KING’S Hall’s Taunton boys beat Solihull School at Oakham on Tuesday in the National Finals of the English Schools Cricket Association Under-13s Bunbury Cup, completing their two year journey by lifting the trophy that was presented to them afterwards by its founder, David English.

The final match of the competition was a culmination of an exceptional run of success and not even the grey, wet weather could dampen the excitement surrounding this finale to not only their fantastic season, but also a remarkable national achievement. 

King’s Hall began their journey to the 2017 Bunbury Cup last season along with 1,200 entries from both state and independent schools across the country, qualifying through several county rounds last year that highlighted the outstanding quality of cricket represented throughout the tournament and particularly in the final.

The King’s Hall matches leading to the final have all shown not just a good standard of cricket for the age group, but examples of ‘proper’ cricket being played. 

Some superb scores have been recorded with several of the boys consistently achieving remarkable feats. 

Against Truro in May, both James Rew and George Thomas scored centuries, and totalled 466 runs in two matches without losing wickets earlier this season, while with the ball Charlie Sharland also showed huge talent, taking 8-2 in one match. 

With scores like this and displays of talent from each of the boys throughout the season, it was clear King’s had a strong side and so it proved.

The final against Solihull School was held in damp conditions at Oakham on Tuesday, July 11 where King’s won the toss and elected to field. 

The King’s bowlers kept it tight and wickets fell regularly until Solihull were bowled out for 148 in the penultimate over of a 35-over contest.

Pick of the King’s bowlers was Charlie Sharland with 3-33, while Aman Rao ended with 2-32 and Joe Seymour picked up 2-34. 

After lunch, King’s reply started strongly putting them ahead of the rate at 57-1, of which George Thomas hit 31, before the rain took players off the field at the end of the 12th over. 

Sadly the rain continued to fall and no further play was possible, but King’s Hall were declared the winners of the match and the Under-13 Bunbury Cup on superior run rate.

Rob Holman, director of sport at King’s Hall, said: “All season the boys have shown a great attitude and this win is reward for all their efforts.

"They have always been a very talented group but have been determined to make the most of their abilities. 

“They have hugely developed as a team and individually, which is evident in some of the excellent individual achievements. 

“The team has been wonderfully led by George and James, who will clearly take a lot of the headlines, but right throughout the season all the boys have made significant contributions, most notably in our semi-final victory over St Bede’s. 

The director of sport added: “We are all extremely proud of their achievements and this will hopefully lead the way for many more similar successes. 

“At King’s we have some strong year groups coming through and I have no doubt that this victory will only encourage these teams to work harder.”

Headmaster Justin Chippendale said: “It was terrific to see the boys’ talent and hard work rewarded with them becoming National Champions. 

“We have enjoyed their high quality performances over two years of this competition and will look forward to following their exciting cricket futures.”

The King’s squad was as follows: Josh Thomas, Charlie Sharland, George Thomas, Rufus Williams-Pritchard, Joe Seymour, Aman Rao, Alex Cunningham, Joshua Couch, James Rew, Johnnie Drysdale, Tom Small, Ben Davies.