2014 marks the first year of a new U19 T20 Blast competition, designed by the ECB as a method of keeping youths of ages 16-19 participating in cricket.
Valley End Blues
Pictured above: L-R: Chris Hetherington, James Geens, Ali Huse, Daniel Vernon, Ryan Watt (wk), Josh Chauhan, Sam Marchant, Jamie Warren, Ryan Adams, Simon Cooper, Jayden Clark
Valley End's second, third and fourth XIs contain a good crop of players in this age bracket, so naturally we have entered a team.
Led by captain Daniel Vernon, the squad contains players from most of the age groups from U13 to U19. We have even had around seven players come back to the club to play specifically in this competition, which is exactly the purpose it was designed for.
The national finals day will be held on the 1st September at Grace Road, Leicestershire CCC's home ground, which is a great incentive for clubs and players to really make an effort in this competition.
'Match day experience points' are awarded to clubs who make an obvious effort to create an entertaining and social experience around the games. This has resulted in an exciting atmosphere at our two home games, with a BBQ, bar, music and coloured kit, and the turn out has been excellent.
While all our wins have been hard fought and real team performances with contributions from every player, there have been individual moments of brilliance.
Key performers so far have been top run scorer Christopher Hetherington with the bat (scoring 43 vital runs in a last-ball win over Normandy), and all-rounder Ryan Adams (with a match-winning caught and bowled against Godalming, as well as hitting the winning runs in a recent penultimate-ball win over Stoke D'Abernon).
Our 'Valley End Blues' have won three out of three with one abandonment. This has meant that they top their group and progress to the county finals day - held on August 17th at Chessington CC.
All spectators are welcome or follow the progress of the team on @ValleyendCC.
© Cricket World 2014