Youth Cricket: Rain ruins Gloucestershire title hopes

Alex Allen bowling for Gloucestershire

Alex Allen bowling for Gloucestershire

First published in Sport by

GLOUCESTERSHIRE under-14s were cruelly denied the chance to become 2014 Taunton Festival champions when rain intervened in their winner-takes-all clash versus Lancashire.

The Shire looked well-placed at 86-2 from 20 overs when the heavens opened and the three-day tournament was abandoned.

Lancashire ended up taking home the trophy after accumulating two more bonus points in their previous two games.

It was a disappointing end to the season for Gloucestershire, who had started the festival with their most complete performance of the season, beating a strong Cambridgeshire side by eight wickets.

Spinners Alex Allen of Thornbury (3-7 from eight overs) Winterbourne's Ben Parker (2-16 from eight overs) put a stranglehold on their opponents with a fantastic spell that combined flight, guile, control and considerable turn as Gloucestershire bowled Cambs out for just 109.

In reply Gloucestershire lost Frocester's Will Helmke early on but recovered thanks to a 66-run partnership between Jack Morris (49) and Ed Wilson, who finished on 30 not out as he and Thornbury's Ed Webb (11*) saw their side home to an impressive win.

Gloucestershire were unable to repeat their performance on the second match of the festival against Cheshire.

The day started well when Wilson struck three times with Cheshire struggling on 50-4 at the lunch break with 15 overs remaining.

George Stone (2-38) and Ethan Organ (3-18), in his best performance of the season, ripped through the middle order and tail in their second spells but by then the damage had been done as Gloucestershire took their foot off after the interval.

Chasing 144 for victory, Gloucestershire raced to 19 without loss thanks to some wayward bowling but once Cheshire found their lines the game turned on its head.

Organ and Nick Robson (Chipping Sodbury) decided to bat out for the losing draw and they looked like achieving this before the latter was out lbw for a 31-ball five. However, Organ (8*) and Allen (3*) remained resolute to finish on 97-9.

In the abandoned game against Lancs, Morris had made 29 and Wilson was 26 not out before the rain came.

At the end of the festival the Gloucestershire players voted for their players of the tournament.

Morris took the batsman prize, Allen the bowling and Wilson the player of the festival.

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