SOUTH Dartmoor College’s all-girls cricket team can’t wait to get out on grass for another crack at glory in the Chance to Shine tournament.
The college’s under-13 side represented Devon at the ECB Chance to Shine regional indoor finals held at Hampshire CCC’s Ageas Bow complex in Southampton.
South Dartmoor went through their group unbeaten to set up a semi-final meeting with defending champions Castle School from Taunton.
A side with five county players proved a little too good for South Dartmoor and went on to win the competition again and qualify for the national finals.
Steve Dinnie, the director of sport at the Ashburton college, said having a near miss had only whetted the girls’ appetite for another go.
“The coaches, Rob Pryke and Becky Mason, were extremely proud of the team,” said Dinnie.
“Their dedication, team work and enthusiasm has ranked South Dartmoor in the top 15 schools in the country out of 876 private and state schools that entered the Chance to Shine competition.
“South Dartmoor will now be targeting another place at the regionals finals in the Chance to Shine outdoor competition which start later this month.”
South Dartmoor were drawn against champions from Wiltshire, Wales and the Isle of Wight in their group.
Corsham were beaten in the first game – Brooke Leaman taking three wickets for four runs – and Welsh champs Radyr School came next.
South Dartmoor’s total of 90 looked vulnerable when Radyr needed seven to win off the last three balls, but captain Abbie Lockett performed the hat-trick to give her side victory.
South Dartmoor completed their group games with a hefty 67-run win over Island Free School from the Isle of Wight.
South Dartmoor scored an impressive 100 runs in their eight overs. Free school wickets fell regularly from the bowling of Katie Southcott and fast bowler Hannah Jones, who has earned a Devon place for the summer ahead.
South Dartmoor were the only state school to get through the group stages undefeated.
South Dartmoor were placed third after losing their semi-final, which Dinnie said was a success on its own.
“The girls had won nine games in a row to reach this stage of the competition, winning both the district and county finals,” said Dinnie.
“This alone was a fantastic achievement for a team who started playing cricket less than 18 months ago.
“The team have worked tremendously hard, they have been training before, during and after school for up to nine hours a week to prepare for this competition.”