Monday, 23 February 2009

Update 23/02/2009

Friday was spent playing our fourth match of the tour against the Lester Vaughan School where again we were beaten in the batting stakes. Winning the toss the home side made 267-3 from their 35 overs and in reply the league were 141-9 with Tom Day unable to bat due to injury. Rhys Clayton with 30, Josh Simmons with 41 and Iwan Bunstan 28 scored the bulk of the league's runs.

Saturday was spent on the beach and lazing around the hotel pool with the boys playing cricket in the pool with a frying pan as a bat!!

Sunday we travelled to the picturesque Meadow Road cricket ground where we took on the Phoenix Academy. Again we lost the toss and had to bowl first in the heat of the day. The home side posted a total of 204-5 with the wickets shared out among the bowlers. The league slumped to 22-5, 49-6 and 56-7 before a 8th wicket partnership of 116 between Rhys Clayton 46 and Tomos Ellis-WIlliams 63 gave the league an outside chance of victory but with both wickets falling the league closed on 180-9.

Scorecards from all the matches are now online at and photos from the tour will be posted online as soon as possible on our return.

Kraig Braithwaite and Jason Holder who both scored hundreds against the league for the Wanderers Academy last week, were both selected to play for the Barbados Cricket Association Presidents XI against the England touring team yesterday. Holder claimed 2 wickets, while Braithwaite was dismissed for 2.

Today we woke up to heavy rain on our final full day, but as the sun rose it burnt away the clouds to leave lovely blue skies and one of the hottest days of our stay. Some of the boys went off to watch England playing nearby while the rest went on a five hour catamaran cruise up the West Coast of Barbados where they could swim with the turtles and go snorkling over a coral reef.

As I write this update we are having yet another Caribbean rain storm which will clear away as quickly as it came.

Tomorrow we have to have our luggage ready for departure by 11am, and will have the rest of the day to ourselves before leaving the hotel mid-afternoon for our 6.30pm flight back to the UK. We are due to arrive back in Gatwick at around 7am on Wednesday morning. After going through customs the bus should be waiting to drive us back to Wales.

I am sure that everyone will be in agreement that the tour has been a great success. Barbados is a lovely island, the people very friendly, food excellent and good beer and drink. I can vouch for the coconut rum!!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Visit to Wesley Hall School

Wednesday morning was spent in the Wesley Hall School, where the boys spent time with the school cricket team.

Tour captain Josh Simmons and Vice Captain Llyr Morris present a league plaque to the school
Mixing with the school pupils in a classroom at the school.

The school cricket team showing off the trophy they won in a recent island competition.

While the boys were at the school, tour followers spent a leisurely day on a catamaran cruise along the west coast of the island. They were able to scuba dive over some local wrecks before sailing up the coast and anchoring to allow a swim with the turtles. There were copious amounts of liquid refreshement available, and lunch was served on deck. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the five hour trip which was excellent value for money. Thankfully the rain arrived as we got on to the bus for the return journey to the hotel.
The evening was spent in a local Mexican Restaurant a leisurely walk up through the St. Lawrence Gap. The area has a fine selection of bars and restaurants with a good selection of foods.
With the cricket match planned for today cancelled until tomorrow the boys have another free day and plan to investigate other local beaches around the area.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Wednesday 18th February 2009

Yesterday was spent on the Island Safari Tour, where bodies were thrown about like rag dolls in the back of the 4 x 4 vehicles we were travelling in. Much of the travelling was done off road. One of the jeeps had to stop on one occasion for Ian Murphy to return to collect his glasses which had shot off his head.

Travelling through the Barbados countryside we saw areas of conservation, sugar cane, pineapples, papaya, bananas, monkeys. We travelled along to the picturesque east coast where lunch was served in a beach side cafe in Bathsheba. There were plenty of opportunities for photos along the way.

After our arrival back at the hotel it was another afternoon around the hotel pool and beach, and an evening BBQ and karaoke in the hotel bar.

It is an early start this morning with the boys off to a local school to meet and coach local cricketers. The scheduled match for today has been postponed until tomorrow.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Heavy defeat to Wanderers Academy

The Wanderers Academy side was the best side we have faced on tour so far. Losing the toss we were again asked to bowl first in searing heat. The match started but after only 5 balls the players were sent running for cover as a heavy rain storm arrived. Fortunately the wicket was covered quickly and once the rain stopped play resumed promptly.

When the players returned to the field they were greeted by several small frogs hopping about. Opening bowlers Tomos Ellis-Williams and Josh Simmons bowled very well and the home side were reduced to 35-2 but that was to be the only success for a while as opener Kraigg Bathwaite and no. 4 Jason Holder featured in a third wicket stand of 202. Holder who scored 101 from 69 balls (13 x 4 and 3 x 6) is certainly a name to watch out for in the West Indies teams of the future. A member of the Barbados Under 17's he had scored 56 centuries before he reached the age of 16.

Bathwaite chipped in with 117 from 99 balls, with sixteen fours, before he retired. Tomos with 1-34 and Josh 2-49 were the only bowlers to make any inroads into the home batting line-up.

In reply the league were bowled out cheaply and went down to a 180 odd run defeat. Skipper Josh Simmons top scored for the league.

Returning to the hotel it was a quick change and off for a swim. A young squad of girl netball players had arrived at the hotel on Saturday evening and there were hoots of laughter as one of our players was seen running naked through the hotel with only his hand covering his modesty. His answer was that some other boys had removed his costume. One of the girls was heard to say "He can't have got much if only one hand can cover it" (Only kidding).

The evening was spent in a local chinese restaurant, and then a local karaeoke before an early night at 10.30pm, much to the dismay of the squad members.

Today (Monday) the squad have a day to themselves around the pool and beach with a safari tour of the island planned for Tuesday. The weather here today is very cloudy but very close and humid, and there was heavy overnight rain.

That's all for now.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

With the boys intent on cooking their own breakfasts this morning we may be homeless by tonight. Hopefully they will not burn down the hotel.
Yesterday’s match ended in a heavy 92 run defeat against the Welches Academy in Bagatelle. Losing the toss we were again asked to bowl first in the heat of the day. The home side made 222-5 and in reply the league was bowled out for 130.

The evening was spent with a meal at Scotties followed by karaoke at the Whistling Frog, with the highlight of the evening Llyr Morris performing in his tour attire of flippers, snorkel and rubber ring. Punishment dished out by the judge at the kangaroo court held to deal with tour misdemeanours.

To the Harbour Lights evening earlier in the week Owain Luckwell had to wear a pair of underpants on his head (clean ones of course) and wear his trousers back to front, while yesterday Johnathan Evans had to wear a pair of socks with his flip flops to the match.

Tonight’s evening meal will take place at a local Chinese Restaurant and then we will move on to another Karaoke evening at Oceans 11.

Today we travel back to the Wanderers to take on their Academy in what will be another hard match.

After today’s match we will have three days off with Tuesday’s scheduled match unfortunately cancelled, but the Welches Academy have challenged us to a floodlit match on Friday evening which we hope can be arranged.

I will post scorecards from the three matches onto the website in the next day or so.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

4th day in paradise

An enjoyable evening was had at the Joel Garner Twenty20 last night when the great man made an appearance. When we left at around midnight there was still one innings of the second semi-final to be played and it was hammering down with rain. Those that had left earlier to have an early night were the sensible ones as everyone else was soaked on the long walk back to the hotel. Some of the boys deciding to dive into the puddles that had formed on the roadway and practice their swimming strokes.

Drefach's Llyr Morris pictured with the "Big Bird" the legendary former West Indies and Somerset fast bowler Joel Garner.
With the Wales v England match at home today many will have their thoughts elsewhere, but we have a match to play against the Welches Academy. Players who did not play in the first match will make their tour debuts today.
One elderly hotel guest complimented the squad on their good behaviour yesterday. She told Peter Williams that they were a credit to the league and said that one boy had seen her struggling to carry her bag and had carried it up to her room for her.
Some of our followers had an early start this morning with a walk to a local sports bar to watch the Swansea v Fulham match on television.

It is hoped that we can arrange a floodlit Twenty20 match between the touring squad for sometime next week. Approaches to the ground management look quite promising, and it will be a great experience for them.

More updates as the internet connection here in Barbados allows.

Friday, 13 February 2009

2nd and third days update

Wednesday evening was spent at the Harbour Lights where a very enjoyable evening was had by all. There was a live band, a limbo dancer and a performance from stilt walkers / dancers. Despite the name we did not see the harbour or any boats.

With 21 seventeen year olds there was plenty of volunteering to take part in activities on the stage with singing and dancing competitions. Everyone was amazed by the performance of the limbo dancer – “How could she get that low?” many asked.

On their return to the hotel three squad members, who shall remain nameless, blotted their copybook by going skinny dipping in the hotel pool much to the annoyance of team manager / coach Peter Williams. All three were reprimanded in the morning.

Following the late night the start of the match against the Alleyne School was put back half an hour to give everyone time to get ready. Waking to beautiful blue skies everyone set off for the “Bean and Bagel” for breakfast.

Transport then conveyed the squad and supporters to the Wanderers Cricket Ground where the opposition were already in the nets warming up. Our team changed and went out into their warm-up only to be sent scurrying for cover as heavy rain arrived. Fortunately the rain cleared and the match commenced with the Alleyne School electing to bat first. Thanks to the efforts of their captain Clarke who scored 93, the home side were able to post 179-7 from 29 overs. The match had been scheduled for 35 overs a side but there was a cut off point of 1.45pm for the overs to be bowled, which we failed to do. Wicket takers were Tomos Ellis Williams 1-29, Josh Simmons 1-28, Rhodri Jones 3-29 and Ashley Churchill 2-40. Llyr Morris claimed a brilliant stumping while there were also excellent catches from Rhys Clayton, and Oliver Pardoe.
Batting second the league were always behind the clock after the departure of Andrew Williams for 18. Owain Luckwell 60, Rhys Clayton 13 and Matthew Jones 20 all reached double figures but the league’s innings closed on 145-8 and a 34 run defeat. Dewi Williams became the first “goldie” of the tour when he was bowled first ball, while David Jenkins was bowled for 0 and Llyr Morris was run out for a duck. Peter Williams was happy with the performance of the boys in the opening match, and they look forward to the double header this weekend with matches on Saturday and Sunday.

The evening was spent around St. Lawrence Gap. Plans to watch a floodlight Twenty20 match on a nearby ground faltered as the match was cancelled. Friday will be spent at a local water park with fun for all, and the evening will be spent watching two semi-finals in a local floodlit Twenty20 competition arranged by the legendary Joel Garner.

Apologies for the delay in upodating the blog but this is down to internet connection problems. We are a long way away after all!!