AN EMERGING generation of young cricketers were afforded a rare chance to perform at Headingley Cricket Ground, in the finals of the country’s biggest cricket contest for under nines.
From 530 school squads throughout Yorkshire and Teesside who entered The 2015 Drax Cup, it came to down to today’s showdown in Leeds between Sheffield’s Greenhill Primary School, Driffield Junior School, Middlesbrough’s Lingfield Primary School and Highburton CE First School of Huddersfield.
The contest pitched the cup’s regional finalists against each other and after a round of semi-finals, it was Greenhill who pipped Driffield in the final, scoring 181 runs compared to Driffield’s 170.
The third-placed play-off was won by Lingfield.
Among the hundreds of supporters watching on was the Barnsley-born, retired cricket umpire Dickie Bird.
The action was taking place ahead of tonight’s NatWest T20 Blast between Yorkshire Vikings and Durham Jets.
After the cup final, each school team had their photograph taken with, and received medals from, England fast bowler Katherine Brunt and Yorkshire first team players Ryan Sidebottom and Will Rhodes.
Andy Koss, chief executive of Drax power plant, the competition’s sponsors, said: “This year is a record year for the competition. More than 600 schools registered for the competition and more than 530 have participated, making it the biggest ever.
“The competition is getting bigger and bigger every year and today we saw the best young players in Yorkshire, who pulled off some great catches and fantastic boundaries.”
The Drax Cup is organised by Yorkshire County Cricket Club in conjunction with the Yorkshire Cricket Board, The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Yorkshire Schools’ Cricket Association.