Redbridge youngsters win youth games medals
- Credit: Archant
Cricketers can inspire borough’s London Youth Games teams
Redbridge cricket coach Mahesh Velani hopes the performances of the borough’s two teams at Lord’s will inspire others towards the top of the London Youth Games table this year.
Redbridge girls’ team battled to a brilliant silver medal, while the boys took home a bronze from the indoor finals event at the home of cricket on Sunday to fire them up the Jubilee Trophy standings.
“Overall, Redbridge did really well and the two medals can only be good for the borough in the rest of the Games,” said Velani.
“There is a long way to go, but hopefully we have inspired the other Redbridge teams and other boroughs will be a little worried about facing us psychologically.”
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The girls didn’t make finals day last year, but they certainly made up for that this time round with some fine performances.
In the quarter-finals they took on Richmond and did well to restrict them to a score of 61, before chasing down the total with a couple of overs to spare.
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In the semis they faced holders Hammersmith and put in a sparkling performance.
“The boys were playing at the same time,” said Velani, “But we kept being distracted as there was a cheer just about every over as the Redbridge girls took wickets, it was a great performance.”
It certainly was. Hammersmith were skittled for just 25 and it took the girls no time at all to book their place in the final.
However, that is where the dream ended for Redbridge girls as they faced Bromley.
“Bromley were head and shoulders above everyone else, but our girls gave them the hardest match,” said Velani.
“No-one else got anywhere near the 87 they scored against them.”
Bromley knocked the runs off, but a silver medal was a great result for Redbridge.
The boys were the holders and big things were expected of them as they went into their quarter-final against Camden.
They were already five wickets down when they were rescued by a superb 40 runs from the last man to take them up to 95, but Camden looked like chasing it down when the game finished in controversial circumstances.
Needing 14 to win, a ball was hit high and looked like being a six, only for it to strike the ceiling at Lord’s before being caught.
“Camden thought it was a six and weren’t happy with the decision, but you have to go with the umpire,” said a relieved Velani.
However, in the last four, Redbridge were beaten by Tower Hamlets in a tight match.
Redbridge scored 107, but Tower Hamlets chased it down with just three balls to spare to end their hopes of retaining the title.
“We were probably the strongest team overall, but credit to Tower Hamlets, they played the crucial moments better than us,” said Velani.