The Year in Review – 2021 – Youth Focus

Our first season of youth cricket at the playing fields has been a hugely successful one. We have seen the u17s ‘Ironstones’ entertaining on a Thursday night with a great league position and making a cup final and we continue to expand our playing membership through Allstars and u9-u10. Indeed, the most pleasing thing for me is that, in our final season at Compton Park, the u9-10 group at one point only had 6 players – we now have over 20 in that age bracket!

The Allstars had another amazing year. Once again, Lynsey ran the program superbly and was ably assisted by Matt Irons who has been proactive in getting in training and certification to be a coach and Allstar activator. On that note, anyone interested in helping out with the youth at any age just give me a call (never off duty). You only need to see them on a Tuesday evening interacting with the kids to see what a superb job they are doing and the children absolutely love the sessions. As always, Niamh and Lilly supported our Allstars and were rightly recognised by Northants County Cricket Club for their contributions to youth coaching by picking up a Northants OSCA for youth coaches of the year! Well done the pair of you – thoroughly deserved.

Also training in a Tuesday evening, the u9s and u10s worked incredibly hard and made some great progress and got to show this off in match situations. Having such a large group, it could have been challenging running these sessions but a number of people gave their time and support which meant that sessions ran smoothly and enabled children to get the most out of this summer. This year, myself, Ben, Jake and Jez Cunnington ran technique-based activities whilst Matt took children in the batting cage to prepare them for playing with a hard ball. This formula worked well and the kids loved it.

I was also grateful to other members of our club who gave their time to help out when the SOS was sent out! Thank you for your help, you might not all get a name check but your support was greatly appreciated. 

At the back end of the summer, the u9-10 group got to play 4 games against Earls Barton over two nights. The first double-header resulted in Cogenhoe winning both matches away at ‘The Grange’. Some brilliant cricket was played and Finley Watts and Lewis Jackson were name checked for some swash-buckling batting! In the other game, some fabulous bowling by James Todd (2 overs, 3 wickets for 4 runs) backed up with a wicket apiece from Zena Cunnington and Jack Webb saw Cogenhoe win comfortably.

A week later, the second double-header took place. After two competitive matches, the spoils were shared. In the Cogenhoe win, not many wickets were taken by the ‘Cooks’ but the batting was of the highest order. Well done to George Goddard (16 runs), Jack Webb (13 runs), Oliver Roberts and Roan Garrett (both 9 runs) for their batting contributions.

The last competitive matches were played at Finedon in an u9s tournament. Cogenhoe just missed out on qualifying for the semi-finals. They played Finedon’s first team in their opener and were comfortably beaten. They were also beaten  by Overstone but this was a much tighter game and on a different day could have easily won this encounter. However, they didn’t let these results get them down and in the final game they beat Desborough by 264 – 196. A really positive way to finish the tournament. Well done to them all for their attitude and Ben Garratt for his scoring – a man never intimidated by a scoring matrix!

I would like to apologise for not having statistics to hand for the games the u9s and u10s played. As they were mostly friendlies and we were relying on the opposition to score too (as well as Jack), our records are incomplete. However, next year we are hoping to put out an u11s hard-ball side and statistics from matches will be readily available. On that point, anyone wanting to help out with scoring, umpiring, setting up in these matches, please contact me (again never off duty).

Finally, I would like to thank Lynsey, Jack, Roy and Karen for the work behind and in front of the scenes when organising and helping with the youth end of year bbq. It was amazing. The kids loved it and there was a great atmosphere despite the apocalyptic rainfall! If anything, it made the evening even more memorable. A fitting finale to a fabulous season. 

 

Gareth Goddard

Head of Youth Cricket

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