Bowling to win

Some of the pupils at Ackworth school who attended a cricket workshop, as part of the Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy.'Front L to R are: Henry Hackwell, Josh Griffin, Adam Jones.'p5978a131
Some of the pupils at Ackworth school who attended a cricket workshop, as part of the Andrew Flintoff Cricket Academy.'Front L to R are: Henry Hackwell, Josh Griffin, Adam Jones.'p5978a131

CRICKET star Niall O’Brien faced a tough challenge at Ackworth School as young sportsmen took turns to catch the batsman out.

The Irish player spent the afternoon with budding bowlers as part of the Freddy Flintoff Cricket Academy, which encourages young players to take up the sport.

Mr O’Brien, who plays for Northamptonshire, signed shirts and bats, talked about his career and gave each child the chance to test their bowling skills against him.

Wendy Brown, a head coach with the academy who led the event, said: “The week was fantastic, we were outside the whole time and the children were brilliant.

“They love it when anyone they’ve seen on TV comes in, but they really loved seeing Niall and he was fantastic with them.

“They met a professional cricketer and enjoyed learning different skills.”

Youngsters aged five to 14 are put into age and ability groups and spend five days at the cricket camp, learning how to bat, bowl and hone their skills.

The final day is spent in a “world cup” style competition and prizes and certificates are handed out to celebrate progress.