Young Wolves are hungry for success
Wolverhampton’s latest crop of talented young cricketers are proving a smash hit, writes Nick Elwell.
The Danescourt club’s under-13s have made impressive progress in the ECB Club T20 competition.
They swept their local rivals aside to be crowned Staffordshire champions and then followed that success by booking their place in the regional finals day later this month, with the winners then progressing to the national finals day at Rugby School in Warwickshire.
Wolves will face Hinckley Town CC, with Brooke CC from Norfolk also through, while the line-up will be completed by the winners of the outstanding Ombersley/Wellington clash.
And what makes Wolves’ efforts even more impressive is the fact that eight of the side are actually under-12s.
The youngsters are enjoying a stellar campaign under the guidance of coach Richard Bridgwood, who runs both the under-12 and 13 teams.
As well as advancing in the ECB competition, the under-13s are top of the Shropshire League, while the under-12s lead the way in the Worcestershire League and are also through to the quarter-finals of the cup.
“I only entered them in the ECB competition to stretch them and they have surpassed my expectations,” said Bridgwood.
“Eight of the side are under-12s, there are just three under-13s out of the 11.
“To win the county cup was wonderful but to get to the regional finals day is a fantastic achievement.
“They had performed brilliantly and they are such a nice bunch of kids. And the parents are amazing and really supportive.”
The Staffs Cup was secured with a 19-run success against Stone that saw the Wolves bowlers come to the fore.
Archie Bridgwood made 34 not out and Jayden Patel 20 as Wolves were restricted to 84-3 from their 20 overs.
A superb display with the ball then saw Stone rolled over for 65. Ali Latif led the way with figures of 3-13 while Bridgwood picked up 2-7 and Jack Home (2-15). Harry Hodgson saw Wolves over the line in style with two wickets in just five balls.
That victory earned a trip to Knowle & Dorridge in the regional round. And the hosts found themselves on the end of a power-packed performance from the Danescourt boys.
K&D made 127-8 with Joshan Basi taking 2-15 while three runs-outs also checked the home side’s progress.
And that total was ruthlessly knocked off for the loss of just one wicket.
Home, Bridgwood and Patel all retired after reaching 30 as Wolves eased home with 10 balls to spare.
Wolverhampton have a fine, and lengthy, track record when it comes to producing their own players and a number of this crop are already playing county cricket.
Richard’s twins, Seth and Archie, play for Staffordshire along with Latif and George Margetts, while Home and Patel turn out for Shropshire and Worcestershire respectively.
“The club has a good reputation for producing players,” added Bridgwood. “We work hard as coaches and we make no apologies for pushing the kids hard. We try to get every ounce of ability out of them and get them to play the highest level possible.”
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