Budding cricketers bat, bowl and field for the day

Pendle Primay School with their winning trophy and medals

Pendle Primay School with their winning trophy and medals

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Youngsters in the Ribble Valley have been showcasing their cricket skills thanks to a council initiative.

Over the past few months a small, but important step has been taken towards encouraging the borough’s schoolchildren to get involved in sport-related activities.

Ribble Valley Borough Council awarded a grant to the Ribble Valley Cricket Development Group (CDG) – some of which has been used to support in-school cricket sessions. So far more than 120 eight to 11-year-olds have enjoyed taster sessions and professional coaching at just three Ribble Valley schools.

Derrick Smith, chairman of Ribble Valley CDG, said: “Many more sessions are already planned at other Ribble Valley primary schools over the next two years and the target is to give at least 500 children an enjoyable time learning to play cricket during the three years of the scheme.

“Children who wish to carry on are then encouraged to join local clubs to get further development of their skills.”

The CDG has also encouraged primary schools to compete in a Kwik Cricket competition (the Malcolm Blackburn Trophy) with 12 schools playing in three area qualifying festivals culminating in a Finals Day at Clitheroe Cricket Club. In the two semi-finals on Finals Day, Pendle School won a close fought match against Salesbury School by three runs while Langho St. Leonards overcame a determined Mellor School. St. Leonards batted first in the final posting a competitive total of 253, but Pendle School completed their win with two big sixes in the penultimate over. Derrick congratulated Pendle School on their deserved victory and, presenting medals to all four competing teams, said he was pleased to see all four schools enjoying playing the game and particularly the involvement of girls in each of the teams.