You Can Win With Kids! Positivity From St. Michael’s Cricket Club

“You can’t win anything with kids” is an infamous sporting faux pas uttered by Alan Hansen when assessing Man Utd’s chances of winning the English Premier League back in 1995.


Fast forward 21 years and many a local cricketing sage could have said the same thing about St. Michael’s Cricket Club, Dumfries midweek side (J Walker & Sons X1) going into this year’s John Henderson & Sons competition, having only won a solitary game in the previous 2015 season.


However, under the new captaincy of 15 year old Levi White, together with the support of qualified Australian coaches Ethan Lulham and Kyle Jordan, 2016 has been a season of success for the junior section of Saints.


In the 11 games played so far this year (with a possible 2 more to go), the Saints youngsters have won 9, lost only 2 and as a result have been crowned champions of Division 2 of the midweek league and have progressed to the semi-final of this year’s local T20 cup competition.


Key team performances for the side were the first game of the season against Dumfries Colts, where a 3 wicket win gave the youngsters the confidence that not only could they compete this year, but they could also win. A hat-trick of victories of Health Pros (who dished out heavy defeats the year before) were very satisfying, as was the 48 run victory over a strong Dalton side back in June.


However, the most pleasing aspect of this season so far has been the development of the players themselves and the individual growth that can be seen by all. Individual performances of note have been produced by Levi White (3 wickets for 8 runs vs Health Pros), Finlay Jack (22 runs and 2 wickets for 8 vs Dalton), Connor Lynch (28 not out vs Galloway), Ryan Geddes (5 wickets for 12 vs Health Pros), Reece McNay (4 wickets for 19 vs Dalton), Dan Turner (1 wicket for 11 vs Shipwrecks), and Ross Dalling (3 wickets for 12 vs Burgh Boys).


To further support the view that this Saints team is truly a genuine junior side, the total number of overs bowled so far in the season has been 220, and pleasingly for everyone connected at the club, 157 or 71.4% has been bowled by a youngster under 16 years of age.


Ask the young men themselves why this change has come about and they will tell you that the training / coaching they have received over the last few years at the clubs junior sessions every Monday night – especially this year with Australians Lulham and Jordan – has seen the sides batting and fielding particularly improve.


In summary, this season is the coming together of a progressive youth policy at St. Michael’s. Having taken some tough but character building defeats in previous seasons, everyone connected with the club commendably stuck to their guns and kept giving this talented crop much needed game time.


However, the main credit must also go to the youngsters themselves, for showing true loyalty, sticking with their friends / teammates through some tough defeats at an early stage of their cricketing development when the easier more selfish option would have been to walk away. Thankfully these outstanding young men stood firm together and they are now reaping the rewards for their endeavours.


Looking forward to next year, it will be interesting to see how the Saints youngsters respond to playing the “big boys” in Division 1. However, with talks at an advanced stage to see the return of Australian coach Kyle Jordan to the club in 2017, it should be a happy and settled side taking up the challenge in front of them.


Any youngsters keen on taking up the great game of cricket, or already experienced, no matter what age or ability and want to become part of the prosperous Saints junior set up is more than welcome. For further information please contact club Chairman Sandy McNay on 01387 710713 or 07842013884.




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