A WESTCLIFF High School for Boys cricket team has celebrated its first season by winning a trophy.

The Year 7 under-12 team competed in the Essex Cup Final at the home of Gidea Park & Romford Cricket Club with their first match against Barking Abbey.

The team had beaten Campion, Coopers, Bancroft’s and St Martin’s to reach the showpiece occasion and they didn’t disappoint.

Westcliff High got off to a sluggish start and dropped a few catches but restricted Barking Abbey to only 130 off their 25 overs.

With five runs an over the target, Westcliff started strongly with captain Klain Fernando and Archie Wright opening the batting.

Wright quickly accelerated to 22 before being bowled by a terrific yorker. However, with ten overs remaining, Westcliff were ticking along at four an over and needed to up this average to seven to be in with a chance of a win.

This would usually present too big a challenge to an under-12 side, but Arunan Sivabalan’s 15 and other vital contributions from the middle order kept the tempo high, allowing Fernando to set the pace.

Having reduced the target to less than a run-per-ball, Arun Bhargava took centre-stage and, with three overs remaining, he hit three fours which sealed Westcliff’s victory in the penultimate over.

Dan Phillips, head of PE, said: “This is an incredible achievement by the team, becoming the first Westcliff Junior side to achieve Essex Cup success in years.

“They have now earned the right to represent Essex in the Bunbury National Cup next summer, which they eagerly await.

“They should be incredibly proud of themselves.”