The Eastern Province Rural (Grahamstown) cricket team performed exceptionally well and ended unbeaten in the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Coastal Week in Mossel Bay recently. EP won all of their six games and ended joined winners with Boland at the conclusion of the tournament.
This is a remarkable achievement for the young EP Rural side who went down to the Western Cape as a collective unit without the majority of the players involved in the set up in recent years. Their commitment and discipline on and off the field was key to their success. The eight teams participating were EP Rural, EP Midlands, Border Country, Border Villages, Border Aloes, Kei, South-Western Districts (SWD) and Boland. The top four teams that qualified to take part in the CSA National Rural Week in Kimberley in 2020 are:
Boland, EP Rural, Border Villages and Border Aloes. They will compete against the top four teams from the CSA Rural Inland Week.
EP Rural beat Midlands, Border Country, Kei and SWD and, in the T20s, Border Aloes and Border Villages.
Ryan Harley who plays for Rhodes and Manley Flats in the Grahamstown Cricket Board (GCB) first league, was the big performer for EP. He was the Player of the Tournament for his impressive all-round performance with bat and ball. He was also voted Man of the Match on Day 1 and for both of the T20s on Day 5. Harley scored 61* and 91* in the T20s and took 5/17, 4/19 and 2/18 during the week.
Marquin Loutz from Willows was also impressive with both bat and ball for EP Rural and was voted Man of the Match on Day 3 and Day 4. His all-round performance also helped his side during the week.
Taylor Ntukela, from Cuyerville, scooped the Man of the Match award on Day 2 taking 4/26 and scoring 30 runs in assisting EP to their victory.
Proud EP Rural Team Manager Xanephan May said their discipline stood out throughout the week.
“There was good competitive cricket played and the boys performed exceptionally well. I’m proud of them and I’m looking forward to the National Week in Kimberley next year.”