French Flanders CC win second EuroTwenty20

Wed, Aug 12, 2009 11:27 AM

In a year when research revealed that cricket could have been invented by the Flemish it was perhaps fitting that French Flanders CC were the winners of the second Carmel Invitational EuroTwenty20 tournament staged in North Wales.

The Australian National University in Canberra uncovered a reference to the sport in a poem written in 1533, in which cricket is linked to Flemish weavers working in England. The weavers from Flanders are known to have settled in rural areas around Kent and Surrey, where it is generally believed that cricket originated.

And the newly-formed French Flanders team, led by former France national team coach Dave Szumowski, did their ancestors proud in the eight-team tournament which also included Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia, Croatia 'A'as well as the island of Alderney.

French Flanders won by nine runs in a dramatic final victory over hosts Carmel & District Cricket Club thanks to a crucial knock of 32 not out from Szumowski before Brett Meredith (4-21) spun the Flemish side to victory.

Croatia 'A'won the plate competition with an emphatic 59-run win over English side New Victoria thanks largely to the performance of promising teenage fast bowler Nikola Davidovic who finished as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker.

Alderney, who were making their first foray into international cricket, picked up the EuroTwenty20 Spirit of Cricket Award for the enthusiasm and effort they showed on and off the pitch.

Tournament organiser Timothy Abraham admitted the event had been a success despite the difficult weather conditions.

"A lot of credit has to go to our groundsmen Neil Taylor and Tony Ryles who had to battle with the elements during the week to get the ground playable," he said.

"We are also thankful to Ruthin School who accommodated the teams and allowed them to use the practice facilities based on the site of the school on the days when they were not involved in matches.

"Luckily we managed to get every single game played and a lot of the teams gained valuable experience which will help aid their cricket development and, in the case of Bulgaria, preparation for forthcoming ICC events."

Carmel EuroTwenty20 captain Danny Owens added: "Obviously it’s really disappointing to lose in the final as we were unbeaten in the whole tournament until that point.

"But I have to give credit to French Flanders who were the better team on the day and maybe we struggled under the pressure of being favourites.

"The standard of cricket throughout the tournament was much higher than last year and it was fantastic to see national cricket teams at our Pen-y-Gelli ground again."

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