Richmond LYG Award for Bushy Park Girls

Last night (13/07/2016) the best in Richmond sport gathered together for a glittering awards ceremony at the Twickenham Stoop, the home of Harlequins Rugby. It was an evening of high achievements as Richmond celebrated 3rd place in the Jubilee Trophy at the London Youth Games 2016. It was also a chance to recognise the performances and contributions from athletes, coaches and clubs.

Overall Contribution Trophy

The London Youth Games is Europe’s largest youth sports event and is contested by the 32 boroughs in London. Richmond is the 3rd smallest borough and it makes it therefore all the more remarkable that they achieved a podium finish. The girls cricket team who were represented exclusively by Bushy Park Girls were re-awarded their silver medals after reaching the Lords Final back in March 2016. Congratulations to Ella Waldren, Phoebe Head, Sadie Day, Abi Avery, Jess Low and Imogen Higgins who were at the ceremony last night, also to Emma Bridge and Amelie Munday who unfortunately couldn’t be at The Stoop. 

BPG Manager Mark Avery

It was a night of achievement and recognition for the whole club too as Mark Avery was nominated in the Team Manager of the Year category but the biggest cheer of the night was for Bushy Park Girls CC as they won the trophy for Overall Contribution to the Richmond LYG team. It is a humbling accolade for a club that was only founded in 2012 by club president Natalie Raja. Previous winners include Teddington Hockey Club (2008), Busen Martial Arts (2009), Walbrook Rowing Club (2010) and Twickenham Cycling Club (2011 & 2014) to name a few.


Other Bushy Park Girls who were awarded medals and competed in LYG events were Ella Waldren and Phoebe Head (Girls Football), Jessamy Low (Girls Table Tennis) and most notably Lauren Avery and Abigail Avery who won gold medals in the Kayak Sprint. Teddington School, where many of our players are educated, also won a trophy for Schools Participation in the girls category. Congratulations to Ella, Pheobe, Sadie, Lauren and Abi who received the award on Teddington’s behalf.

School Participation award won by Teddington School

Thank you to Dan Hughes (Sports Development Officer at London Borough of Richmond upon Thames) and Councillors Peter Buckwell and Martin Seymour who have supported our Bushy Park Girls in the indoor cricket arena, and who continue to champion all sports throughout Richmond Borough.


London Youth Games Inside Story

12794733_10153918253741382_2218269307417253708_oU13 manager Mark Avery shares his Bushy Park Girls experiences in the BPG Inside Story…..

A cold sunny day greeted the 5 girls who gathered at Teddington station early on Sunday morning (Phoebe and Ella decided the warmth and comfort of the car was a better option!). It was the day of the London Youth Games cricket finals and the girls were eager with anticipation for the day ahead. Sadly they had to leave behind their 8th team member Amelie who had been cruelly crocked playing hockey during the week. The remaining 7 promised to do their best to bring her back a medal.

10683616_10153917587861382_6605551775673662662_oThe train journey flew past with no incident apart from Imi realising at Waterloo that she had left her cricket bat on Hampton Wick Station (fortunately recovered by dragging Dad out of bed!). We arrived in plenty of time at the home of cricket, Lords Cricket ground in St Johns Wood, to watch our potential semi-final opponents, Bexley, easily win in their quarter final.

Very quickly the start time for our quarter final against Harrow, containing the much talked about Sonali, arrived. Would she smash us everywhere and then bowl us all out as some feared?

Harrow got off to a good start but the girls pulled it back bowling tightly in the middle overs. The revered Sonali took to the crease quite late and batting well soon reached 20 but then had to retire. BPG kept the pressure on as wickets fell. The last over arrived but Harrow could only manage 3 runs as they lost 3 wickets including the returning Sonali.

12496369_10153918251866382_2158427396662880067_o102 to win and some of the girls looked worried but they were reminded of how they had chased down a similar total against Hillingdon in the qualifiers. Abi and Ella opened the innings facing the fast paced Sonali. They stood firm taking her for 17 off the first over and continued to batter the bowlers and steal many runs they shouldn’t. They quickly passed 50. Abi retired and then Ella. Jess hit a couple of lusty blows, Phoebe was cruelly run out. But we were always ahead of the rate and Sadie and Imogen saw us home with 2.5 overs still to bowl. A comprehensive victory and at this point Richmond girls’ cricket team had progressed further than ever before in the London Youth Games. Now guaranteed joint 3rd place!

It was a long wait to our semi-final against the fancied Bexley side. Food was eaten, Cricket watched. Practice outside alongside the famous Nursery ground. All of a sudden we were on. Ella tossed up and for the first time in the tournament we were batting first. We started badly as Abi fended off a high full toss first ball and was caught. Ella stood firm in the face of good Bexley bowling as wickets fell around her but it seemed our innings was over all too quickly. We had scored fast as we reached 58 in just 4.5 overs. Would that be enough? The girls looked despondent. They were going to have to produce a miracle to turn this one round.

12779250_10153918255286382_4415743737882492753_oParents, coaches, Councillors, the Mayor of Richmond and Dan our fantastic Sports Development Manager from Richmond Council watched on. I think I probably only need to copy his quote. “The bowling and fielding in the semi-final against Bexley in particular, was up there with one of the best sporting performances I’ve ever seen, at professional level as well!” He is not wrong. The girls were fantastic. They were sharp and threatening in the field. Emma stopping boundaries in the deep. A catch from Phoebe that can only be described as a worldly. How did that stick? Bowling so tight as Ella, Jess and Abi turned the screw and the pressure took its toll. In no time Bexley were staggering at 26-5. Only 1 wicket to take and she was a good bat. Phoebe bowled a tight over and then our youngest player, Imogen, came onto bowl. Dot, dot, dot and then the Bexley bat tries to play a shot. The ball lobs up. Imogen is under it. Disaster the ball goes down. Would that be our chance blown? Would little Imi be able to cope with missing such a crucial catch? Of course she would. How could I doubt her? Next ball was straight and true. A swing and a miss and the stumps went down. Incredibly the mighty BPG had taken Richmond to the final.

12795174_10153917588376382_797110085868961262_oIt was another long wait to the final. A chance to check out our finalists. Pictures in front of the famous ground and with the Mayor.  Our opponents were known. It was going to be Hammersmith and Fulham some of whom we knew. We needed 6 girls for the final out of 7, all of whom had played so well in the first two games. Who would want to be a manager to leave one out

A good start as we win the toss and put them in. Early bowling from Ella, Jess and Phoebe kept it very tight. H & F were under pressure. Abi then strikes with 2 wickets in an over. Then Imogen and Jess and another for Abi helped by more terrific fielding and 2 fantastic catches by Ella behind the wicket. 73 all out. Surely a gettable target. Preparation for batting was suddenly thrown though. All the bats had disappeared out the bag. One was found and some were loaned from our ever growing band of supporters which included current Middlesex 1st XI players.

12764412_10153918255586382_1622507212654461859_oElla and Abi finally made it to the middle and got us off to a good start. Over 20 were on the board in just the 2nd over before enthusiasm for stealing runs went a little far and Abi was run out. Next ball Ella smashed the ball into the ground and it cannoned off the floor into the hands of the H&F fielder. Hope and luck was all H&F could have and they got it in plenty as they claimed the catch and the umpire concurred. 2 wickets in two balls and suddenly it was a different game. Jess and Phoebe added a few until nerves got to the girls and another suicide run out. Phoebe was gone. No need to panic. We were still well head of the run rate required. Jess batted patiently until the ball lobbed off her foot into the hands of their wicket keeper. A half-hearted appeal for a catch. The same umpire. The same result. Maybe it was time to offer him my spare glasses from my bag. However as someone once said “The eyes are useless when the mind is blind” so not sure it would have helped

Imogen and Sadie eked out some runs but H&F seemed to have 7 players and finally they claimed the wickets and Richmond were beaten. A few tears were shed but the girls can only be proud of what was a magnificent performance and far exceeded all expectations. The fielding and bowling in particular was fantastic and was demonstrated by the fact that they bowled every side out in the competition. I can only say I was immensely proud of them. Spirits picked up as we wound our way home. Amelie got her promised medal, we have tea with the Mayor to look forward to and we can plan to go one better next year. A big well done to Ella, Emma, Phoebe, Sadie, Jess, Abi, Imogen and of course Amelie. And special thanks to Dave and Hannah, Natalie for scoring, all our supporters and Dan from Richmond Sports Development.


Silver Medal at London Youth Games

50%_Jess_LYG_final_2016_cRichmond Borough girls cricket team won a silver medal in the London Youth Games final at Lords on Sunday, their highest ever placing in the competition. The girls who all play their cricket for Bushy Park Girls CC won their quarter-final against Harrow before beating Bexley in the semi-final.

The game against Bexley typified the Bushy Park fighting spirit. After being bowled out for 58 in an explosive but brief 4.4 overs the girls fought back, reducing Bexley to 42 all out. Sports Development Officer for Richmond upon Thames Dan Hughes said “The bowling and fielding against Bexley was up there with one of the best sporting performances I’ve ever seen, at professional level as well!”.

Despite the team of Ella Waldren, Phoebe Head, Sadie Day, Abi Avery, Jess Low, Emma Bridge and Imogen Higgins receiving the pitchside support of Richmond Mayor Cllr Martin Seymour they were unfortunately beaten by 20 runs in the Lords final by Hammersmith & Fulham Borough.  It didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Mayor though, “Wow! Cricket really can be exciting!  It was an amazing day of accurate bowling, steady batting and some spectacular catches. Getting the silver medal at the end makes this the best girls team in Richmond for a generation. It was a privilege to watch them representing the borough.” The Mayor was so impressed with the girls’ performance that he has invited the team for tea at York House.

Photos of the Bushy Park girls in action can be seen here – LYG Lords 2016 photos

Lords’ final awaits for Richmond London Youth Games cricket team

LYG_qualifiers_2016U13 manager Mark Avery shares his Bushy Park Girls experiences in the BPG Inside Story…..

Would it prove to be an ill wind or a fair wind for the Richmond-upon-Thames Borough girls cricket team as they gathered under grey scudding clouds at Teddington Station station yesterday (06/02/2016). The Bushy Park Girls were in fine spirits (if not fine voices!) as the volume was cranked up during their minibus journey to Harrow Leisure Centre for the London Youth games cricket qualifiers.

In our group for the qualifiers were the much fancied Hillingdon, as well as Barnet and Hounslow boroughs. We started though with a warm up match against Kingston as their match had been cancelled. Kingston batted first including our very own Molly Bartlett. The girls got in some useful batting and bowling practise, getting our day off to a good start with a win. We were now ready for our first match against Hounslow.

After Richmond Borough captain Ella Waldren lost the toss and Hounslow chose to bat our coach Hannah Munday gave them a quick team talk whilst I hurried up to get to my scoring position. It was lucky I was quick as Phoebe Head opened the bowling and quickly took 2 wickets to reduce them to 0 – 2. Jess Low bowled tightly conceding no runs and panicking the batters into running resulting in two run outs. 4 wickets down quickly became 5 as Sadie Day bowled the next batter and in the 4th over Abi Avery finished the innings off. Hounslow were bowled out for 11 in 3.3 overs!

Bushy Park Girls Amelie Munday and Ella Waldron strolled out to open the batting for Richmond Borough. With such a low total Hounslow needed a good start. Amelie steely eyed smashed the first ball for 4 and then followed up with two more 4s and a single. BPG had won in 4 balls! Apparently a LYG record.

Fuelled with drinks and sarnies the girls next took to the pitch for the eagerly awaited match against Hillingdon. This was likely to be an epic. Forget the Ashes. This was a cauldron of hot glowing embers of competitiveness. Phoebe Head got us off to another great start taking 2 early wickets but Hillingdon hit back scoring runs more freely. However we pinned them back as tight bowling by Jess, again, and the other girls meant we regained our composure and good fielding got us 2 run outs. This meant a return to the crease of their opener, and a Middlesex player, who had earlier had to retire on reaching 20. She led a late assault to take them past 100 and finish their innings on 101. A very competitive total.

Abi and Ella opened the batting intent on negotiating the opening overs of Hillingdon’s Middlesex pair. A steady first over to start but in the second Abi smashed a 4 and 6 to relieve the pressure and the runs started to flow. Abi quickly reached 20 and retired and Ella was joined by Phoebe. Ella took up the mantle and smashed a huge 6 and before long she was also retired but by now Phoebe had her eye in and was scoring runs at will. Jess joined Phoebe in the fun and by the time Phoebe was retired the Hillingdon bowlers were rattled. We lost our first actual wicket when we had reached 96 and lost a second quickly but Abi returned to the crease and along with Amelie took us over the line with 1.3 overs to spare. A fine victory in the end and it was a brilliantly paced innings by the girls.

With barely time to celebrate our next game against Barnet was straight up. Barnet chose to bat and were quickly in need of some syrup as two wickets crashed in the first over again. Emma Bridge bowled the 2nd over and took a wicket with her 1st ball. A tight over resulted in another run out and then Imogen Higgins came onto bowl and finished the innings off with tight bowling and fielding forcing them into 2 further run outs. Barnet all out for 11! Déjà vu? It certainly was.

Imogen and Emma opened the batting and it took them just 1 over to score the 12 runs required! Bushy Park Girls had taken Richmond through to the finals at Lords for the second year running. Despite the rain on our return to Teddington nothing could dampen our spirits and the same brisk wind we left earlier could never compete with the whirlwind that is Bushy Park Girls. Well done everyone. You were a fantastic team with a great spirit and loads of talent.

I am very proud to have been there with you all. Many thanks also to Dan Hughes (Sports Development Officer at London Borough of Richmond upon Thames) for organising everything, Hannah Munday for coaching them whilst I tried to score between my coughing fits, our mini bus driver for putting up with us all and lending lots of support on the day and lastly to Dave Waldren who although he wasn’t there coached all the girls at our February Tuesday evening sessions.

Roll on the Lords’ finals on 28th February.