Yorkshire Under 17s completed a thrilling win over Surrey at Arundel last week to claim the Under 17s three-day Championship title.
Richard Damms, the Head Coach of the Under 17s, was clearly delighted with the team’s performance throughout the season culminating in a well-deserved Championship win.
“They’ve worked really hard,” Damms said. “There’s been some really good cricket played this year.
“We beat Derbyshire in the first game and Finlay Bean got 200, Harry Duke got a big hundred and James Wharton got runs as well.
“James (Wharton), who’s been the captain this season, has scored the joint-most runs in the competition with about 785 runs. He’s been outstanding. He’s played some second team games and is certainly in the running for more at the back-end of this season.”
Damms, who is also the Academy Coach, saw his side dominate in the competition and defeat a strong Nottinghamshire side in the semi-final a few weeks ago.
“We topped our group and played Notts a couple of weeks ago in the semi-final,” Damms continued. “We thought we’d messed up only scoring 184, but our bowlers got us out of it bowling them out for 140. We got a long way in front and managed to bowl them out cheaply on the last afternoon.
“It’s been a real team effort. If the batters haven’t performed, the bowler’s have and vice versa.
“For me the biggest difference from other teams has been our slip fielding. The four lads that have fielded at slip throughout the competition (Wharton, George Hill, Matthew Revis and Bean) have caught fantastically, and that’s been the big difference for me.”
Yorkshire’s young chargers took control of the final against a strong Surrey side almost from the very start, compiling an opening stand of 99 despite losing the toss and being put in.
“We lost the toss and they put us in, so it was a terrific effort to get to 353 in the first innings,” said Damms. “Everyone just chipped in really. From a bowling point of view, Josh Sullivan has been outstanding leading the wicket-takers list for the competition. Archie Greeves who hasn’t had much opportunity, but he came back and took four quick wickets to ensure that we bowled them out for less than our first innings total. We were good enough to bat all day on day three to ensure the win.
“It’s been a fantastic team effort but you’re also looking for the individual performances as well.
“It’s a strange thing because not everybody is going to go on and play professional cricket so you’re kind of looking for both the team ethic and outstanding individuals that you can push to second team cricket and beyond. It is exciting times with the players coming through.
“Part and parcel of Under 17s cricket is going away and staying in hotels and living the life of a professional cricketer and that’s what we tell them at the start of the five or six week block. It’s a gruelling schedule with the amount of cricket, particularly given they aren’t used to it. The Club (Yorkshire CCC) invest in them massively, putting them up in really good standard hotels and it makes a big difference.
“Thanks must go to my assistant coach, Graham Tipping, who comes to help and has been outstanding for us for a number of years. Also, to the parents who have been fantastic, coming to support and getting them to the other end of the country.”