Norfolk Under 12s were declared the ‘2013 Champions’ at the Minor Counties Cricket Competition, sponsored by Ipswich Building Society.
As the 140 talented young cricketers arrived at the impressive Royal Hospital School grounds for the final 5th day of the Minor Counties Cricket Competition, Norfolk U12s were leading by a single point over hosts, Suffolk, with Buckinghamshire in 3rd place, 27 points behind. As frequently happens in junior cricket, nerves got the better of many and Norfolk kept losing wickets as they attempted to chase down 178, set by Northumberland. Approaching the final over of their exciting match, Norfolk needed 8 more runs with 3 wkts in hand and duly completed their second boundary of the over off the fifth ball to send the Norfolk boys and accompanying parents into a frenzy of celebrations.
The cheers were heard by Suffolk on the adjacent pitch, which ended the host county’s dreams of lifting the Ipswich Building Society Trophy. Suffolk went on to lose to their ‘bogey’ side, The Netherlands, who also defeated them in the corresponding fixture last summer.
Six centuries were recorded in the 2013 competition with Niels Etmar, completing The Netherlands first ever century at Under 12 level, in their defeat of Suffolk. The top run scorer (sponsored by Piripiri Bats) was Cambridgeshire’s Felix Serby (5 innings) who made 261 runs whilst Suffolk’s Fergus Atkins (4 innings) recorded 254 runs in second place.
The events organiser, Don Topley, said, “I would like to congratulate all the boys, coaching staff and parents on a fantastic and exciting competition. It will probably be remembered as the best event we have had and possibly the closest fought. “
The former Essex professional cricketer added, “To see so many talented young cricketers playing such a high standard on the five adjacent RHS pitches is an inspiring sight. We were also blessed with glorious sunny weather”
Nine former boys of the RHS festivals have now gone on to be current professional cricketers in the First Class game and Topley expects many more to develop in the future.
The two RHS cricket festivals annually attract over 300 young cricketers to Suffolk, (together with their accompanying families), bringing significant income to the local communities.