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Clitheroe Cobras Tour – Yorkshire 2013

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A tour party of 36 Cobras Boys and Girls accompanied by in excess of 40 Adults headed over the border to Yorkshire for a series of fixtures played over 3 days.

A victory at Skipton for the U10s in the opening match was followed by wins for both the U12s and U15s at Harrogate, largely due to the batting prowess of Sam Mulligan and Tom Stones who looked at ease on a surface that was considerably harder and bouncier than anything the Cobras are ever likely to play on in East Lancashire. The U15 girls kept up the Cobras’ undefeated start by thrashing Pannal and the only defeat of Day 1 was an overwhelming loss for the U10s in their second game of the day, this time at Harrogate. Tiredness was already beginning to play a part.

A quick change out of blazers and ties was followed by a meal at the local Indian in Harrogate, where copious amounts of curry was washed down with soft drinks by the now famished youngsters and the odd glass of wine was taken on board by the adults – which in true touring tradition was continued later in the bar at the hostel in York, whilst reflecting on a tiring but satisfying day of cricket.

A sick child at 4.30am of Day 2, coupled with a group of U10 tour debutants still awake at that unearthly time of the morning, certainly wasn’t what the Cobras’ Chairman had in mind as his start to Day 2.

After a healthy full English breakfast, the somewhat bleary eyed Cobras and a few adults headed off to Acomb CC and Dringhouses CC for another round of fixtures. The weather which was somewhat wet and overcast soon improved but the previous night’s activities certainly took their toll on the U10s who just never got out of first gear and suffered a 19 run defeat at Acomb. Not ones to sit around whilst on tour, the youngsters paid the local park a visit to burn off some of their excess energy and to wake themselves up in some cases! Upon their return Cobras Coach Mal Scott gave the boys a history lesson about his great Uncle Harold and the Accrington PALS. Touring really does develop the whole child and not just the cricketing abilities!

A last over defeat at Acomb for the U12s meant a nerve jangling end to the afternoon’s proceedings before the Cobras headed off to Heworth CC and Dunnington CC for their evening fixtures.

The U15 mixed boys and girls team put up a spirited effort at Dringhouses with some lusty hitting from Dom Stuart which resulted in a retired 50, backed up by excellent seam and spin bowling from Eleanor Graham, Saphi Stamford and Eve Whaling respectively. All this despite losing to a strong home side by one wicket in the final over of the game.

A familiarly cold evening at Heworth saw the spoils shared as the U12s posted 134 through some textbook shots from Josh Stamford (30) and Taylor Wilson (22), whilst Tom Doherty adopted a more agricultural approach in his breezy 30. It was always going to be a tough chase for the home side despite George Stuart being despatched for 40 in his 4 overs, the Cobras ended with a comfortable win.

The U10s meanwhile experienced 11-a-side traditional cricket for the first time in their encounter at Heworth CC on a bitterly cold evening and in a closely contested affair the Lancastrians ended up on the losing side by 5 runs.

A hearty helping of pizza and an early night for most of the – by now exhausted Cobras meant the Cobras were a little more upbeat for the final day of their tour as teams headed in various directions. The U15s secured a comfortable victory at Ovington, as did the U10s who played through the rain at Goldsborough, whilst the girls came up against a strong side at Ilkley losing by 24 runs.

The 3 days of non-stop cricket and late nights had certainly taken their toll as a weary bunch of Cobras players, coaches and parents headed back across the border to the red rose county.

Cobras Chairman Farouk Hussain commented: “It’s been a wonderful 3 days. The boys and girls have gained so much from the whole experience. It was fantastic to see the smiles on the faces of the U10s who were making their first ever tour. A big thank you to Hanson Cement who once again helped kit out the children with playing shirts, as they looked truly professional and a credit to the County and the Club.”

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