U17 Girls Taunton Festival Winners

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The Under 17 girls achieved a hat-trick of wins at the Taunton festival in 2012: they managed to win the U17 Girls festival for the third consecutive year and for the fifth year out of the last six, an excellent achievement.

The Taunton festival this year was held earlier in the season than usual, taking place between Wednesday July 18th and Friday 20th July. In previous years it has been held during the last week of August when the sun is expected to be shining. There were some major concerns about the festival because of the awful weather forecast but luckily only half a game was lost due to bad weather. 

On the first day, Wales were due to play Kent and the forecast was not great. The game did start on time and Kent posted a challenging 189 for 7 from their 45 overs. As time was called on the first innings and lunch taken the heavens opened and the game was eventually abandoned after a couple of hours sitting around under the large oak trees.

On the second day Wales played Essex. Wales won the toss and elected to bowl and made the most of the helpful conditions. Excellent opening spells from Kelly Rogers (5-4-9-3) and Ffion Wynne (5-1-18-2) put Essex on the back foot reducing them to 28 for 5. Isobel Day (4-3-4-2) and Rosie Fuge (4-1-5-2) continued to bowl tightly in tandem eventually dismissing Essex for 39. The Wales innings got off to a shaky start with the early run out of Ffion Wynne. The captain Rosie Fuge batted patiently and made sure she saw her team home with an unbeaten 21. Lucie Johnson eventually hit the winning runs to give Wales a five wicket win.

It was all to play for on the third day with the sun shining but the ground still very wet. Wales won the toss again and asked Cornwall to bat. Wales bowled tightly and fielded well to restrict Cornwall to 107 for 7 off their 45 overs. A good opening spell by Ffion Wynne (5-1-10-2) saw a couple of early breakthroughs. Tight bowling through the middle overs by Rosie Fuge (9-2-25-2), Isobel Day (9-4-19-1) and Jemma Phillips (5-3-4-1) put Wales in a great position to chase down another low score.

Wales started off well putting on 36 for the first wicket another good 26 by the captain Rosie Fuge. A couple of quick wickets put the game in the balance with Wales 56 for 4 until Anwen Morgan came in at number five and was joined by Isobel Day who put on 30 together before Isobel Day was dismissed leaving Wales 86 for 5 and in a match winning position. Nerys Evans joined Anwen Morgan at the crease and saw the game home for Wales. A mature match winning innings of 21 not out from 14 year old Anwen Morgan saw Wales win the game and the festival.

Rosie Fuge in her last year of Under 17s was named player of the festival for her contributions with bat and ball throughout the three days. She batted with patience and style and bowled economical off spin taking 6 wickets over the three days.

The whole squad contributed to the festival win and played some excellent cricket. The girls were impeccably behaved, they were a credit to themselves and Cricket Wales, they also thoroughly enjoyed themselves making the festival particularly memorable for all involved.

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