Portsmouth Grammar School lift national title as Hoolahan holds nerve in heat of battle

Portsmouth Grammar School celebrated national cup success
Portsmouth Grammar School celebrated national cup success
Have your say

PORTSMOUTH Grammar School are celebrating after their under-17 cricket team won the School Sports Magazine National Cricket Cup, beating Sedbergh School in a tight final.

PGS needed three runs to win off the final over and after plenty of twists and turns, Harry Hoolahan stepped up to seal victory under pressure.

The school’s head of cricket, Scott Curwood, lauded the success as a great reward for the work ethic and spirit of the team.

He said: ‘It was an outstanding team performance from all players involved.

‘They should be extremely proud of this national title and all the hard work they have put in throughout their years at PGS.

‘This result is just reward for all their impressive commitment, team work and dedication.’

Sedbergh School won the toss, choosing to bat.

The PGS bowlers performed with discipline and control, taking wickets at regular intervals, ensuring Sedbergh’s run rate was under control, with PGS pupil Harry Wratten taking three wickets.

The team fielded with a great deal of energy and intensity throughout and this excellent, positive approach enabled them to run out two of Sedbergh’s top-order batsman.

Sedbergh finished their 40 overs on 174 for nine.

The PGS reply started confidently, with Sam Caldera scoring 30 runs.

Then, as happened with Sedbergh’s innings, wickets started to fall at regular intervals.

At 142 for eight the game was very much in the balance.

But the ninth-wicket partnership of 30 runs between Hoolahan and Wratten took PGS to three runs from the winning total.

As the match reached the final over, PGS required just three runs to win with two wickets remaining.

Wratten, who had played a mature innings in his ninth-wicket partnership with Hoolahan, was bowled.

This brought PGS’s youngest player, Joe Kooner-Evans, 14, to the crease.

With four balls left in the match, Kooner-Evans took a single.

PGS now needed two runs from three balls with one wicket left.

The third ball of the final over was eventful.

Hoolahan tried to take a single but was sent back wisely by Kooner-Evans, and with the Sedbergh opening bowler charging through in his run-up and having all three stumps to hit from four yards away he missed.

By this stage Hoolahan was able to dive back in to his crease before the follow up throw hit the stumps.

After a brush down and covered in dust from his efforts in making his ground, Hoolahan faced up with two runs to win from two balls.

His next shot proved the defining moment, hitting the ball just out of the reach of mid-off and taking two runs, ensuring PGS took the title.

Hoolahan finished a dramatic contest on 26 not out.

PGS: Sam Caldera, Jay Hartard, Alex Willoughby, Ben Caldera (vice captain), Jadon Buckeridge (captain), Daniel Mugford, Ned Renwick, Harry Hoolahan, William Futcher, Harry Wratten, Joseph Kooner-Evans, Charlie Connaughton (sub)