The U18 team were up against Bede’s School from Sussex in the final, which took place on Sunday, September 12th at the Nursery ground of The Ageas Bowl in Hampshire.
Winning a national title has been a long time in the making for the team, with this final being Shrewsbury’s sixth finals day in the last four years.
After winning the toss, skipper H. Shuker (EDH, UVI) asked Bede’s to bat first with the aim to chase their total down in the second innings. Shrewsbury did just that. At the conclusion of the first innings, Shrewsbury were set a healthy target of 140 to win, (Shuker and Sophie Thomas both taking 2-20, R.Ellis (M, LVI) being the pick of the bowlers with 3-15) a competitive score in this format of the game. At the end of the powerplay (25 balls), Shrewsbury were 38 for 2, still needing a further 102 runs from just 75 balls.
Thanks to a brilliant 64 run partnership between Shuker and Thomas, Shrewsbury needed just 15 runs from 19 balls with Shuker set on 36. With 7 balls left in the game the skipper saw the team home with a boundary to finish on 49 not out - “A true captain’s performance,” said Head of Girls’ Cricket at Shrewsbury School, Gwen Davies.
“The girls work tirelessly throughout the winter with various 1:1’s and group sessions, so to sign the 2021 season off with their first national title is credit to their hard work and commitment; not only over the last year, but the last four, as players such as I. Morris (MSH, UVI) and Shuker have continued to bounce back from near misses, keep their heads up and try again.
“I am incredibly proud of what they have achieved this year, but more importantly of the character that this group of individuals have shown. It’s now time for the girls to take a break from cricket before the hard work commences again in November.”
2021 saw the launch of the competition, in which 37 schools across the country competed in the inaugural year. The National Schools 100 Ball Competition was created alongside the ECB’s new franchise competition ‘The Hundred”, which captured the nation this summer. Former Shrewsbury School pupil Issy Wong represented Birmingham Phoenix in the competition, alongside our Head of Girls’ Cricket and professional player, Gwen Davies and school cricket coach Eve Jones.
Director of Sport, Andrew Pembleton, said: "We are incredibly proud of the 1st XI Girls in winning the inaugural 100 ball Cricket Competition. This has been the highpoint of a hugely successful summer for our Cricket programme at Shrewsbury School with both the U15 girls and boys 1st XI reaching the National Finals day, and our U18 boys 1st XI team being Midlands Finalists.
"The girls and the coaching staff involved with this team deserve the plaudits they receive, they have worked incredibly hard and we have seen the development of this team year on year with coaching input from our Head of Girls Cricket Gwen Davies (Central Sparks and Birmingham Phoenix), and I look forward to what this group of players can go on to achieve in their sporting journeys."
Master in Charge of Cricket at Shrewsbury School, Andy Barnard, added: “Winning the inaugural National U18 Girls Cup is important, ground-breaking, prestigious and very rewarding.
“As Master in charge of Cricket, it is important for me to say that the senior girls’ success is the cherry on the top of a very large slice of cake served up this summer by our boy and girl cricketers.
“In July the 1st X1 boys came within a heavy rain shower of retaining the Silk Trophy after beating well both Eton College and Northants CCC Academy and then losing to Stowe on the DLS. Just before term started our U15 Boys XI became Midlands ECB/ESCA U15 T20 Champions when beating Denstone College (Semi Final) and Loughborough GS before progressing to Arundel to play in the National Finals Day. There they beat a very strong Manchester GS by 10 wicket and eventually lost out to Whitgift with an over to spare in the final and were subsequently crowned National Runners UP.
“Our U15 Girls XI also progressed to their National Finals Day at Merchant Taylor’s School where the succumbed to two very strong Schools.
“The sense of pride and satisfaction is the true reward for all our cricketers and coaches who strive to progress, to improve and to succeed. The girls national title together with all the other outstanding results this past summer help Shrewsbury School retain our place as one of the most prominent and progressive cricket schools in the United Kingdom. I hope we continue to attract girls and boys who wish to play cricket, have fun and enjoy the environment we create for development.”