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Nine Schools, three hundred schoolchildren and two tournaments

Wesley Best
Laurelvale CC

Edenderry Primary School was the inaugural winner of Laurelvale's Kwik Cricket tournament which took place at the club on Friday 8th May. A second tournament on the 22nd May was won by Orchard County Primary School.

This was a new venture for the club and is a key part in the strategy to introduce young people to the game and increase participation amongst girls and boys in the area.

Laurelvale coaches visited nine schools and delivered one hour coaching sessions to almost 300 primary school children in the build-up to the day.

Six schools, with a total of 60 children, took part in the first tournament; Edenderry, Portadown Integrated, Seagoe, Bocombra, Mullavilly and Hardy Memorial.

The first series of matches saw Mullavilly, Seagoe and Edenderry triumphant despite some excellent performances from their opponents. Portadown Integrated progressed to the Semi-finals with these three teams as the best loser from the first round. Edenderry overcame Mullavilly in the first semi-final in an exciting contest and this was followed by a win for Seagoe over PIPS in the second match.

A closely fought final ensued with the more experienced Edenderry team overcoming a spirited and talented Seagoe side.

On arrival at the ground each team was allocated a coach for the day who provided guidance and coaching throughout their games. ECB level 2 coach Colin Stewart was joined by Club Captain David Sinton, ECB Level 1 coaches Simon Hughes and Dean McAlinden (both currently completing Level 2) as well as Nicola Roberts and Joanne Harrison representing the growing ladies' contingent at Laurelvale. Another ECB level 2 coach, Wesley Best, acted as tournament co-ordinator.  All coaches were impressed by the talent on show and are keen to see the players playing for the youth sides at the club.

Such was the interest generated that a second tournament took place on Friday 22nd May. An additional three schools, Richmount, Orchard County and Moyallon were joined by B teams from Edenderry, Mullavilly and Moyallon in another exciting day for youth cricket in the village. Orchard County defeated Mullavilly in the final to win the second tournament.

Children, coaches, teachers and spectators thoroughly enjoyed both days and it is planned to make the tournament an annual event.

Youth coaching takes place at Laurelvale on Wednesday nights from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm overseen by the coaches assisted by players. Teams from Primary school up to Year 12 are entered into their respective leagues and a Girls' and a Ladies team are planned for this season.