U14 Triangular Festival Review, 2016
The Henry Thow Oval (Prestwick CC) played host to a two-day, U14 Triangular Festival, at the beginning of August. The festival saw a team representing Belfast and a team representing Edinburgh travel to join the Western Warriors, in a festival which had a 30 overs per side match format.
As always, the game on the Monday morning saw the Warriors take on Edinburgh. The Warriors made a solid enough start, reaching 60/3. However, the dismissal of innings top scorer (and the joint top scorer in the match) David Sturgess for 16, saw the start of a truly epic collapse – with 60/3 becoming 60/9! A resolute final wicket partnership did take the Warriors total up to 88 all out. For Edinburgh, it was very much a case of the skipper ‘leading from the front’, as slow left-armer Harry Simpson helped himself to 5/8! In reply, Edinburgh did lose regular wickets, including a smart stumping from Sturgess standing back to one of the seamers – and there might have been a few nerves when the score became 69/7. However, 16* from Pete Gill ensured that Edinburgh would finish match one top of the standings.
The afternoon saw Belfast play their first game – against Edinburgh. The match took a similar pattern to that of earlier in the day. Belfast batted first and looked well set (50/2), thanks to 29 from Matthew Daly. However, the introduction of spin saw the wickets tumble. Simpson was the chief destroyer, finishing with 4/21 and he was given good support by Charlie Phipps (3/9). Belfast 76 all out. When Edinburgh slipped to 23/3, it looked like another close finish might be on the cards. However, the partnership between Huw Murray (33) and Gill (20) ensured that Edinburgh would reach their target comfortably. Edinburgh winners by 5 wickets and festival winners.
This meant that there was just pride at stake in the Tuesday game between the Warriors and Belfast. The Warriors batted first and made a bad start when they lost a wicket to the second ball of the match. However, Jamie Nowell and skipper Daniel Cairns built an excellent second wicket partnership. Cairns played the perfect ‘skipper’s knock’ adding six boundaries to very effective strike rotation before having to retire when he reached a deserved fifty. Nowell (38) continued to play the anchor role and there was good support with a busy knock from Sturgess (27), as the Warriors scored 193/4 from their 30 overs. In reply, the early spin bowling of Fletcher Rao and Zakki Tariq ensured that there was no chance of Belfast chasing the target, with both bowling their four overs for just nine runs – Rao taking one wicket and Tariq two. As the innings progressed, only Belfast skipper Ben Beattie offered any real resistance, with a solid looking 20. Belfast 110/9, as the Warriors completed a good 83-run win.
Overall, the festival was a great success – and a valuable opportunity for all the players involved to come together to play some competitive cricket. Thanks must go to the players for their efforts, the umpires, the team coaches and Prestwick Cricket Club for being superb hosts.