During the long weekend in late April, Western Province Maccabi u13 and u18 cricket teams travelled to Johannesburg for a junior cricket tour, where they played several matches against Gauteng Maccabi.
The tour consisted of one 40-over match, two T20’s, a mixed T20 match made up of Western Province and Gauteng players and finally, a chessed day in honour of Hugo Paluch.
The tour got underway with an opening ceremony on 27 April at Jeppe High School where all the boys were addressed by Maccabi SA, as well as by Floyd Lebatie. The boys then had training net sessions at Jeppe High School’s quality indoor training facility. The next event was a social ten pin bowling and pizza evening on Saturday night after Shabbat where all the boys from both Western Province and Gauteng socialised and got to know each other better.
The first match of the tour was a 40-over match for both age groups on 29 April. The u18s played at Jeppe High School, while the u13s played at Jeppe Quondam. The u18 boys managed to beat Gauteng Maccabi, with exceptional contributions from Ethan Nates scoring 116 (off 107 balls), Guy Sheena scoring 94* (off 64 balls) and Jarren Bacher scoring 36. The U13 boys however lost to Gauteng, with Jarred Zolty managing to pick up 3 wickets for 35 runs in 8 overs.
30 April was the first Day T20 between the two teams at Jeppe Quondam. The u18s once again managed to beat Gauteng Maccabi, with Ethan Nates scoring 51 and Aidan Wittels carrying his bat and scoring 45* to see the team home. The u13s were up against a quality Gauteng side and lost their T20 game, with Captain Ethan Werb leading by example taking 3 wickets for 28 runs in his 4 overs. Later that day, the teams were mixed for the second day / night T20 games for both age groups. This gave the boys a chance to get to know each other even better and solidifying those newly found friendships. Both games displayed high quality action, with all boys showing excellent sportsmanship and having loads of fun.
The day ended with prize giving and a closing ceremony. Western Province won the u18 age group, with Gauteng winning the u13 age group.
One of the key events was the participation in the Hugo Paluch Chessed Cricket Day, known as Hugo’s Warmth. This event took place on the final day of tour on 1 May. A team of sixteen u13 players from Alex and Soweto were bussed through to play both Western Province and Gauteng u13 teams. After the matches had taken place, the Maccabi boys from both provinces collected ten full cricket bags and two big boxes of reusable equipment which were handed over to the boys from Alex and Soweto.
Ronen Cohen (WP Maccabi Chairman) said “One of the key lessons from this tour was that we had six boys in the u18s and two boys in the u13s from schools outside of Herzlia which is encouraging, as this has offered the opportunity for these young sportsmen to stay involved with their fellow Jews and the Jewish community.”
Western Province Maccabi has committed to hosting Gauteng Maccabi next year in Cape Town, so watch this space for more info!
For more information regarding the Maccabi junior cricket programme, please contact Melissa Zolty on 082 776 7177.
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