Cricket: Bede’s 1sts Reclaim County Championship
Having qualified for the Langdale County Cup final by defeating Eastbourne College on Tuesday afternoon, Bede’s 1st XI put on another superb team display at the Sussex County Cricket Club in Hove yesterday against Hurst, reclaiming a title Bede’s had previously held for 5 consecutive years until narrow losses in 2015 and 2016.
The team was captained on the day by Upper Sixth Former Joe Billings, who rushed to the match from his Economics A Level exam. Joe has been playing for the 1st XI since joining Bede’s in the First Year, and is one of two Sussex Academy players in the 2016-17 team’s line-up.
Bede’s lost the toss and bowled first, with Dominic Heater opening the bowling and Tom Gordon, our second Sussex Academy player and an England U15 representative, following on.
Our Sussex CCC U15 trio of Felix Sheppard, Scott Lenham and Henry Crocombe also bowled and superbly supported Dominic and Tom’s endeavours. Strong bowling from the boys, combined with a superb team effort in the field, at one point had Hurst reeling at 61 for 6 in the 13th over.
Hurst recovered in the latter overs to post a competitive total of 117 on a 5 day old wearing pitch, and after the break Joe and Ryan Hoadley opened the batting.
Bede’s lost a couple of early wickets, with Hoadley and Harry Scowen going cheaply. However, all the time Billings was there Bede’s were in the game.
The Bede’s 1sts innings mirrored Hurst’s for much of their time at the crease, and at one stage the boys were at 65 for 5. A steadying partnership of 35 from Lenham and Billings put Bede’s close to the finishing line however, and when Lenham fell just 17 runs were required from the final 3.2 overs.
The 18th and, as it turned out, final over went for 15, with Zac Cisotti pulling the ball over mid-wicket to hit the winnings runs.
The undoubted man of the match was Billings, with a quite superb 73 not out, and his array of shots and decision-making was right out of the top drawer.
Joe in the First Year. Click here to read his Student Hero interview.
Indeed, this was a particularly special innings from a special student who so deserved to be carried off the field by his teammates at the end of the fixture.
Joe has given so much to Bede’s Cricket over the past 5 years, and lifting the Langdale Cup made for a fitting end to his school career.