At the start of the summer holidays Epsom hosted the annual 1st XI cricket festival in truly glorious conditions. With the festival now 2 years old the College welcomed Repton, Warwick, and St Peter’s, York for 3 days of cricket.
Following the draw on day 1 Epsom were pitched against midlands side Warwick. After losing the toss our visitors took first use of splendid conditions to amass 216-4 of their 35 overs. This was mainly down to their England U19 star making a sublime century on what proved to be his final game for his school. With an imposing total to chase a youthful Epsom side make a solid start with Edward Hughes and Elliot Rumble moving the total passed 50. Sadly, a flurry of wickets fell before Liam Head and Adam Koep entered the fray. With the run rate spiralling the two batsmen produced a scintillating partnership moving Epsom to the verge of victory. Sadly, as Head fell for a sparkling 71 Epsom soon needed 7 off 3 deliveries. 5th form student Charlie Richardson then produced a Botham-esque hooked six to push Epsom over the line in a wonderful game of cricket.
After a late night watching England sneak through on penalties at the tournament dinner day two saw Epsom outplayed by an on-song St Peter’s side. Many of the Epsom players showed promise in this game but a lack of experience against a mature side meant that all was still to play for on the final day.
Day 3 saw the unbeaten Repton move over to pitch one. In a fitting tribute leaving upper sixth students Liam Head and Edward Hughes opened in a shortened game. The two Epsom stalwarts set about the opposition bowling with distain putting on a century in no time. Both fell after making superb half centuries and leaving the 1st XI in a commanding position. Late cameo’s by Tom Lynagh and Chris Lansdown then led the 1st XI to an above par 233-6.
In reply the gifted Repton side, containing numerous County cricketers looked well set to complete a clean sweep. 4 wickets by Adam Koep checked Repton in their stride before a world class catch by U4 student Henry Dalton turned the game on its head. A rejuvenated Epsom then pushed home the advantage to finish with 2 wins from 3 games.
A three-way tie between Epsom, Repton, and St Peter’s proved a fitting end to what was a very enjoyable and impressive festival played in the right spirit. With Epsom fielding 8 players in the 3 days who return next year much momentum was gained in a pleasing end to the season.
A huge thank you to the ground staff and catering department for making both our own players and visitors so very welcome. We look forward to visiting Repton in 2019.