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Young cricketers are Brad all over!
Bradley Primary School were Kwik off the mark to be crowned Lancashire girls Cricket champions.
The Nelson school clinched the county title by after beating St Christopher’s from Liverpool in the final of the ASDA Kwik Cricket Tournament at Unsworth CC.
Coached by Sue Ardron and Richard Bedford and captained by the outstanding Zeba Rauf, Bradley won by 11 runs in the final of an event organised by the Lancashire Cricket Board and for which 23 local champions from all areas of the county had qualified.
Bradley Primary, along with St Christopher’s and the beaten semi finalists, now go through to the regional finals, which will give the cricket-loving girls another opportunity to display their skill and enthusiasm.
“Both boys and girls are cricket mad at our school,” said Sue Ardron.
“They start playing the game in the streets and as soon as they get into Key Stage 2 they are desperate to get into the team. To do so is seen as a privilege.
“So cricket plays a major part in our PE programme, it’s the school’s top sport, and as teachers, it’s our job to mould the pupils’ cricket and get their talents recognised.
“The boys have won the county championships twice and we’ve reached Finals’ Day about four times with both girls and boys."
“We do after-school clubs for both girls and boys and then we hope to get the better players down to clubs like Nelson,” added Richard Bedford.
“But it’s always been good to come to LCB days like this. It’s very worthwhile and it gives our players something to aspire to.”
“It’s also wonderful to see Lancashire's lady cricketers like Kate Cross and Jenny Laycock here,” added Ardron.
“It’s fabulous because it shows our pupils that girls are good enough to get through to that level. It shows them what they can aim for.”
And for her part, Laycock, the LCB’s Womens’ and Girls' Cricket Development Officer, had no doubts about the next step to be taken by the Board in encouraging the enthusiasm fostered at Unsworth.
“The big job now is to make sure there is an exit route for the girls,” she said.
“The plan is to organise a Year Five taster session at Old Trafford in October to help girls move from Kwik cricket to the club game.”
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