On Wednesday 5th June Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket and hosts Ibstock Town Cricket Club welcomed girls from 7 schools from across Leicestershire to the inaugural girls Chance to Compete – Super 8s competition.

Competition winners - Soar Valley

Competition winners – Soar Valley

Teams were divided into 2 pools, competing for a place in the semi-finals.

Crown Hills Community College, Brookvale High School and Rushey Meade School competed against each other on the bottom pitch, overseen by umpires Bob Sizer and Ceara Toal, there representing the Leicestershire county women.

Meanwhile Ibstock Community Cricket Club, Hastings High School, The Martin High School and Soar Valley College battled it out against each other, with umpires Alex Moffard and Dick Fowkes making the decisions.

Some good cricket was played by all teams, with many players learning a lot about the game and what they were capable of as the group rounds progressed.  In the end Crown Hills, Brookvale, The Martin High and Soar Valley all qualified for the cup semi-finals, meanwhile the remaining teams progressed to the round robin plate competition to contest places 5 through 7.

The two semi-finals saw a very strong Soar Valley side take on the inexperienced but very enthusiastic girls from Brookvale, with Soar Valley winning at a trot.  This was followed by Crown Hills against the Martin High where power hitting was on display from both teams – we feared for Ibstock Town’s clubhouse windows at one point as the Martin High delivered some lusty blows to set a high target, but Crown Hills kept their cool, knocking the ball effectively around the field and securing their progress to the final.

Hastings High target the boundary

Hastings High target the boundary

The Martin High did go on to win the 3rd/4th place playoff, while the plate competition also drew to a close, with Hastings High emerging victorious.

All eyes were then on the final between the two city schools, Soar Valley and Crown Hills.  Well matched as sides, both teams displayed strong batting, bowling and fielding skills.  However three very mature knocks from the Soar Valley girls at the top of the order saw them chase down a tough total with a couple of overs to spare, leaving Soar Valley undefeated in the competition and victorious!

Soar Valley batting in the final.

Soar Valley batting in the final.

Everyone had a lovely day, despite the slightly overcast conditions, with many players catching the cricket bug and asking about how to join a local team – our free taster leaflets were in high demand!

We would like to extend our thanks to our umpires and scorers, Alex, Dick, Bob and Ceara, and to Ibstock Town Cricket Club for hosting.  We would also like to say a special thank you to Emma Taylor from Ibstock Town Cricket Club who took the day off work to help out and be on hand to talk to girls who were interested in moving from school to club cricket, her assistance and constant supply of tea to our chilly umpires was invaluable!