On a rather dull and dank day fourteen lucky boys and three members of staff set off to South Africa for a half term cricket tour. As I write, they should just have enjoyed their evening meal on the plane and will eventually arrive at their destination tomorrow midday. I hope they take the opportunity to rest well on the plane (I somehow doubt this!) as their first cricket match, the first of eight, is tomorrow afternoon. As we get photos emailed in we hope to update this news article on a daily basis. Good luck tour party!
You can also keep track of the tour by following them on Twitter @LockersSport
Thursday 12th February
We are very pleased to report that the tour party has arrived safely. In fact they have played their first match – a 59 run victory with the wickets spread across the bowling attack. Well done boys – time for a well earned rest!
Friday 13th February
I’m afraid they have some English weather down in South Africa – rain. In fact it has rained so much that today’s match has had to be cancelled. Undaunted, the boys have enjoyed playing on the beach and kept their eye in with a darts competition. The afternoon was spent relaxing in the spa – stressful times for the staff, who had to make sure their life guarding was up to speed – poor Mr Dawes looks exhausted!
Saturday 14th February
Bowled well getting Hermanus out for 116. 2 for Sabel, 2 for Garrett and 2 for Houlihan-Burne. Barden kept well taking 3 catches. Unfortunately the batting didn’t go too well. All out for 25 against a good attack. Deane and Gardener scored the most runs. Great after match hospitality. We may have lost the cricket but the rugby looked closer. Off kayaking this afternoon. Some of the boys spent more time in the water than in the kayaks! For the first time I’m feeling jealous! Those steaks look fantastic!
Sunday 15th February
Now I’m really jealous! In good weather the boys went out shark watching. Several found the journey out to the sharks a bit of an ordeal, but it was really worth it, with one of the oceans top predators putting in an appearance. Returning to shore they spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach before their evening meal in Hermanus. Tomorrow’s match v Tygerberg Cricket Club will be a 2pm start. A change to what had been planned.
Monday 16th February
The tour part moved hotel today to the Grand West. At Tygerberg they have lost the toss and are bowling first. I wish we had the same temperature as they have in South Africa – but possibly 30 degrees is a little too warm. Good to see the boys staying in the shade when they have the opportunity. Today it was a two innings 35 over match and it was VERY close. At the break Lockers were down by 14 runs. Top scorer was Barden, 31 with Garrett supporting with a quick 27. Wickets were spread between Sabel, Houlihan-Burne and Garrett. It went to the final over, with Lockers just losing.
Tuesday 17th February
A beautiful day in South Africa with the party about to set off on the Peninsular Tour. It might be a little too hot, even for me, with the temperature expected to be 36 degrees centigrade. Lots of wildlife seen today – penguins, baboons and seals. Glad to see the boys trying to stay out of the sun with some colourful head gear!
Wednesday 18th February
It should be a really interesting and thought provoking day today – the tourists are spending the morning on Robben Island. I have no doubt they will experience life in a cell for a few minutes. I wonder how many of them will think of Nelson Mandela and the years he spent in a cell on Robben Island. This afternoon the match is against Pinewood, starting at 1 p.m. I think someone lost the key to the cell – the’ve been delayed on Robben Island – hopefully the match will start at 1.30 p.m. In a great game Lockers lost by 9 runs. 50 for Deane, 51 not out for Garrett. In the evening the boys enjoyed a session of drumming at Gold.
Thursday 19th February
After a good breakfast the tour party are on their way to play Boston Primary.
The pitch looks fantastic. Lost the toss – Lockers have been put in to bat. Gardener and Brown opening.
All out for 113. Woodley 38* the pick of the batsmen. The Lockers bowlers seem to be doing their stuff – Boston are 42-6 after 15 overs. Match won by 20 runs. Wickets shared between Garrett 2, Williams 2, AStuanya 2, Irwin, Sabel, Woodley and Houlihan-Burne. Boston must take their cricket seriously as the children were released from lessons to support their team. The Lockers boys have created a great celebration routine.
After the exertions of this morning the boys are now going to tackle Table Mountain. Luckily the weather is perfect.
Friday 20th February
Today the boys are going on a tour of Sahara Park, Newlands, an international venue. The first international match was in 1889, against England (who won by an innings and 202 runs), the last in January 2015 against the West Indies. It is also the home of the Cape Cobras. This afternoon is the final match of the tour, against Kirstenhoff. It starts at 4pm.
Lunch on the Water Front. Now on the way to the game.
Lockers lost the toss (again!) and are fielding first. Woodley and Williams to open the bowling.
Chasing 204 was always going to be difficult. Lockers came 48 runs short. Garrett 38 and Williams 24 were the pick of the batsmen. Wickets were shared between Garrett 2, Williams, Sabel and di Monaco.
I think one of the things that has really struck our visitors to South Africa are the amazing facilities that are available to their sportsmen. I think that if we had similar facilities in England that possibly the England team might have done better than they did today against New Zealand in the World Cup.
Saturday 21st February
The last full day in South Africa before the long trip home. The tourists need to make the most of their time and really appreciate the weather. The Lockers pitches had a light dusting of snow this morning and the forecast for the next couple of days is for cold, wet, windy and on higher ground, snowy weather!
Last full day on tour. Going on a tour of Cape Town and then to the beach. Thank you to everybody who has made the trip so special.
The tour finished with a special meal at The Spur.
Sunday 22nd February
The journey home starts. The tour party, flying on SA234, are due to land at Heathrow at 06.25 tomorrow morning. Many thanks to Mr Taylor, Mr Dawes and Mr Doyle for taking the tour and looking after the boys so well.