Eight teams, featuring some of the region’s finest young players, competed for the NatWest Under 19 T20 Finals Day on Sunday across the four pitches at Uphill Castle CC & Weston Super Mare CC.
A total of 29 teams entered the Somerset competition which was been sponsored by Somerset County Sports. The competition has seen just over 500 14-19 year olds take part in high pace, explosive and fun matches and there was more of the same on Finals Daybefore rain forced the postponement of the Final.
In the Quarter Final 1,Bridgwater Red Sox recorded a 9 wicket win over the Ilminster Bears. Batting first Ilminster posted 80 from their 15 overs never getting away from Bridgwater who bowled tightly with Cassie Coombes taking 3-17. Bridgwater were dominate with the bat chasing their target in 10 overs thanks mainly to 40 retired by Tom Bellinger and went through to face Clevedon Coast Busters in the semi finals who beat Crewkerne Crusaders in Quarter Final 2. Batting first Clevedon posted 106 thanks to 27 from Scott Ford & 25 from Jack Houston. The pair then stared with the ball taking 5 wickets between them as Crewkerne were bowled out for 82.
Quarter Final 3 saw an incredble game between Castle Thunder & The Saints. Tight bowling & fielding by The Saints kept the Thunder to 84 who had Paddy Holyday to thank for scoring 32. However 4-4 from Kieran Chapman reduced The Saints to 38-8 & it was looking like Castle Thunder were heading to the Semi Finals but number 10 Ben Walford had other ideas. He batted calmly as The Saints slowly began to believe they had a chance. With 7 required off the last 3 balls & just the 1 wicket, Walford hit a huge 6 followed by a 4 to finish 29 not out and lead the Saints to a 1 wicket win.
In the last Quarter Final, Timsbury Miners recorded a 4 wicket win over the Frome Falcons who recovered 36-6 to post 77 all out with Jessie Bishop & Harry Liddington taking 3 wicket each. Matt Kinght (3-6) had Timsbury in trouble a 18-3 but 40 Retired from Jack Scriven was enough to see the Miners into the Semi Finals despite losing regular wickets.
The first team through to the Final were the Bridgwater Red Sox who defeated the Clevedon Coast Busters. The Coast Busters batted first and posted 106 in their 15 overs with Ben Keysell & Jack Houston both hitting 40 retired, however Bridgwater powered to a 9 wicket win with 3 over to spare thanks to 40 retired for Dom Court.
It was Timsbury Miners who joined Bridgwater Red Sox in the final. Posting just 65 maining down to superb bowling from Green & Woodland taking 3 wickets each the Miners need to do something special with the ball. Hackett (4-3) & Hewish (1-4) bowled with great hostility, running through The Saints top order like a knife through butter and when Scriven took 2 wickets after his introduction the score was 18-8! Enter Ben Walford (22) who with support from Saunders caused Timsbury some panic but they held their nerve (Just!) to win by 4 runs.
Unfortunately, during the conclusion of the semi finals the rain came which meant the U19T20 Final between Bridgwater Red Sox and Deane Timsbury Miners was abandoned after 1.2 overs. The final will now take place on Sunday 10th September at Bridgwater CC with a 2pm start.
A big thank you to both Uphill Castle CC and Weston Super Mare CC and all help of their volunteers firstly for getting the day on despite the heavy overnight rain and secondly for their fantastic hosting of the Finals Day ensuring the County Ground T20 atmosphere was recreated on the day. An even bigger thank you to all the clubs and their fans who helped make the competition an fantastic experience for all for all 29 teams.