The U11 rounders team left the rain behind to travel to the slightly drier climate of Lytham St Anne’s to participate in the AJIS Rounders Tournament. The weather had clearly caught some schools out as Bridgewater found themselves without two of their group opponents, as Stockport Grammar and Queen’s, Chester failed to turn up.
To compound the situation, Bridgewater were made to wait an hour in the cold as the other opponents in the group, Manchester High had broken down on the way. Therefore, the one game in the group was a sudden death decider for top spot and easier game in the quarter-finals. The girls got off to the worst possible start with Manchester hitting two rounders off the first two balls. However, the team rallied in the field, with Allegra and Anya in particular helping to restrict the opposition to 3½ rounders.
Bridgewater battled hard to score the four rounders needed to win the game, but Manchester did not make any mistakes in the field. A half rounder from Florence and a rounder from Yasmeen were the only scores, leaving Bridgewater to face Withington in the quarter-finals. The team had lost heavily to Withington earlier in the season and feared the worst. However, the girls once again shone in the field and restricted a good batting side to 4½ runs. This total contained a controversial rounder given despite it looking very much as though Ellen had run out the batter.
Bridgewater raised their game and went for it during their innings. Yasmeen scored again, Ellen hit a rounder, whilst Jessica and Thea added a half each. Allegra was run out, as were Florence and Freya, as the girls desperately looked for the one rounder that would give them a spot in the semi-finals. Frustrated, the girls fell short by half a rounder and were left to finish the tournament with a final game against Rossall School.
Bridgewater batted first and tried to put in some of the ideas suggested by the young and older Altdorf coaching team. Jessica batted very well and scored two rounders, as did Dina who also scored two rounders. Ellen hit one and a half rounders, whilst Florence, Thea, Anya and Holly scored half rounders to take the Bridgewater score up to eight rounders. Rossall made a valiant attempt to win the game, but found the Bridgewater team in no mood to lose. Jess and Dina took good catches, whilst Ellen and Freya produced vital run outs. Once Anya had run out the Rossall danger player the game was over as a contest and Bridgewater ran out 8-5 winners.
Well done to all members of the team who never let the cold conditions affect their performance. The team improved with each game played and were eager to develop skills and tactical awareness of the game. Thank you to the hosts AKS for organising the tournament and we will certainly be back next year on – hopefully – a sunnier day.