On Sunday 7 April an excited but slightly tired 23 man squad arrived at La Manga resort Spain, ready for the 2019 U13 invitation cricket festival. After a 4.00 am start the boys were undeterred and headed straight to the cricket centre for a net and fielding session. It was great to have a mixed ability touring squad as every boy could fully progress in being part of a whole touring squad with an ethos on skill and knowledge development.
The resort itself was perfect for a pre-season cricket tour of this kind and the facilities were brilliant with 2 grass and artificial wickets, 4 x nets, a fielding area along with indoor/outdoor pools, mini-golf and tennis facilities all within a stones throw of the teams great quality apartment accommodation!
The Monday saw a full morning of intense fitness, net and fielding training followed by a great 2 course lunch at the Village restaurant on the resort. In the afternoon the squad were able to relax and visit the brilliant La Manga beach for some beach cricket and a cold but refreshing swim!
Tuesday saw the opening day of the cricket festival and each team played 2 high quality opening games, losing both narrowly to club sides which contained a number of county players! The squad were undeterred by these losses and if anything, took much from the games as part of a learning experience. After a swim at the indoor pool and a great Italian meal at Luigis Italian restaurant, the squad headed to bed ready to enter day two of the festival reinvigorated.
The second day of the festival was the longest day of cricket on tour with some of the squad playing up to 7 hours cricket in one day! Both teams showed what a difference a day makes in winning their second matches, which based on other results, meant both teams entered the semi-finals of the competition! This was a great achievement and showed the positive attitude of the squad in bouncing back strongly after the initial disappointment of day one.
Unfortunately, the semi-finals proved a push too far and whilst having battled very valiantly, both teams were defeated in exciting matches. The upside of this was another opportunity for some closely fought beach cricket, ice cream, mini-golf and burgers at Spikes 37!
The closing ceremony at the panoramic restaurant on the resort saw a number of Danes Hill boys rewarded for great batting and bowling displays. Ultimately all boys that toured should be commended on their attitude and determination. First and foremost, the tour was an opportunity to play cricket and in turn have great fun!
Well done all boys and we look forward to a good term of cricket ahead of future touring experiences.