Saturday, July 02, 2022

February In Review

We thought January was fast. We had barely dropped the pen to catch our breath and February had zoomed past. Where did it go? Well, we will tell you. Remember the events of last month? Get the summary from our review of January for a better understanding of this.

The last time we spoke about the Edo League, U-17 CC was being chased by AAU, Dolphins, and No Limit. The chase culminated in a 2-day ESCA Super Four at the splendid Edo Boys High School Oval in Benin. U-17 defeated No Limit to book a place in the final, while AAU overcame Dolphins to join U-17 for the grand finale. In a crushing 62-run victory, U-17 CC underlined their dominance to lift the prestigious trophy. Congratulations to them.

While we are still waiting for word from Port Harcourt on when their T20 round will begin, in the Center of Excellence, the CCC league is getting hotter by the week. In Division 2, of the 3 teams that were jostling for the two promotion spots, one of them secured the spot in the Division 1 next season. What makes the battle even more interesting is that the remaining 2 clubs will still have to play themselves in the coming weeks. Most likely, it will be the fiercest clash of the season. Oh, before we proceed, congratulations IMCC... please invite us to the party whenever it will be. In Division 1, Ibeju Lekki 1 is looking at all other clubs in their rearview mirror. They have gone 8 wins on the trot, are currently 6 points clear at the top, and with a game in hand over the 2nd placed GCI. GCI is in hot pursuit but of interest in the chase is Rising Stars who are just two points off GCI, but with 3 games in hand. The final few games will be such a delight to experience.

Moving away from the leagues, the capital city played host to the whole nation for the finals of the NCF-PWC U-17 National Cricket Championship at the Moshood Abiola Stadium. In January, we brought you news of how the various States across all zones battled themselves to qualify and present teams for the big one at the center. The zonal teams were a balanced blend of the finest youngsters across the States. These youngsters did not disappoint. It was a joy to see the North-East zone for the first time presenting participants in both the male and female category, making this edition the biggest one yet. For the sponsors, the Federation, and all stakeholders nationwide, the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment could not be qualified and is a testament to the fact that the NCF-PWC partnership is a match made in heaven. The defending champions, South-South zone retained the title but not before they were given a keen run for their money. We heard there will be the 4th edition and we all are looking forward to it. 

Remember we said there were whispers of an international competition around the corner? Well, we have news that 36 female players have been invited to camp in Benin for a 6-nation women's invitational tournament coming up later this month in Lagos from 26th March to 6th April. 

The 5 other countries joining Nigeria are Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and The Gambia. 

We will bring you more gist as they unfold. For now, we need to get the pitches ready for the big one coming.

- A Groundsman


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