TEAM manager Mark Barber saluted his Parley heroes after they had claimed runners-up position in the prestigious NatWest Under-15 National Club Championship.
Parley, one of no fewer than 1,700 teams to take part in the competition, won through nine rounds to earn a place in the grand final at Oundle School in Peterborough.
The Dorset club, who were crowned South & West group winners, secured a place in the showpiece final after easing to an eight-wicket victory over Southill Park, who had won through to finals day after winning the Midlands group.
Owen Morris (3-12) and skipper Ollie Shrubsole (5-8) did most of the damage as Southill Park were dismissed for just 70 before the pair also starred with the bat (Morris 38, Shrubsole 17) as Parley made light work of the chase.
Although Parley put up a spirited display in the final against a well-organised Guildford outfit, they found the London & East group winners a much tougher proposition and were beaten by seven wickets by the team from Surrey.
Parley team manager Barber said: “The effort and commitment that these players have shown this year is a real credit to them.
“To be able to pick the same 11 players for all nine rounds of the competition has been a great help and, although we were disappointed not to win, to come second in the whole country out of 1,700 teams is a tremendous effort and one for which they should be very proud.”
Their exploits in the NatWest Under-15 National Club Championship rounded off another excellent year for Parley with their youth teams winning nine leagues and four cups between them.
Parley won the national competition in 2006 and a number of players have gone on to play cricket at a high level, including bowler David Payne who is now on the books at Gloucestershire.
Parley: Jake Markham, Oliver Thomas, Harrison Clarke, Ian Westhead, Max Trueman, Will Carter, Tom Barber, Alex Sands, Ollie Shrubsole, Owen Morris, Spencer Hopkins.