Drayton left in the Sheid

The Ealing Fields girls have shown an excellent attitude towards sport from the moment they walked through gates back in September. Mr South had to field all manner of questions from curious students wanting to know when they were going to get opportunities to shine!

The first opportunity presented itself in the form of an indoor cricket tournament. Not a sport you often hear about during the depths of winter, but with London Youth Games primary school cricket winners in our midst, it was not an opportunity Ealing Fields were going to miss out on. However, what was supposed to be a learning experience turned into ‘stuff of legend’.

With 23 girls turning up for cricket trials, Mr South had the pleasure of being able to pick a team from a large squad. The chosen 12 turned up at William Perkin High School excited about their first chance to get competitive. Featherstone Academy and Drayton Manor would provide the competition, the later turning up to the competition in professional looking cricket whites!

Drayton had clearly had a lot of previous cricket experience and won their first match of the tournament with ease. Then it was EF’s turn to take on Featherstone. With Mimi J and Ava opening the batting and both hitting 15 runs before being made to retire, EF were off to a flier. Further runs were added by Hawa, Eryn, Khya and Lakesha so that EF finished on an impressive 74. Tight bowling from Mimi J, Ava, Eryn, Honya and Hawa meant that Featherstone could get nowhere near their target. A first win on the board for EF.

Then the real test came as EF faced Drayton and chose to bowl first. Drayton got off to a quick start with some early shots going for 4 runs. Some smart fielding lead to Ava running out Drayton’s key batter. Then with Amira added to the bowling attack and Sheida showing some excellent wicket keeping skills, EF managed to keep Drayton down to a beatable 62 runs. EF were off to another good start with Ava and Mimi-J notching another 15 runs before being made to retire. Hawa and Eryn added further runs to the total and some wides from the Drayton bowlers meant that EF needed 5 runs from the last over. Drayton left their best bowler for this vital point in the match. It was Sheida that was left with the job of facing her. For the first 5 balls of the over it looked like the opposition bowler had the better of Sheida with each ball flying past the bat and into the wicket-keeper’s hands. One ball left and with 5 runs still needed, it looked impossible for EF to win. Only a hit against the back wall without it bouncing would win the game for EF. This shot gained 6 runs, but nobody had ‘hit a 6’ all day! The ball left the bowler’s hand. Sheida’s eyes full of concentration and desperation to connect. The bat swung backwards and forwards again as the ball felt the impact of the bat. Everything seeming to go in slow motion. The ball flew up in the air towards the end wall. A Drayton fielder moved underneath it. Was it going to be caught? The fielders arms reached up. The ball seemed to float in the air as all the EF team willed it towards the wall. The fielder was left grasping thin air as, with a thud, the ball hit the wall for a 6! The whole team run on the pitch to celebrate a real underdog story!

EF still had to play both teams again, winning both in similarly dramatic fashion. It took a last ball dream catch from Ava to beat Featherstone with Shevanee adding some key runs during the batting performance. A second win against Drayton completed a clean sweep for EF as Nancy and Karima survived the whole innings to get EF across the line.

Amazing performance! EF are through to the London finals on 25th January.

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