A South Shields girls Kwik Cricket team has bowled over the opposition to take the County Cup.
The team from St Bede’s RC Primary School is celebrating after winning the competition organised by Durham Cricket Board, which saw 138 entries this season.
The Saints’ cricketing journey begun at Whitburn Cricket Club, where they managed to win all of their games to become South Tyneside Champions.
St Bede’s were then invited to represent the borough in the County Finals, hosted at Chester-le-Street Cricket Club.
The St Bede’s girls’ first County group match saw them record an impressive 64-run victory against Priors Mill (Stockton). Next, they beat Cleves Cross (Sedgefield) by 61 runs, which set up a group decider against South Hetton (Easington). An exciting game unfolded with St Bede’s prevailing by seven runs, to finish as group winners and qualify for the semi-finals.
After the lunch break, the eagerly awaited semi-final began, with St Bede’s drawn against West Park (Hartlepool). In an enthralling match, the South Shields girls’ accurate bowling proved pivotal, as they won by 19 runs.
This set up a County final against St Mary’s (Derwentside), who had similarly won all their games.
The St Bede’s girls batted first, with Evie Whitfield, Ella Wood, and Megan Tooley in dominant form, as they stroked the ball around the outfield. The Shields girls’ only lost one wicket as they accumulated a formidable total of 242.
When St Mary’s came out to bat, St Bede’s got on the front foot with some sensational fielding. Shreya Bhardwaj ran out the St Mary’s opening batsgirl first ball, with a spectacular direct hit from 20 yards. Amazingly, this was followed up second ball, when Molly Dyson also executed a sharp run out opportunity, to put the South Shields Saints on top.
However, St Mary’s fought back with some counter attacking batting, before again being pinned down by some accurate bowling from St Bede’s vice-captain Faizah Ashraf. Another wicket fell when Lucy Wright picked up an athletic catch, when she jumped to clutch a ball above her head.
The moment of the final arrived when Sophie Rowland came on to bowl. In a stunning spell she claimed a hat-trick with three wickets in three balls, all clean bowled, to finish off any lingering hopes for the Derwentside school.
St Bede’s captain Evie Whitfield was presented with the County Cup by Women’s England player and World Twenty20 Cup winner, Danielle Hazell.
Teacher and coach Brian McVittie said: “The girls were outstanding throughout the tournament.”