Esher Cricket Club recently became only the third Surrey side to win ECB’s U13 National Cup Competition in 50 years, bringing the trophy back home after a dominant display in the finals day at Rugby School.
ECB deliver two national competitions at U13 and U15 with clubs competing first within their county before then moving onto a number of regional rounds with the top 4 clubs in the country fighting it out for the national honours.
Esher’s cup run began with a close game against Ashtead before a number of successful chases saw them reach the regional quarter finals against Preston Nomads. In the Regional finals Esher came up against another Surrey club (who enter this competition through Middlesex) in Sunbury before taking the London and South East final against Shenley Village by 8 wickets to secure their place at the national finals at Rugby School.
Having travelled up the night before everyone was buoyed to see messages of support from Chris Gayle and Jason Roy.
The semi-final was against Wimbourne & Colehill CC from Dorset. Wimbourne scored 93/4 from 20 overs, Ayan Sohail the pick of the bowlers with 3-0-11-2 with a superb death bowling performance from Jaanzabe Jamali.
Esher went out to bat full of confidence but were reduced to 2-1 and 19-2 but rallied to 52-3 off 13 overs, M Rawlinson 16, N Luxman 23 – then lost 3 quick wickets needing 28 off 4.2 overs. After an early scare and a stall in the middle a solid partnership between Zain Ali, 22 off 21 balls and Ayan Sohail 11 off 9 saw the team home with 4 balls to spare for a 4 wicket win.
In the final Esher faced New Rover from Yorkshire. The boys moved onto pitch 1 for the final, a superb track that had been higher scoring in the previous games over the last 2 days of the festival. New Rover won the toss and elected to bat.
New Rover came flying out of the blocks, 42-1 off 6.4 overs. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, Felix Le Vesconte taking 2 wickets with his final 2 balls, 1 clean bowled, 1 caught behind and Esher tails were up. Alfie Webb, 4-0-12-2 and Tom Price, 4-0-10-3 bowled first and second change, turning the screw, with cracking catches from Alex Frewer & Charlie Pitts.
Felix Porter bowled tightly and a couple of crazy run outs resulted in Esher bowling New Rover out for 78 from 18.1 overs.
Richie Page retired on 31 from 31 balls, with Noah Luxman (32) hitting the winning runs after 14.2 overs. A comprehensive 10 wicket victory and Esher were National Champions.
10 games over 3 months against teams from 6 counties, only the 3rd team from Surrey to win the U13 National Cup in 50 years! All that was left was to lift the trophy and celebrate back at New Road!
Simon Hards, Assistant Director of Participation at Surrey Cricket Foundation said: “It is fantastic to see Surrey not only represented at national level in these competitions, but also bringing the cup back to the county.
“Esher are a large club that dedicate a huge amount of time to training and developing young cricketers and this is a great result for all of the coaches and volunteers who dedicate so much to the young players. Let’s hope they are back in 2 years to compete for the U15 National Cup.”
Esher’s Full U13 National Cup Run
Round 1 vs Ashtead – Esher won by 12 runs
Round 2 vs Epsom – Esher won by 9 wickets
Quarter final vs Weybridge – Esher won by 10 wickets
Semi-final vs Dorking – Esher won by 8 wickets
Final – vs Blackheath – Esher won by 8 wickets
Regional Quarter Final vs Preston Nomads – Esher won by 71 runs
Regional Semi-Final vs Sunbury – Esher won by 30 runs
Regional Final vs Shenley Village – Esher won by 8 wickets
National Semi Final vs Wimbourne @ Colehill – Esher won by 4 wickets
National Final vs New Rover CC – Esher won by 10 wickets