During the holidays, the U11A Cricket Team set off to Knysna to take part in the Cretchley Cricket Series – A prestigious event which has been taking place in Knysna for the past 20 years.

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The boys were incredibly excited as they arrived at school on the morning of the Tour. For many of them, this would be their very first Tour for SVPS.

The drive up was filled with singing, laughing and plenty of games. At each and every stop the boys had an absolute ball playing and joking with their friends. Upon arrival at our beautiful accommodation, Point Lodge, the boys settled into their rooms and were amazed by the beautiful views over the lagoon.

It was straight off to Loerie Park for a quick stretch, fielding session and batting practice.

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Throughout the Tour the boys had delicious meals. Whether it be traditional South African “Bunny Chow” which Mannix was shocked to find out was, in fact, not a Rabbit meal, our delicious burgers at SPUR or simply an amazing braai back at our lodge, the boys were spoiled form start to finish.

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On the first day of playing, we were set to take on the powerful St Andrews Prep. It rained quite heavily in the morning, however, we were able to get some play in. Unfortunately, the game was reduced to a 20/20 version. We lost the toss and were put into bat on a wet wicket. This saw us drop to 39-6 in the 8th over. We were in huge trouble until walked Connor Arbuthnot and Christian Ferguson came to the crease. The pair put on a remarkable fight back partnership of 70 runs. Connor scored 44 (30 balls) and Chris scored 22 (17 balls) to help the team to a competitive total of 120. The boys went into bowl and produced a spectacular performance of accuracy and control despite the wet weather. The team had restricted St Andrews to require 50 runs off the final 5 overs when the heavens opened and the game had to be called off.

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That afternoon, the team set off to a rainy Plett where we enjoyed visiting some of the sights and views, and enjoyed a well deserved cup of Hot Chocolate at the local Mugg ‘n Bean.

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Our second match was against an equally strong Kingswood College Team. We played at the beautiful Oakhill Sports Grounds. It was a magnificent day, but the heavy rains overnight had slightly damaged the pitch. After a delayed start, we were set to play an exciting 30 over match. We lost the toss and were sent into bat. Openers, Michael Stander and Matthew Saunders were in superb form. They showed patience and control as they put on a quite amazing 92 run partnership(Michael 36 and Matt 44). With some good attacking by the middle order, we posted a very impressive 132 in 30 overs. Once again, our bowling and fielding was top class. The boys were accurate and disciplined and bowled out Kingswood for 68 runs, winning by 64 runs. Jake Smith took a brilliant 3 wickets while Josh Bartlett, Troy Peacock-Edwards and Matt Saunders each took 2.

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It was a sight to behold as the boys shook hands after the match. Immediately they sprinted to collect their kit bags and fly into the buses in order to get to the WATER SLIDES before it was too late. The celebrations continued throughout the afternoon as the boys slipped and slid their way around the Adventure Land Water Park.

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Our final match was set to be our toughest against Graeme College. They were also unbeaten throughout the week and were hunting down a 3 wins in a row against us. We won the toss for the first time on Tour and sent Graeme college into bat. Despite the aches, pains and some sore tummies  ( too many sweets I think) , the boys played the game of their lives. The bowled with supreme skill to bowl Graeme out for 58. Matt Saunders starred with the ball as he took 4 impressive wickets. Josh Bartlett once again chipped in with his consistent bowling to take two more wickets. The great bowling performance aside, the boys knew it would not be an easy chase on a very big field.

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We switched up the batting order, and the boys responded incredibly well. Every single player came in, and gave their all to reach the total. In the end it was Troy Peacock-Edwards and Connor Arbuthnot who put on a quick 20 runs to finish the game in style.

What a sensational tour this was. We were blessed with an incredible group of parents who cheered and supported our kids throughout. The coaches and kids had an absolute jol.

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The exceptional manners, respect and kindness shown towards opposition, restaurant staff and adults around Knysna remain a stand out on any Tour. Well done to the SVPS lads – we could not be more proud of you!

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