Sydenham High cricket: one year on, better than ever

Last April Sydenham High threw away the rounders bats and turned their attention to girls’ cricket. With the help of ex-international cricketer, Lydia Greenway, and her Cricket for Girls coaches, we have been building a strong foundation for this technical sport. Our girls have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into learning all the core skills. Some of our pupils have enjoyed the close links we have with Dulwich Cricket Club and now further enhance their skills outside of school. In our first season we were thrilled to win some games and took every defeat as an essential part of our learning curve. However in 2019 we started our cricket early with pre-season training.  Once the games were in full swing, we were amazed at the progress our teams had made.

On the second week back after Easter our Year 8s went to the St Dunstan’s cricket festival.  Facing local rivals such as Colfe’s, Blackheath, Highgate and hosts St Dunstan’s was going to be a challenge, but our ‘SydSpirit’ always provides the ability to dig deep. With some partnerships scoring up to 38 runs off 12 balls, we knew we were batting strong.  The opposition had a tough time with our bowling, with Sydenham High stealing 3 wickets in one over alone. In our last game we were struggling a little coming up to the last over, but our ‘woman of the match’ Saskia relieved all that tension with a 6 ball over of three 4s, one 6 and two singles! All in all it was a dazzling display of cricket by Sydenham High. We are all very proud of them.

The following week the Year 7s attended the same tournament.  Issy R proved to everyone that a tennis player can transfer her skills very effectively to cricket. She averaged 20 runs per 6 ball over, a total any professional would be pleased with.  Fielding and bowling were also very strong with Poppy W bowling a maiden over. Our Year 7s won all the games in their group which once again was a huge achievement, especially as some of these girls had not played cricket before February this year.

The older year groups have now started playing ‘hard ball’ cricket which is a totally new ball game!  Their first game was in the lashing rain, which really isn’t cricket weather.  They lost narrowly to Colfe’s but were beating Ibstock when rain stopped play.

One reason we are so proud of the girls here at Sydenham is because of their fantastic ‘SydSpirit’.  On Wednesday 22 May ten of our finest cricketers helped run a huge borough cricket competition for local primary schools.  They umpired the games, gave coaching tips and look after all the participants. This is a regular occurrence for some of our pupils as they also do this in other sports.  The patience, resilience, determination and pride they bring to these events hugely impresses us.

We are very proud of our new foray into cricket and thank each and every girl for the contributions she has made to cricket at Sydenham High School.

– Mrs R Bhadeshia, Teacher of PE/ Head of Year 9