Bridgwater Cricket Club’s Matt Duckering looks back on a successful year for the youth section at the club...

AS we reflect on 2019, it is only right that we thank all our volunteers - coaches, managers, supervisors, umpires and scorers - as without them we simply wouldn’t be able to provide so much cricket for youngsters to enjoy.

Across the youth section we have seen growth in numbers, and fielded more teams in more league and cup competitions in both Taunton & District and Mid-Wessex leagues.

Player development also saw increased levels of performance, with several players entering the counties pathway centre, development squads and the Emerging Player programme.

Our teams played some fantastic cricket, and the club worked hard to maximise playing time of all our cricketers regardless of ability.

In the Taunton & District Youth League, Bridgwater Under-11 Red Sox finished second in the East A Division, winning eight games and losing only one.

Many of this exciting young team will play in this age group again, so will hope to go one better next year.

The Under-13s also had a great season, with a runners-up spot in the East A Division.

Thomas Ford and Kian Roberts, two of our county players, also made their senior debuts for the Pointers and 3rd XI, respectively.

In the Mid-Wessex league our U16’s were dominant with Sethan Locke leading the team to our first U16 championship.

Players from the youth section consistently featured in Bridgwater’s senior teams, with 26 Under-19 players represented the club across its senior teams.

The U19s went into this year as champions of both 2017 and 2018, so expectation was high and many of the players had been in the squad for a couple of years.

However, the standard of cricket in the competition is high, so captain Tom Bellinger and the team couldn’t take anything for granted.

In the group stage they struggled to find form, qualifying in third place, but the team definitely turned up on finals day.

In the semi-finals Bridgwater restricted Taunton St Andrew’s to 47 all out, with the standout performance coming from Tilly Bond (three overs, two maidens, three runs and four wickets).

In reply, opening batsmen Bellinger and Callum Pope completed the run chase unbeaten.

The final was a tight affair against Yeovil, as Bridgwater posted 116 all out (Dominic Court scoring 30).

Yeovil got to within a single run, but with a hard-working fielding display and an excellent four-over spell from Bellinger (four wickets), Bridgwater successfully made it three U19 titles in a row!

As we head into 2020, we hope to continue our winning ways, while also striving to provide an environment where young players can enjoy their cricket whatever the standard.

We are looking to increase our coaching staff, and are always seeking players, both new to the game or looking for a new challenge.

The youth section starts winter training in January, so if you have a youngster looking to get into cricket, you can contact for details.