1st XI Victorious at Stowe Festival
Stamford School’s 1st XI Cricket team were invited to the 2014 Stowe Festival. Playing in the picturesque grounds of Stowe School, the team battled hard straight off the bus against the hosts. Stowe were quickly into their stride against some erratic opening overs, chancing their luck at times. To Stamford’s credit, they began taking wickets at regular intervals to help stem the tide of runs being scored, but Stowe still looked set to post a tough total at 106-4 from 11 overs. Some inspired bowling from J. P. Harrington 4-23 and S.D. Barnett 2-24 helped restrict the hosts to 168-9 on a large field with plenty of run scoring opportunities.
Stamford were quickly reduced to 17-3 before a timely partnership between Z. J. Chappell 59 and P.J. Foster 27, taking the side up to 105 before another collapse removed much of their hard work and hope of victory. A majestic 29 from 21 balls from S.D. Barnett brought Stamford right back into the game and left 10 required from the final over. Stowe bowlers kept their nerve and Stamford lost by 4 runs.
Stamford got off to a quick start against Warwick School with two early wickets but again the run rate remained high at 8 an over. Two lengthy partnerships followed and Warwick had set 155, to keep Stamford in the hunt for a final match play off. J.A. Richardson 33 and B.E. Groom 24 enabled Stamford to get off to a flying start, but three quick wickets stemmed the progress. With 90 required from 63 deliveries, skipper T.H. Charlton 63* and P.J. Foster 26* batted beautifully to secure the win, picking off twos and boundaries in equal measure.
With Merchant Taylors’ School (London Region T20 winners), beating Stowe in their 2nd game, the winners would be decided on net run rate. Stamford were off to a mixed start, with Z.J. Chappell making 32 before the 1st XI were reduced to 76-4 in the 11th over. P.J. Foster (highest run scorer of the tournament) with 73 from 40 balls went into overdrive, scattering the fielders and sending the ball into the undergrowth on numerous occasions. Farming the strike, his innings enabled Stamford to post 180 all out. Midway calculations meant Merchant Taylors required 134 to win the tournament- a perfectly reasonable target.
Stamford took the field with renewed energy and vigour and after a relatively quiet start from Merchant Taylor School, S.H.G. Evison removed the opener in the 4th over LBW. This signalled a collapse following a highly charged bowling display from the seam quartet led by T.H. Charlton 2-11, Z.J. Chappell 3-17 and J.P. Harrington 2-20, and some flight and guile from the spinners S.H.G. Evison 1-27 and S.E. Barnet 2-35. This was one of the displays of the season on all fronts with some superb fielding, catching and inspired bowling. Merchant Taylors were dismissed for 114 and the comprehensive win gave Stamford the overall victory.