Sussex Junior Cricket Festival Round-Up
Over the last few weeks the youth have been partaking in the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival (SJCF), always the highlight of the summer when I was a child and this summer in particular it’s a competition we know many were looking forward to.
The Sussex Junior Cricket Festival was founded in 1967 by Tony Austin and a few like-minded stalwart supporters of youth cricket. Its aim is to encourage clubs to provide cricket for local youngsters by running colts sections and to organise matches. Each cricket season would end with every club taking part in a competitive Junior Festival Week of Cricket across the whole county, with the finals being played on high quality and prestigious grounds. Each age group is split into two large groups – the Bowl and the Shield. It’s understood that if you enter into the Bowl this is generally the stronger of the two sides of the competition.
To this day, although not confirmed, Sussex remains one of the few counties that runs such a tournament for young cricketers.
We have a good history in the competitions, with 11 winners or runners-up honours since 2011 across various ages.
This year, it’s fair to say, was not quite our best, although when we dig into the results, there were loads of positives!
The Under 11s were our best performers, with two wins from four games in the Shield, they finished third, just short of a place in the final. A 152 run win over Stirlands was the highlight. Table
Our Under 12s ended 13th in the Shield competition, however despite only winning one match they had a tie, an abandonment and a loss, so all in, could easily have been three wins on another year. The tie with Eastergate was most remarkable, Finlay Oratis taking a hatrick to finish the game when Eastergate looked comfortable needing one run to win! Table
The Under 13s were entered into the Bowl, winning one, losing two and drawing one. They finished 11th out of 20 which is pretty impressive when you look at the teams above us. Angus Alcott and Jack Woodage's 119 run partnership at Middleton was particularly impressive. Table
The Under 14s finished a respectable 8th out of 19 in the Shield. Much like the U12s though, on another year it could have been very different as we won one of our four matches and were awarded ‘winning draws’ in the other three. Turn two of those into wins and we would have been in the final. There was a final game 99 run partnership between Ray Manders and Asmus Minchell, which would surely have been a ton partnership had Asmus not retired out. Table
The Under 15/16s were entered into the Under 16 Bowl and it was a tough competition. We held our own winning one and drawing two, the fourth game was cancelled, and this left us 13th out of 21. Not bad! Table
Finally the Under 17/18s were also in the Bowl competitions and came a strong 9th with some big Prem clubs above us. One win, one loss, a winning draw and an abandonment was a decent return. Toby Taylor's 86 against Barns Green was notable, as was the 135 run partnership between Josh Taylor and Hugo Gillespie against Southwater. Table
So some excellent results across the competition and a shame we could’t quite get over the line in some of those winning draws and snag a finals place somewhere this year, but there were plenty of brilliant performances to shout home about.
If you want to get into the details, scorecards, results etc all those can be found on our Results Page, just click the results for the relevant age group there.