Perfect day for Oakley
Oakley Church of England Junior School won the ASDA Kwik Cricket Girls Tournament after beating Ocklynge Junior School in a tense final at Derby.
In a game which was still in the balance until the last over, the Hampshire-based school held their nerve with the bat to be crowned champions.
Oakley remained unbeaten throughout the whole day, beating Worfield Primary, Abbey Road and Rhiwbeina Primary in the group stage as opponents struggled to match their high scoring.
In the semi-finals Oakley beat St Stephen's Primary before edging past Ocklynge who reached the final by beating Broad Chalke Primary in the last four.
"They have had a fantastic day, lots of smiles," said Steve Rich, Oakley's master in charge.
"It's a culmination of two and a half years' work. When these girls were all year fives and showing some promise we sat down and wrote down some targets and goals and one was to be national champions. We are really happy and it's a big achievement for the girls and the school.
"It's been tremendous. They have had to concentrate all the way. They are a fantastic team, that's the key. They work together and support each other. They should be proud of themselves.
"They really believed they could do it so it's a fulfilment of a dream. It's also an understanding of the commitment needed to be the best at something. They understand that if you want to succeed in something how much effort they have to put in. You have to work for it."
Rich added that Kwik Cricket has been an excellent development tool and without it many of the girls would not have played any form of cricket.
"Recently they have started playing for clubs with a hard ball - that's through Kwik Cricket," he said.
"If it wasn't for Kwik Cricket lots of these girls would not have taken up cricket over the last few months with clubs, which is what we want them to do. We want them to go on from us onto the full game."