16th September 2019 — Sedbergh’s under 15 cricket team went one further than the under 18s - who lost by 12 runs to Malvern in the T20 final in July - by defeating Whitgift School by 10 runs at Arundel Castle in Sunday’s final.
In the first semi-final, earlier in the day, Sedbergh put in an exceptional performance to defeat a very strong Trent College side by 62 runs. After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Sedbergh lost Tom Aspinwall second ball of the game but Captain Evan Williams (48) and George Barnes (51) put on 96 for the second wicket in 14 overs. Ben Wright, Nick Kelly and Sam Foster all kept the momentum going to help Sedbergh post 142-4 from their 20 overs.
Sedbergh had the perfect start in the field by taking a wicket with their first ball and continued to apply pressure throughout the Trent innings with disciplined bowling and a near perfect fielding performance, taking four fine running catches in the deep and a direct hit run out. Ben Wright (2-18), Tom Aspinwall (1-8), George Barnes (1-19), Freddie Hill (2-14), Sam Foster (1-0) and Siddhant Gavankar (2-9) all contributed as Trent were dismissed for 80 from 15.1 overs. For his all-round performance George Barnes was voted the Man of the Match.
In the second semifinal Whitgift scored 4 off the final ball of the game to defeat Bradfield College to set up a rematch of the 2014 final. Sedbergh, who have competed in six previous under 15 T20 finals and only won in 2007, again won the toss and elected to bat first. Similar to the semi-final, Sedbergh lost a wicket in the first over, this time George Barnes was caught after top-edging an attempted hook shot. Sedbergh rebuilt as Tom Aspinwall (36) and Evan Williams (17) put on 57 for the second wicket in less than six overs. Sedbergh were well set for a score in excess of 150 but a flurry of wickets saw Sedbergh slip to 98-6 in the fifteenth over before Tom Mullins (29) gave the innings impetus and crucially post a defendable score of 140-7.
In reply, Whitgift got off to a positive start reaching 48 before Siddhant Gavankar took the first of two wickets in an excellent four over spell that conceded only 19 runs. In conjunction with George Barnes (2-21) and a fine piece of fielding from Tom Aspinwall to run out the number seven, Sedbergh took control of the game before a fine half century from Whitgift’s number 4 and Man of the Match Benjamin Karpal brought the Southerners back in contention. Solid bowling from Evan Williams (1-31) and Ben Wright (0-29) meant that Whitgift needed 24 runs from the last two overs, reduced to 14 off the last. Step up Tom Aspinwall, who bowled the near perfect final over; with Karpal (51) on strike Aspinwall bowled two heavy short balls that fizzed past the batsman’s chest followed by a full straight ball that demolished Karpal’s stumps. 14 off 6 balls had become 14 off 3 balls and Sedbergh ran out victorious.
This was a fine team performance with all 12 players playing their part. Commiserations to Whitgift who challenged the whole way and congratulations to the Sedbergh boys who showed resilience and determination throughout the day. Special mention to the eleven sets of parents who made the 700 mile round trip to support the team.
This victory caps off a wonderful season for Sedbergh‘s cricket club, winning one major national title, narrowly losing another and having George Hill and Matty Revis representing England Young Lions, Ben Davidson playing for Scotland under 19s and Tom Aspinwall winning the Best of Banbury T20 Man of the Match award. Add this to the success of the 3rd XI, who won nine out of ten league matches in the Westmoreland fourth division and won the Moon and Coxhill T20 cup.