Moray-wide indoor cricket competition launched in Forres
CRICKET in Moray has not gone into hibernation for the winter.
Junior winter programmes at Forres St Lawrence, Buckie, Elgin and Fochabers cricket clubs started in the New Year and juniors involved in Moray Area squads, namely U-15 girls, U-15s and U-13s, have been training since November under experienced coaches Neil Nichol (Girls & U-13s) and Gus Farr (U-15s).
As part of their programme, a new indoor league schedule put together for Moray’s junior club and secondary school cricketers, and incorporating the Caledonian (North) region’s Under-15s Inter Area Indoor Championship, launched on Sunday at Forres House Community Centre with the first Moray Girls Indoor League.
Five teams drawn from the Moray Girls Winter training squad and clubs from Forres, Elgin, Fochabers, and Huntly took part in the first of two round robin events.
The format is 6-a-side pairs with each player bowling and batting using a soft-cricket ball.
It is a fast and furious game as players get used to the pace of the ball coming off the walls at all angles. However, it provides players with game-time opportunities that a whole amount of winter skills honing and training will not.
As befitting the venue, Forres were first up against local rivals Elgin A to become pioneers of women’s cricket in Moray.
Elgin A ran out winners with the ‘B’ team also winning against a strong Fochabers team led by Scotland U-15 development player, Morven Pride.
The games were keenly contested with Elgin A dominating their local rivals having grasped the intricacies of the format and playing indoors quickest.
Huntly upped the anti with three Scotland U-15 development players in their squad. Undoubtedly favourites for the tournament, they claimed victories against Forres and Fochabers. Huntley’s game against Elgin A went down to the ultimate ball before they also won by four runs.
Assistant Forres coach Adam Ferguson was pleased with the performance of the local team at the first meeting of the Moray Girls Indoor League.
"As the home club, we were given the first match which wasn’t ideal at that time of the morning!," he said.
"Given the fact that there were only three of them and their opponents kept changing, they did really well and stuck to what they had to do.
"I could see improvement from the first game to the last, especially when batting with finding the gaps in the hall and running well.
"With the fielding, they were very sharp throughout which is pleasing because it’s something we work hard on."
The girls reconvene for round two at Forres Community Centre on March 8.
Forres St Lawrence Cricket Club run sessions for boys and girls in the community centre on Monday nights from 5.30-7pm.