A Season to Remember at St Benny's

A look back at how the school's cricket team has fared

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St Benedict’s 1st XI has enjoyed an exceptional season. The team has won 9 out of 10 games against other schools and halfway through the season was No. 1 in the school rankings.

It’s a world away from September 2010, when Johan Thisanayagam joined St Benedict’s as a cricket coach and the team was ranked 734th.

The foundations for this season’s success were built on the first-ever school cricket tour to Corfu at Easter. Three matches were won and the boys came back brimming with confidence.

A tough opening fixture against Prior Park saw St Benedict’s win emphatically by 43 runs and that set the pattern for the season. Further wins followed against Emeriti and Bishop Stortford HS before a batting collapse against New Hall saw St Benedict’s dismissed for just 70 runs. However, the bowlers rose to the occasion to bowl New Hall out for 51 and secure a narrow victory. Great team performances produced victories against Enfield GS and St George’s Weybridge, teams against which St Benedict’s have struggled in recent years.

At the end of May St Benedict’s played a select MCC XI, the most famous cricket club side in the world, whose team included several professional cricketers and one county player. Bennies were set a challenging target of 210 runs to chase and fell just 26 runs short. However, normal service was resumed with wins against Greenford HS, Latymer, Churchers and Park High – the last match setting up a Middlesex Schools Cup Final against Mill Hill.

St Benedict’s batted first and looked good at 115 for 3 with several overs remaining, but slumped to 120 all out. The bowlers made amends by reducing Mill Hill to 59 for 5 but couldn’t maintain the pressure and Mill Hill went on to win by 4 wickets.

A devastated Johan Thisanayagam said, “It was heart breaking. It was a great game of cricket and I was very sad to not see the boys lift the Cup after such a successful season. Credit to them though, they have been wonderful to work with. They may not have been destined to win the final, but they have certainly put St Benedict’s cricket back on the map.”

Openers Harry Britt and Louie Millman have consistently enjoyed good partnerships, while Nabel Xetegauncar and Leo Hadcock have excelled with both bat and ball. Spinner Ben Chippendale has turned in some excellent bowling figures, taking 31 wickets during the season. Matthew Codrington has been an inspirational captain.

It’s been a season to remember and this team has set a very high benchmark to follow.


2nd July 2012

July 2, 2012