Merchant Taylors’ cricket teams have had a promising start to the 2017 season. The 1st XI has registered two convincing wins in the NW Merit League, defeating Bolton School by 41 runs and RGS Lancaster by 92 runs. They also defeated Myerscough Cricket Academy in the first round of the Schools Cricket Magazine Cup, and won friendlies against Nottingham High School and Formby Cricket Club. Several players have turned in notable performances in these matches.
Leading the way have been Isaac Lea who scored an unbeaten century against Nottingham and Alex Rankin who recorded a century against RGS Lancaster. Kunal Mahambrey hit a flawless 75 against Formby and Ben Aitchison has been a model of consistency with scores of 45, 62, 61, 54 and 32. As well as hitting big scores the bowlers have been able to dominate their opponents in most matches. No individual bowler has dominated, but Arav Soin is the leading wicket-taker with 8 wickets and Tom Hartley has the best economy rate.
The Merchants’ Under 15 team has represented Lancashire in the national 40 over knock-out and last week registered a superb 7 wicket victory against Sedbergh School, the Cumbrian champions, putting them into the northern semi-final. In this match Robert Rankin batted exceptionally well to score 58, following on his excellent form from the Kirkham game in which he scored a century.
Merchants’ players have been to the fore in representative cricket. 1st XI captain George Lavelle has already played several games for Lancashire 2nd XI this season and three boys from the U15 team, Robert and Harvey Rankin, and Oliver Green have had trials for the North of England. Several others are likely to be playing for county age group teams this season. Jack Carney from Year 7 has been warming up for the county season by scoring a century for the School U12 team against King’s Chester.
Head of Cricket, Simon Sutcliffe, has been pleased with the start the Merchants’ players have made so far, commenting – “The fine weather has been matched by some very fine cricket from our teams in the early part of the season. To have four boys with centuries under their belts already is unprecedented, and it has set a standard to which all our young players can aspire.” Mr Sutcliffe is equally keen to stress that the School’s recreational cricketers have also been looked after. “It is very important that our B teams at every age group have the opportunity to play the game, and while it has been great to be doing so well in cups and leagues one of the most enjoyable matches I have watched this season was our Under 12 B team’s nailbiting win against King’s Chester last Saturday!”