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Exciting finales in prospect

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The coming weeks will see the completion of various county age group competitions organised by the ECB which have been running throughout the summer. Competitions at U13, U14, U15 and U17 level are all near to finding a winner as the cricket season draws to a close in England and Wales.

The U13 and U15 County Cup finals day will both be staged at Oundle School in Northamptonshire this weekend, which will host both the semi-finals and final for each age group.

The U13 Cup, which last year was scooped by Wales, sees Yorkshire take on Surrey in the first semi-final followed by Warwickshire’s clash with Dorset, both on Saturday August 23, with the two winners meeting the following Sunday August 24.

In the U15 tournament, won last year by Essex, Derbyshire and Middlesex meet in the first semi-final while Cambridgeshire face Devon in the second, again both taking place on Saturday August 23, with the final taking place the next day.

However, the final of the U14 County Cup competition, which was scheduled to take place at Oundle on Tuesday August 12, was another to suffer from the poor weather and was a complete washout due to torrential rain.

The finalists, Wales and Essex, who defeated Warwickshire and Yorkshire respectively in their semi-finals, must now wait for their match to be rearranged. It is hoped that the game will be allowed to take place at some time next week. Lancashire were victorious in last year’s tournament.

At U17 level, both the County Championship and the County Cup are scheduled for completion in the near future, with Middlesex particularly well represented and demonstrating success at youth level.

The winner of the County Championship will be announced when Yorkshire meet Middlesex in a two-day game at Chelmsford on Wednesday 27 and Thursday August 28. Hampshire emerged as winners in 2007.

Middlesex will also compete in the County Cup final, planned for Sunday August 31 at Kibworth Cricket Club in Leicestershire. They will meet the winners of the semi-final match between Lancashire and Worcestershire which was postponed earlier this week, Like the U14 competition, the plan is to rearrange the game for a day next week.