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First Lamphun Sawasdee competition is start of a new era in junior cricket

Saturday, 10 September 2011
First Lamphun Sawasdee competition is start of a new era in junior cricket

With the constant threat of rain, September is still very much in the rainy season here in Lamphun, and the forecast not looking particularly good, the tournament was always going to be a touch and go situation. When we arrived at Muangkwak school on a very cloudy Saturday morning and still unable to see the chain of mountains that surround Lamphun, our thoughts were, we hope we can get a few games in before the rain comes. Five schools were chosen to play in this the very first Lamphun tournament, sponsored by Zodiac Aerospace, unfortunately one team failed to show despite phone calls, so we were left with four schools and five teams, The hosts Muangkwak, the favourites Sibonyeun, and two schools new to cricket Ban Jam School and Anubanmuanglamphun School who provided two teams for the competition, we have grade 5 Monday and a Friday class's at the School.

First up was Muangkwak v Ban Jam, a loosener for the experienced Muangkwak team and a very nervous one for the Ban Jam team, the expected winner was Muangkwak but it took wicket keeper Nok bowling the last over to seal the win, she bowled out Ban Jam's batsmen 3 times to finish off the game.

Sibonyuen convincingly beat Anubanmuanglamphun Monday team, with wicketkeeper Ga in top form, no extra runs went through him and bowling his over very straight, giving nothing away. Playing three new girls in the team, Min, Kamsa and Fon was great experience for them in their first tournament, all of them did exceptionally well.

Ban Jam were really keen to play their next game having pushed Muangkwak all the way in their first ever tournament , this time it was Anubanmuanglamphun Friday team, a very close game but Ban Jam had the benefit of playing the first game and they were keen to show that they could up their game. Yeun and Nick bowled very well for Ban Jam, and generally looked the better team as they took the winning points.

So it was now up to the favourites Sibonyeun to prove there worth against the hosts Muangkwak, in what would be a rehearsal of the final. A very close game, neither team wanted to lose the game or give anything away. Muangkwak's star player Naporn or Sibonyeun's star player Mick were quite bowling or batting to their potential. But it was left up to the rest of the players to make a thrilling game, with Sibonyeun school winning by one run.

It was an all Anubanmuanglamphun affair next up, Friday's team were the coaches favourites to win but Monday's team surprised everyone by scoring well and then bowling straight to win comfortably over their fellow 5th graders, so a disappointing finish for Friday's team who we believe to be a much better team...what do we know, we are only the coaches!

The final between Muangkwak and Sibonyeun was a very competitive game and that showed with their fielding, the bowling from both team's was straight, giving away very few wides but Muangkwak's batters missed too many balls so didn't really put enough runs on the board to test the experienced Sibonyeun team, but it was still very close up until the last over but Sibonyeun's wicket keeper Ga wasn't going to give it away and his cool head saw them through to win the final game, although the last 4 overs were played in wet conditions as the forecasted rain was finally on to us. So that was it, no time to play a 3rd/4th place play off, it was just a case of everyone diving for cover as the heavy rain started to set in.

A good day of entertainment and enjoyment, everyone had fun and every team went away a little wiser, the new teams very keen to play again in another junior cricket tournament now they know what to expect, we hope that will be in the near future.

Alex Schaap the plant manager for Driessen - Zodiac Aerospace, the sponsors for the competition was on hand to present the trophies and the medals to all the children. A big Thank you to Alex for funding the event and for all his support.