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WATCH Russell Scott claim cricket title
Tuesday 29th May 2018 @ 14:32 by Mark Phillip

Dukinfield Cricket Club hosted the Tameside Cricket Finals last week.

Organised by Tameside Schools Sports Partnership, the competition was contested between Russell Scott, Greswell, St Peters Ashton, Moorside, Our Lady’s, and St John Fisher.

Despite a valiant performance from every school, only one would progress to the Lancashire Finals.

After a tightly contested finale between Russell Scott and Greswell, the former edge their way to victory and booked their place in the Finals at Northernden.

Following the achievement, Russell Scott headteacher Steve Marsland said he was delighted with his pupils’ efforts. “Whatever competition we win, there’s a feeling of relief after it” said Steve.

“When children play sport it’s amazing to see the camaraderie and togetherness within the group. Tameside SSP and Dukinfield CC really did well, and they’ve managed to bring loads of schools together in a competitive, but enjoyable environment.

“The girls played in their own festival a few days earlier and won that too, so we’ll now represent Lancashire in the coming weeks.”

Throughout the year, school sport has been supported by Darran Gorman, Stephen Scott and Rachel Burke. The trio were hailed by Marsland, who said: “They always do well by our children because they know how important it is to get children active and keep them fit. All our teachers and coaches are great advocates of fitness and games within school. Rachel was here first thing this morning running yoga sessions, so it’s not just about competitions; winning cups; running and playing football, it’s the little things that come with it.

“We’ve also just gone through the healthy schools’ initiative, which includes school meals, so we’re well on our way to having a great success story in terms of keeping children healthy and fit, and it’s down to the hard work of those individuals.”

The competition was successful in no small part to Dukinfield Cricket Club, who offered their services free of charge throughout the week. Chairman Martin Vidler said he was more than happy to facilitate the competition – especially if it encourages youngsters into cricket. “We’ve got a facility here that’s under utilised and nothing makes me happier than when it’s full, like today.

“It’s something we started four years ago in partnership with Tameside SSP, and it’s just grown from strength to strength. We’ve had three days of beautiful weather and the ground’s been full every afternoon – it’s superb.

“It’s great to bring new people into cricket at such a young age. This week alone we’ve had youngsters selected to go and play for some of the local clubs, including the Denton clubs and Droylsden, and hopefully we’ll see a few new faces at our junior training session on Friday.”

Although he’s happy with the current state of affairs, Martin is happy for new players to join – especially from the age of 15 and upwards. He said: “We’re very strong at Under 9s, Under 10s and Under 11’s” said Martin.

“To be honest we’re strong up to the Under 13 age group, but after that the problem is keeping hold of them. They seem to find other interests and there’s also a lot of pressure with exams and other things. You tend to find that if they’re good at sport then they’re good academically, and so parents tell them to focus on their education, which is fair, but there also needs to be a balance.

“We certainly need players from Under 15s upwards, and we also have places in the second team, so if anyone is interested then they’d be more than welcome.”

Dukinfield are competing in the Greater Manchester League for a third successive season. Martin believes the structure provides a good foundation for competitive cricket. “It’s a new league and everyone is finding their level” he said.

“New teams are coming in each year, and so you’re not quite sure what the level of competition is, but it seems to be a good thing and everybody is pushing to get the standard of cricket as high as we can. Premier League is the goal, but it will take us a while to get there, but we’ll do it.”