University cricket success might seem an odd headline at this time of year, but the strength of the indoor squad means it is in fact an inevitability.
Indoor cricket, a modified version of the summer sport, is a great opportunity for the team to develop their skills over the winter. The format is played with just six players, rather than the usual 11, with scoring decided according to the different areas of the sports hall the ball is hit.
Durham MCCU have laid the foundations for success early in the new year with a succession of comprehensive wins in the preliminary rounds during Michaelmas term. This ensured the team progressed to the knockout stages of the competition, where they defeated De Montfort University 2s, Sheffield Hallam 1s, and Nottingham Trent 1s.
Notoriously strong in this format of the game, the Durham 1s, captained by Tom Price, who has just signed a professional contract with Gloucestershire Cricket, showed their class in progressing to Finals Day last week. The squad of Price (c), Joe Cracknell, Alexander Thomas, Jonathan Conolly, Ollie Price, Simon Fernandes, and Sam Perry consists of six first-year students, itself testament to the strength of the current squad at the University.
The Durham 1s travelled to Leicester for the final day of the indoor BUCS competition, where they were placed in a group with Sheffield Hallam, Portsmouth, and Cardiff. They successfully progressed through the group stages, and ultimately won the indoor competition.
This success in the Men’s Trophy Final is a massive boost to the team’s pre-season training, and a marker for all competitors before the beginning of the BUCS summer leagues.
Image: Harry Trump via Flickr and Creative Commons