Oundle played Northampton School for Boys in both the U14 and U15 Northamptonshire County Cup finals at the beginning of the Michaelmas term.
The route to the finals for both teams saw them win comfortable victories last term over Prince William School, Kettering Buccleuch Academy, Bishop Stopford, Wollaston (U14 semi-final) and Moulton (U15 semi-final).
With a place in the national cup competition for next season at stake, the U14s, captained by Will Park batted first. With Park and Olly Ford opening the batting, they went about their business maturely and with great skill forging an opening partnership of 177. Ford eventually fell for 85 in the final over, with Will Park carrying his bat for 81 not out. A strong score of 180-1 from our 20 overs put us in a good position at the half way point.
NSB came out to bat with real purpose and determination and punished some loose bowling early on, easily going at the required rate through the first six overs. However, when captain Park brought himself on and took the first wicket to break a partnership of 74, Oundle really started to put the squeeze on. Then, when Archie Atkinson drew a big leading edge from the other opener to make the score 102-2, Oundle seized control and started taking wickets at regular intervals. Leg spinner and leading wicket taker for the season, Alex Spragg took two wickets with MacKay, Aubury and Liddy also taking a wicket each. NSB finished on 147-7, meaning Oundle won a keenly fought final by 33 runs.
The team will now represent Northamptonshire in the national competition, playing in the U15s.
The U15 final unfolded in a similar fashion in the Oundle, captained by Alex Dyer, who won the toss and batted first. Oundle started well again with Dyer and Hugo Halstead progressing the score to 47 before losing the first wicket, which brought Will De Capell Brooke to the crease. Halstead fell shortly after for a well-made 35. De Capell Brooke went about his business well, and when he was joined by Harry Boston these two formed a partnership of 86. De Capell Brooke was then caught at long on for a well-made 50 which left Boston to finish off the innings nicely with 64 not out. Oundle ended on 196-4 from 25 overs.
Boston then came straight back out to open the bowling and took three early wickets in an impressive opening spell, narrowly missing out on a hattrick. Good spells from James Tobin (1 wicket), George Davies (2 wickets) and Ben Shirley (3 wickets) saw NSB collapse to 56-9. But NSB weren’t just going to roll over and give up. An impressive 10th wicket partnership of 60 frustrated Oundle, but ultimately they closed out the game and Oundle won by 80 runs.