The Men's Cricket 1st team have enjoyed another successful season

Successful Cricket Season for the University of Exeter 1st teams

The University of Exeter Men’s Cricket 1st team completed a highly successful and unbeaten British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) campaign on Thursday 23 June with a Trophy Final victory over Loughborough University. This came just a week after a successful trip to Bristol to regain their Premier A Cricket status in the playoff. The Women’s 1st team also had a great year, reaching the BUCS final at Lords. 

The men’s team previously travelled to Bristol to play for Premier A promotion, having been unbeaten in the Premier B division. On a day where rain was due, Exeter had no hesitation in having a bowl first and after some indifferent weather Bristol managed to get themselves to 170 all out from their 42 overs. A disciplined and professional bowling and fielding display from the Exeter team meant they were quietly confident heading into the second phase of the game.

After a couple of rain breaks Exeter’s revised target was 112 from 18 overs, but after a very good start things started to deteriorate with wickets lost at regular intervals. The game progressed, ebbing and flowing until Exeter needed 28 off 2 overs with just 3 wickets remaining. However, with team captain Ollie Mills remaining at the crease, anything was still possible. With 6 balls remaining and 13 runs still required, the game was possibly still in Bristol’s favour, but Mills had other ideas! The first ball of the over disappeared for 6, followed by another boundary; then all of a sudden there was jubilation as Exeter reached the target with a ball to spare. This result means that the team will immediately return to the Premier A competition next summer.

As a result of topping their Premier B division, the 1st XI were then entered into the Trophy knockout competition. The semi-final saw a comfortable win, which meant travelling to Kibworth Cricket Club on 23 June to face Loughborough University. Weather, nerves, and superb skills from both teams created a tense affair, but Exeter were victorious with a 10 run victory. The win was largely thanks to contributions from the in-form Ollie Mills (82 not out) and then the bowling efforts of Ross Powell and Tom Coldman who both picked up 3. This was a fantastic effort from all involved; to remain unbeaten for the entire season was a huge achievement, and the reward will be the opportunity for the players to test their abilities against the teams in the Premier A league next season.

Once again, the women’s 1st team had excellent season, culminating in another performance at the BUCS final at Lords, where they would face Loughborough once again. Exeter had beaten Durham in a very tense game in the Semi Final, amazingly winning off the last ball.

In the final, Exeter batted first, scoring 165 – 5 off their 40 overs, which was a good score, with the blistering form of Aylish Cranstone contributing another half-century to accompany her back to back hundreds in previous games. Unfortunately, this didn’t prove to be enough for a strong Loughborough side, as they reached the total with the loss of 3 wickets in 25 overs.

Amazingly, the Exeter team included two players who had not played cricket before starting at the University, so to complete so closely is credit to the players and coaching staff. The team show great promise for upcoming seasons and there is real belief that they will go from strength to strength.

Alison Davidson, Director of Sport at Exeter, commented: “What a fantastic year for Cricket at the University of Exeter; the students are a credit to themselves and the effort they have put into their games is matched by the excellent coaching and support services. Congratulations to all involved! We would like to thank all who support the Cricket Programme including Exeter alumni Professor Jenny Harrow (Politics, 1968) and Stephen Harrow (History, 1967), who have been generous supporters of cricket at Exeter for many years, along with a number of fellow graduates. We thank all for their continued support.”

Cricket is one of the University’s nine focus sports and the University will host the Women’s Cricket Super League as part of a South West consortium from 2016. The University of Exeter Sports Scholarship Scheme is one of the most prestigious in the UK, helping the best student athletes reach their full potential. The scheme provides a comprehensive support package and is tailored to suit the needs of each individual athlete. Many of our graduating scholars have progressed to a professional level in their chosen sport and represented their respective countries on the global stage.

The University of Exeter has been awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2016, following significant investment and development over the past 10 years. The University has also achieved a Global 100 ranking in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The prestigious rankings, which mean Exeter retains its position as best in the South West, take into account a wide range of factors, including student satisfaction and research excellence. 

For more information about the student cricket programme, please contact the Student Sport Manager, Charlotte Raymont, at C.E.Raymont@exeter.ac.uk.

Date: 24 June 2016

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