In the u14 competition Alleyne’s saw off Newcastle-Under-Lyme School in the ¼ final thanks to a man-of-the-match performance by Sam Butters who having scored 75not out then took 2 vital wickets in a tense penultimate over to squeeze Alleyne’s through by 7 runs, and Queen Mary Grammar School in the semi-final by the much bigger score-line of 10 wickets having restricted them to a modest total of 62, Dan Grounds (32n.o) and Sam Butters again (24n.o.) knocked off the runs.
In the final they comprehensively beat St Joseph’s School by the margin of 68 runs. It was a great team performance throughout the day. Batting first on a cloudy damp morning, captain Dan Grounds laid the foundation of an imposing score with 49 and Toby Hough scored a powerful 33 as Alleyne’s finished on 140 all out.
Spin pair Max Cuthbert ( 2 for 9) and Harvie Barker (2 for 16) strangled the run chase and Sam Butters (2 for 16) and Dan Grounds (2 for 9) mopped up the lower order as they limped to 72 for 9 from their 30 overs. Over the course of the competition Alleyne’s had proved themselves the strongest side in the competition and their victory here was confirmation of that fact. Next summer they will be Staffordshire’s representatives in the National 40 over per side competition.
In the u15 competition Alleyne’s made short work of beating Queen Mary Grammar School by 10 wickets in the ¼ final with Harry Brundrett (36n.o) and Theo Gough (26n.o) easily reaching the target of 74.
A similar batting performance in the semi-final against St Joseph’s School saw them home by 8 wickets with Harry (20) and Theo (25) contributing towards the total needed of 92. In the final they faced Walton High School and in a close match won by 4 wickets. Having limited Walton to 84 all out thanks to fine bowling form Ben Roe and Theo Gough (3 wickets each), Alleyne’s after comfortably reaching 72 for 1 (Theo G 32) lost 5 wickets quickly and nervously reached their target to win by 4 wickets.
Their reward for this success was to then take on Trent College from Derbyshire in the National 20/20 competition. This was a sharp step up in terms of the quality of opposition and Alleyne’s gamely chased a formidable target of 179 to finish on 120 for 3. Harry Brundrett showed his County qualities to top score with 65 and Bill Tomkinson scored 26 not out.
Not content with these victories, an u15 team with players from yr9 and yr10 then represented Staffordshire in the Chance to Shine Schools Cup, an 8-a-side competition, replicating the explosive nature of a 20/20 match and in the Midland regional finals day Alleyne’s again came out on top. This has secured them a place at the 4 team National Finals in September which will be played at the Edgbaston Foundation Ground in Birmingham.
It has been a fantastic season for Alleyne’s and all the boys who have represented the Academy deserve congratulation for the part they have played. Both teams have come together and when it has been needed showed the collective spirit needed to be successful in sport.
It is also a fine reflection of the fantastic work going on in our local clubs of Stone, Little Stoke, Moddershall and Barlaston where many of the boys play and the coaching they receive that enables them to enjoy success at such a high level, when brought together at school. Alleyne’s would also like to extend its’ thanks to Mr James Dawson who is the Staffordshire Community Development Coach and has worked with both teams to develop their skills in preparation for the matches.