ILKLEY Grammar School’s Year Eight cricketers have sealed their second Yorkshire Schools’ Challenge win in three years at Headingley Carnegie.
The under-13 final went down to the final ball before Ilkley GS repeated their Yorkshire Schools winter indoor final victory over Richmond School.
Earmarked as favourites, Ilkley Grammar School started a little shakily, with Matthew Revis bowled for seven when the score was 13.
However, Oliver Burton and Matthew Spencer proved more fluent, especially Burton, who carried his bat for an unbeaten 42, and with opener Spencer weighing in with 29 before being caught, Ilkley amassed a respectable 117-7.
With the game seemingly in the balance, Richmond's openers added 30 before Revis struck with the ball, bowling an opener before dismissing the next man first ball.
Then the pendulum swayed one way and then another as Burton, Dan Rowe and Sam McKinnon-Evans took key wickets for Ilkley.
Richmond sensed victory when they were 92-7 with five overs remaining and when they were 106-7 with three overs left.
But tight bowling from McKinnon-Evans suddenly left Richmond needing nine from Rowe's final over, and they still needed seven from the last two balls.
An attempted four was stopped on the boundary from the penultimate ball, Richmond only scoring a single, and the bails went flying from the last ball as Rowe got his man.
Ilkley GS PE teacher Saul Peltier paid tribute to his players – and the concept of the competition.
He said: “One thing this team have got is a lot of character and spirit.
"There were a couple of really nervous overs there but we stood up to it and they are delighted.
“They have shown that team spirit and they are worthy winners.
"I can’t think of a nicer final or occasion than the Yorkshire Schools.
"The sun was shining, and with their families in the crowd there was no better day for the boys really than to play at Headingley.”