South Glos table cricketers compete at Lord's

 A table cricket team made up of pupils from three South Gloucestershire schools finished eighth in the national finals at Lord’s.

The students from Brimsham Green, Bradley Stoke main stream schools and Culverhill Special School earned the right to play at the home of cricket after defeating sides from North Somerset, Bristol and Bath and North Somerset (BANES) in the regional round of the Lord’s Taverners competition at UWE in March.

Table cricket is an accessible form of cricket for young people with severe physical disabilities.

Played on a table tennis table with side panels and sliding fielders, a ball launcher, weighted plastic ball and wooden bat, table cricket emulates running cricket in an environment where physically disabled youngsters can thrive. For more info click here

Having left at 5am to get to London the South Glos team had a tough start to the day when technical problems interrupted their first game with the ball not running true.

The issues were eventually resolved but the team were unable to match Lonsdale School’s score off 225 falling 15 short.

Determined to win the next game the players started with a much more positive approach  against Portland College but despite some great fielding they were unable to secure a win.

Against Angmering School the game went down to the last ball after captain Andy Livelall scored several sixes. But despite his efforts 2 runs were still needed off the final ball with Courtney at the crease. And she kept her nerve, scoring 4 runs to instigate much cheering and celebrating from the team.

The final game of the day saw South Glos take on Mosslands School in the seventh/eighth play-off.  Despite some great batting the team could not secure victory and finished eighth overall.  

Gloucestershire Cricket Board programmes and projects manager said: “Congratulations to the South Glos team on reaching the national finals and acquitting themselves so well. It is an incredible experience for the students to get to play at the home of cricket and hopefully it will inspire them to keep playing.

Table cricket is an important part of our disability cricket programme and the success of the South Glos team shows what can be done when mainstream schools and special schools work together. The staff and pupils involved deserve huge credit for their achievements.

Victoria Education and Sports College from Poole were crowned overall champions

This year, over 500 young people from 82 schools took part in the Lord’s Taverners National Table Cricket Competition, which is supported by the ECB plus a number of trusts and foundations.

Paul Downton, managing director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), said: “It’s great to see so many children at the Home of Cricket who are not normally given the opportunity to play at Lord’s.  You can see that competition is just as fierce as it is out in the middle for able-bodied players.”

Surprise guests on the day included arguably two of cricket’s best batsmen of all-time – the “Little Master” India’s Sachin Tendulkar and record-breaking West Indian Brian Lara.  Tendulkar even tried his hand at table cricket with The Mosslands School from Wallasey.