Tom Abell is hoping for a strong performance in his first finals day.

Exeter cricketers head to finals day

The University of Exeter men’s and women’s cricket clubs are gearing up for an exciting end to the indoor season as they both travel to Edgbaston Cricket Ground for the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) finals on 30 March.

Exeter has a strong tradition of the indoor game; with cricketers benefitting from the purpose built Sir Christopher Ondaatje Devon Cricket Centre on the University’s Streatham Campus.

2012/2013 saw Exeter’s women reach the tournament final after also making finals day in 2011/2012. Having lost out in the semi-final qualifiers last year, Exeter’s men will be hoping to make the most of a great run of form so far this season. The side remain undefeated after their opening 10 matches which featured teams from across the region.

2nd year Cricket Scholar and Somerset batsman Tom Abell will be heading to his first finals day and is confident that the team can come away with a positive result. He said: “We’ve got as good a chance as anyone. There’ll be some strong sides there, but if we play to our potential I don’t think that anyone will have as much strength and depth as we have.

“We missed out in the group stages last year, so this will be a good challenge – we have learnt things from last year that we can take forward.

“Indoor cricket is a unique challenge. You’ve really got to think about how you’re going to approach it. It’s less about strength and power; you’ve got to be able to manoeuvre the ball and fielders.”

Indoor cricket’s six-a-side format and space restrictions make it a lot faster than its outdoor counterpart. Each sides bowls just 10 overs, with matches often lasting no more than one hour.

Director of Cricket Julian Wyatt explained: “Indoor cricket is a great game which can be tense and exciting. The matches are normally very close. It’s totally different to the outdoor game, the close proximity put people under pressure making it a good way to gauge player’s awareness and reflexes.

The Exeter sides both face challenging semi-final draws in their bid for success. The men will take on Leeds in their first match, whilst the women will come up against Cardiff Met, who beat them in last year’s final.

Julian added: “It’s great to have both sides at finals day and both more than capable of bringing home the win.

“The men have a really good side, and shouldn’t worry about playing anyone. If they start well and get into a good rhythm they’ve got every chance of going all the way. Facing Leeds in the semi is a tough draw, but if we focus and do what we do well we can certainly beat them.

“The girls will be looking for revenge after losing to Cardiff Met in last year’s finals.

“Three of our girls; Aylish Cranstone, Fi Morris and Amara Carr, have competed for the England Development Squad, and we have great depth in the team. If they believe in themselves I have no doubt they can come through and take the challenge to the big MCCU sides like Loughborough.”

The summer season follows hotly on the heels of the winter finals. On returning from Edgbaston, the men will have just four days before for their first summer friendly in Cambridge, before the BUCS season fully kicks off on 11 April.

Date: 25 March 2014

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