The Bulls started their 2022 season with a block fixture against The Dragon School on Saturday 23rd of April. The Dragon School have been a supporter of the Bulls programme for a number of years, with fixtures taking place since the Bulls was formed in 2016.
The day saw U11, U12 and U13 fixtures take place at Dragon. In the U11 match, the Bulls won the toss and bowled first. A superb opening spell of bowling by Ed Ferris and Dara Bannerman left Dragon on 25-5, before a 66-run partnership between Leo Amies and Dougal Sidgwick helped them rebuild to post 110-7 off their 20 overs. Amies finished on an excellent 61 not out, with Ferris returning to dismiss Sidgwick and finish with superb figures of 4-14. In reply, the Bulls got off to a good start with Joshua Lamb (33) and Dylan Parkinson (14) both retiring, before Patrick Dineen (21) and Joe Garrow (17) also retired, leaving Benjamin Davis to hit the winning runs, giving the Bulls a ten-wicket victory.
The U12 match saw Dragon win the toss and bat first. Dragon scored 130 runs, with Jimmy Laing top-scoring with 20. In response, the Bulls got off to a good start with Owen Morgan (25) and Evan Cowley (13) putting on 49 for the first wicket. The Bulls then stumbled, slipping to 67-6, with Adam Parker claiming four victims, before Archie Ricks (18) and Alfie Roche steadied the ship with a-58 run partnership for the seventh wicket. At 125-6, victory seemed assured, but three quick wickets to bring Dragon back into the game, only for Roche (34 not out) to hold his nerve and guide the Bulls to a two-wicket win (11 wickets per side).
The U13 match saw Dragon win the toss and bat first. Louis Nicholson (21), Alfie Wilson (35) and Jack Scott (16) all retired as the home side set the Bulls 129 runs to win. In response, the Bulls lost some early wickets in the face of devastating opening spells from Wilson (2-3) and Tom Wray (3-27), leaving the visitors in perilous straits at 21-6. Sam Moore (14), Tom Spokes (19) and Max Fendom (23) helped keep their side in the contest, but the Bulls were ultimately dismissed for 101, losing by 27 runs.
The Oxfordshire Bulls programme forms part of Oxfordshire Cricket’s strategy to engage children and young people by providing targeted support for our Pathway players who attend state schools, and who may not receive the same level of support than others within independent schools.
Our summer fixture programme provides additional playing opportunities alongside club, school and Pathway games. In order to avoid clashes with other matches, and to find the most suitable opposition, the majority of our fixtures are held against Independent Schools at their grounds.
To increase the accessibility of the programme, and to help remove cost as a barrier to talent inclusion, Oxfordshire Cricket has fully subsidised the cost of the summer fixture programme; making it free of charge to all those involved.
Oxfordshire Cricket would like to thank The Dragon School for their support of the programme and for their fantastic hospitality on the day.