Giant slaying Hayfield defy odds to clinch county title

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Young cricketers from Hayfield School have taken the Derbyshire Schools County Championship crown.

The school’s cricket team, representing the district after winning the qualification rounds, travelled to Denby last week for the county finals.

It was the fourth consecutive year the school were flying High Peak’s flag at the county finals and this time they returned home with the title.

Hayfield won their opening match but after a rocky start coach Natalie Mills calmed everyone down with a few words encouraging teamwork and togetherness.

The players responded and won their next game comfortably to set up a semi-final against St Thomas. In a closely contested match, there was little to separate the two sides.

St Thomas needed 10 runs from the last three balls of the innings to reach the final but a mixture of tight bowling and superb fielding by Hayfield denied them.

It was Hayfield who qualified for the final with a six-run win. There they would face Brockwell; a significantly larger school and one that beat the Derby City champions in the semi final.

An excellent batting display meant there was pressure on Brockwell to reach a large runs target which they never looked like reaching after Hayfield took some early wickets.

The team went on to win the final and lift the county crown.

“This is a huge achievement for this group,” said a school spokesperson. “Lots of important lessons were learnt along the way but ultimately pulling together as a team and as friends to enjoy this incredible achievement.

“We may be a small village school on Derbyshire but we are now most firmly recognised as one of the best cricketing schools, with four successive years in the county finals, always qualifying for semis too and achieve in third and fourth places and now county champions. Well done to Jake, Shay, Alex, Jack C, Jack W, Oisin and Edward.”