Stirlands youngsters’ team effort earns a festival final spot

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Stirlands’ under-12 Squad went all the way to the final in the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival bowl.

It was competed for by the 30 best under-12 teams in Sussex split into six leagues across the county.

Stirlands were grouped with Chichester Priory Park, Findon, Arundel and Eastergate.

Their first match took them to Findon where they ran out winners by a massive 156 runs. Dom Fecher took the honours with his maiden hundred, well supported by knocks of 40 from Hugo Alun-Jones and George Briance, who went on to claim four wickets.

Chichester were the visitors to Stirlands for the second match and Stirlands scored more than 200 again thanks to knocks of 60 apiece to the impressive Dan Kendall and Briance. Chichester held on with eight wickets down, leaving Stirlands with a winning draw.

A visit to Arundel followed where Stirlands were put to the sword as Arundel amassed 209 for the loss of only three wickets.

Their chase began positively led by Alun-Jones, Finn Carter and Fecher. With 60 to win from 12 overs and seven wickets down Viner and Kendall took the score to 207 for eight before Viner was run out.

Debutant Archie Evans scrambled a priceless leg-bye to leave Kendall to hit the winning runs.

The last game of the week brought Eastergate to Stirlands and they were bowled out for 90 by spin twins Viner and Moores.

A nervous chase followed but the composure of Charlie Norton and Fergus Guiry took Stirlands home to clinch the league and a place in the final against St James Montefiore.

The final was in the lovely setting of West Chiltington and was one game too far as they lost by nine wickets after setting St James a target of 130 to win.

During the week, 16 youngsters represented Stirlands. Everybody had fun and played their part. It was a superb performance and a building block to further success.