Bradley Primary from Pendle take title
Bradley Primary School from Pendle crowned Lancashire Girls Asda Kwik Cricket winners.
Bradley Primary (245 runs) played St Christopher's Primary (234 runs) from Liverpool in the final, after 23 schools from all around the County competed to become the County Finals at Unsworth CC.
Report below from the day written by Paul Edwards and Images by Jenny Laycock.
There were blue wickets and orange balls. Bats were blue too, when they weren't shocking pink, that is. There was even an Olympic torch floating about. There was Kate Cross in her England gear and Lanky sending the odd text message, which is always a problem with those hooves.
Above all, there was boundless enthusiasm and plenty of Kwik Cricket being played. And to judge from the succession of teachers and pupils queueing up to thank the LCB's Shaun Anders for organising the Lancashire County Final of the ASDA Girls Kwik Cricket Tournament, there was plenty of enjoyment as well - which is what matters most of all.
Last Monday 23 teams from all parts of the county converged on Unsworth Cricket Club. The outfield might have been a bit muddy - you may have noticed that it's rained a trifle - but the welcome could not have been warmer. At the end of it all, Bradley Primary School from Nelson beat St Christopher's from Liverpool by 245 to 234 in a final where the standard of cricket was particularly high. Those two schools, along with semi-finalists, Our Lady's, St Edward's, from Preston and Bolton's St Michael's go through to the regional finals.
"Both boys and girls are cricket mad at our school," said one of Bradley Primary's cricket coaches, Sue Ardron. "They start playing in the streets and as soon as they get into Key Stage 2 they are desperate to get into the team. To do so is seen as a privilege.
"So cricket plays a major part in the PE programme at the school, it's our top sport, and as teachers, it's our job to mould the pupils' cricket and get their talents recognised. The boys have won the county championships twice and we've reached Finals' Day about four times with both girls and boys."
"We do after-school clubs for both girls and boys and then we hope to get the better players down to clubs like Nelson," added coach Richard Bedford. "But it's always been good to come to LCB days like this. It's very worthwhile and it gives our players something to aspire to."
"It's also wonderful to see Lancashire's lady cricketers like Kate Cross and Jenny Laycock here," said Ardron. "It's fabulous because it shows our pupils that girls are good enough to get through to that level. It shows them what they can aim for."
And for her part, Laycock, the LCB 's Womens' and Girls' Cricket Development Officer, had no doubts about the next step to be taken by the Board in encouraging the enthusiasm fostered at Unsworth. "The big job now is to make sure there is an exit route for the girls," she said. "The plan is to organise a Year Five taster session at Old Trafford in October to help girls move from Kwik cricket to the club game."
Thanks go to ASDA for sponsoring the event and to Unsworth for hosting it so well. Above all, thanks go to all the girls and their teachers for making the day such a success.