CRICKET AT DOWNSIDE
Unquestionably, the sport of cricket has been a major feature at Downside ever since the first cricket match was played at the School in 1867 and, under the leadership of our Head of Cricket Development, Mr Alfonso Thomas & our Head of Girls Games, Mrs Emily Chapman, last year saw the first ever girls’ fixtures take place at the School.
An U18 girls team entered the Lady Taverner’s Indoor league through the winter and then faced Wells Cathedral School in home and away outdoor fixtures in the summer term. This momentum has continued into this academic year, with more of our girls than ever training through the winter with Miss Ella Johnson (Graduate Sports Assistant & ECB Level 2 coach) in preparation for forthcoming indoor fixtures vs King Edward’s School and further planned outdoor fixtures in the summer term.
Thanks to recent investment in cricket at the School and the generosity of the Downside Wanderers CC, the excellent indoor nets at the Sports Centre continue to provide Somerset Cricket Board with a base for their winter nets programme. County Age Group & Development Pathway sides from U10-U17 are once again visiting the school on week nights throughout the Term, and pupils from the Second and Third Forms are representing Downside cricket with distinction.
This year we are especially delighted to be hosting the Somerset Cricket Board girls’ programmes alongside those of the boys, with a Third Former and Lower Sixth Former selected to train with the best girls from across the County following trials held here at Downside last October half term.
Over the next four months Downside School will host nearly 75 training sessions for Somerset, and we will again host multiple County Age Group matches in the summer. With a full fixture programme again planned for our boys 1st XI, 2nd XI, U15A and U14A squads, alongside a newly formed U14B side to mirror the development programme we already run in rugby and hockey, the sport of cricket continues to go from strength to strength at Downside School. This momentum will continue to ensure that the brightest and the best young cricket talent from across the South West will visit the School and see first-hand why, over 150 years since it arrived at Downside the sport of cricket continues to flourish.