ready to give it their all and they did have early chances unfortunately missing five stumpings out by a split second. Bedford was down to their last three and still behind our score….all credit to the ambitious fielding from the Witham girls. However, a final good hit gave them a much needed half rounder and they overtook us to win the Nationals. It was a highly competitive match and the Witham girls can certainly be proud that they competed so hard right up until the end.

Well done to: Bella (c) (backstop); Poppy (vc) (bowler); Rose B; Rose A; Charlotte B; Lilia; Gigi; Millie; Matilda (bowler); Matilda H; Sophie. Silver medallists!

For Witham and for Bella in particular the icing on the cake was Bella being awarded the only ‘Player of the Tournament Award’ by the England umpires! Fantastic!