During the holidays, the talented and up and coming U11A Cricket Team set off to Knysna for an experience of a life time. The Sun Valley U11 teams have been attending the annual Cricket Festival, run by the brilliant Keith Cretchley for many years and have held the Sun Valley name in high regard. This tour was no different.

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Incredible behaviour, superb manners, brilliant cricket and a whole lot of fun sums up the ethos of the tour.

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On Monday, the boys set off to Knysna bright and early as a match was scheduled for 14:30 that day. The boys made good progress along their journey, and after a quick warm up, the lads had to “switch on” and get ready for their match against our great friends, Somerset College. Somerset are a very strong cricketing school and receive top class coaching, so this was undoubtably going to be a challenge.

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The Sun Valley Boys dug deep and produced an outstanding performance with both the bat and the ball to win the game quite convincingly. An incredible team effort in the field was the difference with super catching, throwing and some amazing run outs taking place.

The second match was against the PE Elephants, which consisted largely of players from Grey PE. This was going to be a seriously tough encounter, with this big boys school boasting a number of Provincial Players. The GRITTY SVPS U11A side were not phased and went into the game confidentl believing in their abilities. Ben Hansen struck an amazing 50* which helped the team to an impressive total of 160. Great knocks were also played by Jake Coetzer and Mikey Stander. The PE Elephants were in phenomenal form with the bat and played attacking cricket. Outstanding bowling by spin bowlers, Cam Bennetts and Cam Giles helped to get us back in the game. A phenomenal catch on the boundary by the talented, Gabriel Clarke, was the difference on the day as we bowled the PE Elephants out for 136 and won the game!

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The fourth match (after our 3rd game was rained out) took place against a big Afrikaans school from the PE area, Sunridge. They boasted physically large, strong boys who play very aggressive cricket. Their batting was dangerous. The SVPS team put in place a number of plans to counter their style of play. The boys got us off to a brilliant start with Ben Hansen once again excelling with the bat as he notched another 50! Mike Stander struck the ball around the ground with ease as the pair helped SVPS to 111-3 in 20 overs. Sunridge came out in true aggressive style, and despite the lads taking a number of wickets, Sunridge continued to attack.

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The game was poised at 100-9. Sunridge required 12 runs off 12 balls. Their best player was on 54 not out and ready to go. Tommy Dresner showed great courage as he came in to bowl the second last over…”HOOWZATTTT!”, Tommy Dresner shouted, as he knocked over the stumps to win the game.

Despite the obvious phenomenal results, exciting play and HUGE growth in fielding and development of a team culture, a large focus was placed on the fun, enjoyment and tour experience. The boys visited Adventure Land, the Elephant Park, the Indoor Cricket Centre in George and of course spend their evenings at the Knysna Waterfront enjoying delicious meals.

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Plenty of fun was enjoyed at the lodge as the boys enjoying wrestling with the coaches as well as some chilly night swims.

What a TOUR!

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