St Peter's hold their nerve
St Peter's in Devon won a thrilling final at Kibworth Cricket Club by one run to be crowned ASDA National Girls Kwik Cricket champions.
The pupils, who are based in Lympstone, edged out Whitegrove Primary School in a game which went down to the last ball.
Chasing 257 to win - teams in Kwik Cricket start on 200 but lose five runs for each dismissal - St Peter's gradually crept towards their target as nerves frayed on the boundary edge.
With Whitegrove's exemplary fielding ensuring runs were at a premium, St Peter's needed a good final over if they wanted to lift the trophy. Despite some accurate bowling, a stylish off-drive saw St Peter's eventually edge ahead by one run but knowing a wicket would swing the game towards Whitegrove, the last batter had to watchfully block out the remaining deliveries to guarantee the win.
Head of PE and Girls' Games at St Peter's, Jane Cooke, was a relieved yet delighted woman as her young stars clutched the winners' trophy, which was presented by England internationals Jenny Gunn and Stephanie Davies.
"I was the most nervous I have ever been going into the final over," she said. "Jane just had to block the last ball to win the game, which she did. It means the world to the girls.
"It was always going to be a hard final but I did not think it was going to be as close as it was with us winning by one run."
Cricket, as well as a number of other sports, is very much part of school life at St Peter's. After a gradual introduction to the game, the girls played a number of matches and tournaments and were unbeaten this year.
"The girls fancied having a go at cricket as well as the boys," added Cooke. "It took a while to get the overarm action but they have persevered with it.
"Kwik Cricket has been great. It encourages them to do all the skills - bowling, batting and fielding."
ASDA Kwik Cricket 2008 saw a 23 per cent rise in teams taking part than last year and a phenomenal increase in girls taking part, up 97 per cent on last year with over 25,000 girls aged seven to 11 registered to take part.
The year six competition, which will be played at Grace Road, is on Monday. The 2006 champions, William Ransom, have qualified for the final and will be one of the favourites.