A RIPON Grammar School teenager and aspiring professional cricketer played a key role in the Yorkshire U-14 team which triumphed in the Royal London national championships.
Hector Hamill, from Roecliffe, who dreams of batting for England one day, says helping his county win the cup for the first time has been one of the highlights of his cricketing career.
The 15-year-old, who has also represented his county at U-11 and U-12 levels and captained the U-13 side, said his team faced a very confident Surrey side in the final, held in Nottingham.
They had earlier beaten off fierce competition from all over the country, with 38 counties split across four groups vying for the title.
Yorkshire topped the northern group, winning five, drawing one and losing just one match, going on to beat Oxfordshire in the quarter final before thrashing Lancashire by nine wickets in the semi-final.
The final proved to be a low-scoring match, said Hector: “We bowled them out for 151, and I got two wickets and a run out. In what could have been a tricky chase, our top order batted sensibly as we knocked the runs off seven down.”
He was pleased with his performance: “Batting at number 4, I top scored in the final and in the tournament overall, I scored 134 runs at an average of 33.5, with one half century against Durham.”
Hector, who this year hit the highest score in the Yorkshire U-14s trials (133 not out) and was also the highest wicket taker (11 wickets), was selected for the 30-strong county squad in June.
He has been playing cricket since he was seven years old: “I began just playing in the garden with my dad and brother, then joined Bishop Monkton juniors when I was nine. I started off as a bowler, but I’m now a batsman who bowls a bit of spin.
He plays senior cricket for Beckwithshaw and is particularly proud of scoring four centuries (including 130 not out for the school) and hitting the highest score ever in regional U-14 cricket (133 not out).
Inspired by English cricketer Joe Root, he plays up to six matches a week, training between four and six times a week throughout winter, which leaves little time for his other passion, rugby: “I can only play for school as I don’t have enough spare time,” he says.