Guernsey cricket tour

Guernsey cricket tour

After an early start and a short drive to Southampton airport, the U13 cricket team were excited about flying to Guernsey for the start of their weekend tour. After a half-hour flight, we arrived to find the island bathed in sunshine. After being picked up by our host school, Elizabeth College, the team had a two hour training session followed by lunch in the school's beautiful refectory.

The first match took place at the Port Soif ground where we played Elizabeth College. With a little cloud cover, Warminster opted to bowl first. Elizabeth College began well, forming a solid opening partnership of 20, but were undone by the spin of Ed Vickery with a stumping by David Aspray. Ed continued to cause problems for the College’s batsmen and took three further wickets to finish with figures of 4-20. Wickets were then shared evenly by Bryce Furlong (2-20), Freddie Mowbray (2-18), Charlie Whelan (1-10) and Marcus McQuilton (1-21). Elizabeth College ended up with 118 all out.

Warminster began their reply slowly and lost wickets at regular intervals. Unfortunately, no batsman could get going and partnerships were not formed. Warminster ended up 25 runs short of their target.

After the game, all of the pupils were collected by their host families with whom they would stay with for the next two days. It was great to hear later what they had been up to. Some had gone to the beach, some to a restaurant, some played cricket and football in a back yard while others simply relaxed at home.

Saturday’s game was a declaration match with a maximum of 80 overs in the whole day. Warminster lost the toss and Elizabeth College decided to bat and proceeded to score runs quickly at around five per over. However, they also lost wickets at regular intervals. Sean Montgomery was the pick of the bowlers, taking 5-21 off his 5.3 overs, with Bryce Furlong supporting well with 2-25 off his 6 overs. However, it was great to see ten bowlers being used, with Sam Howard and Jacob Rogers picking up their first wickets for the School. Elizabeth College innings ended at 155 all out after 39.3 overs.

This left Warminster requiring 156 off 40 overs. Charlie Whelan and Ed Vickery opened the batting. Charlie scored 5 before chipping one up to mid on. This brought Sean Montgomery to the crease. Both he and Ed manoeuvred the ball around the park, playing some good cricket shots. Ed eventually fell for 43 runs with the score at 86, after a partnership of 76. Bryce Furlong then came to the wicket and some excellent hitting began to push the game away from Elizabeth College. Sean Montgomery continued to play straight, picking up runs with ease and he duly completed his half century. He was eventually dismissed for 51 after a 72 run partnership with Bryce Furlong (35 not out). That left David Aspray to wrap up the game for a seven wicket victory.

Many of the boys then headed off to the beach with their hosts before going to watch the Champions League Final that evening.

The last game of the tour was against a Guernsey Cricket Board U13 XI. This was a 20/20 match at the College Field. GCB won the toss and decided to bat. Bryce Furlong made the early breakthrough, having the opening batsman caught at short cover by Ed Vickery. Marcus McQuilton then snapped up a dangerous GCB batsman clean bowled for 1. The GCB team then built a 25 run partnership before Joe Wildman’s excellent fielding accounted for a run out and Ed Vickery’s next ball had a GCB batsman out caught behind by David Aspray. After 13 overs, GCB were 51-4. They then became very clinical with their hitting and dispatched any loose ball. Despite Sean Montgomery taking a wicket on his first ball of the 17th over, and a brilliant direct hit run out by Ben Cook, GCB powered their way to 118-6.

Warminster began their innings strongly with David Aspray and Ed Vickery scoring 25 off the first five overs before losing three quick wickets. Sean Montgomery and Jasper Spandler began to build a partnership, scoring 65 runs before Jasper was bowled for 24 with the score on 95. With three overs to go, the game was evenly balanced. Unfortunately, four wickets fell in six balls (including Sean Montgomery for 35), and GCB destroyed the Warminster middle order. With 14 runs to win off the last over, they were only able to manage 9 and so lost by 4 runs. This was a great game although the boys did feel aggrieved not to have won.

After the match, the boys said farewell to their hosts and reflected on a brilliant three days of cricket and fun in the sun. The team were awarded fun certificates for their achievements on the tour and there were trophies for Player of the Tour (Sean Montgomery) and Most Improved Player (Marcus McQuilton).

The tour ran like clockwork and everyone would like to thank Elizabeth College for being brilliant hosts. I am sure that the Warminster boys will remember their time at Guernsey well in to the future. We would also like to thank Mr Montgomery and Mr Rogers for their support and company on the trip.

We look forward to returning next year.

Christopher Knight
Director of Sport