Father Michael McGivney CA wins YRAA Boys Cricket Championship

Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy (CA) captured the 2019-2020 York Regional Athletic Association (YRAA) Varsity Boys Tier 1 Cricket Championship on Friday (18 October 2019) with an 8 wicket win in the Final against defending champions Maple High School (HS). It was Father McGivney’s first cricket championship against a Maple HS team seeking a fourth consecutive championship.
Matches are played with a maximum of 15 overs per innings in YRAA outdoor cricket. This allows a school to play games on the same day at the current venue of McCowan Reservoir, Markham, Ontario that has two cricket fields. .
Maple HS began the day with a semi-final win against Bill Hoggarth Secondary School (SS) while Father McGivney CA beat Bur Oak SS by 32 runs in the other semi-final. Maple HS scored 91/4 from 15 overs in the Final on a day when the sun shone and the temperature may have doubled between the start of the semi-finals and the closing stages of the final.
It was quite windy on Friday but not as windy as last year’s YRAA cricket playoffs when there was a mixture of rain, hail, sleet and snow between the end of the semi-finals and the eventual start of the final. The wind this year means the full effect of a temperature rise from 6C to 12C in Markham, according to actual weather reports, will not have felt as warm as 12C for the players. But the playoffs went ahead, re-scheduled earlier in the week for Friday in the hope of better weather than the projected rain of Wednesday that proved to be real.
Father McGivney CA scored 92/2 from 10.1 overs to beat Maple HS by 8 wickets and capture the YRAA Boys Cricket championship for the first time. A more detailed perspective on individual performances may follow at a later date and this may be a pinnacle for Father McGivney based on senior players who will no longer be at the school next academic year. But it was a win that brought smiles all around, admittedly with some disappointment for the Maple HS players.
The first YRAA Boys Cricket Championship was played in the 2005-2006 academic year, based on the championship trophy. Maple HS has won 5 championships but a new name was added with this win by Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy. One of the umpires presented the trophy to Father McGivney and medals to both teams. Some of the taxis to convey players and coaches back to their schools arrived as the game was ending, so there was a certain amount of celebration by the new champions before it was time to move on to the next activity of the day.
One or two of the coaches of the five schools I saw play this year are optimistic their cricket teams will be stronger next year. Perhaps we can see if someone or some company might provide one or two scoreboards for either the ground or the schools so that the players could remain aware of the total runs scored, the overs bowled and, when batting second, the target score for victory.
Bringing greater visibility to local cricket in schools would surely help awareness of cricket’s existence and could help development and growth not only in the York Region of Ontario.
So congratulations to the new champions, Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy plus best wishes and thanks to those who coached and played in all the school teams.
Eddie Norfolk

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