Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

Year 9 cricket and netball squads visit Dubai

Year 9 cricket and netball squads visit Dubai

During February half term a group of Year 9 netballers and cricketers took the opportunity to visit Dubai and compete against some local schools in their respective sports as well as taking in the sights of this phenomenal city.

Sree Kankakala (cricket), Emily Dunstan and Millie Ireland-Carson (both netball) document their experiences from the trip below:

Day 1
16th February saw 30 keen cricketers and netballers gather at Newcastle Airport ready to depart for Dubai, where we'd arrive some seven hours later just after midnight (Dubai time)...

Day 2
With very little sleep and a sandstorm swirling the Dubai skyline, both the cricketers and netballers were up early for a full day ahead. For the boys, it was a morning of training at a local cricket ground, while the girls had two enjoyable games against Dubai Exiles.

With the wind hampering beach time, the girls headed to the prestigious Mall of Emirates for a spot of shopping and our cricketers got underway in their match versus G-Force putting up a fine score of 192. After producing such a good score with the bat, the boys defended their total with some very good fielding and tight bowling. They left the cricket ground on a high with the first win of the tour in their pockets.

With everyone revitalised after a very good day of sport, the group headed to the Burjman Mall and its array of restaurants for dinner before heading back to the hotel for some well-earned kip.

Day 3
The girls headed to Dubai College for some intense games in their U16 international tournament. After a strenuous day the girls cooled off at Jumeirah beach. The cricketers also played Dubai College. With some light showers just before the start of the game, the opening bowlers found it very hard to gain anything from the wicket, which resulted in lots of wides! The poor bowling continued throughout the game until James Moreby stepped up. In three overs he took four wickets to get us right back in the game and the boys rolled the opposition for 108 runs, which was a very achievable target. After some quality batting, the boys again left the cricket pitch on a high and joined the netballers at Jumeirah beach for a dip and run about. 

After fun at Jumeirah beach, the entire tour party headed to Ravi's restaurant for dinner and then it was back to the hotel for a much needed rest.

Day 4
Today was the most anticipated of the whole tour...a visit to the Wild Wadi Water Park. We all woke up buzzing with excitement for the day ahead. The highlight of the water park was definitely the 'Jumeirah Sceirah' where the floor dropped from underneath you and you shot down the slide reaching a speed of 80kmph! 

We had some free time after returning to the hotel before we headed to the Dubai Mall, which is one of the biggest on the planet. The girls were in heaven, running faster than they ever did on the netball court to reach their desired shops! Loaded with bags and some holes in our pockets, we went back to the hotel feeling very tired.

Day 5
The girls had an early start as they were off to the Burj Khalfia, which is the tallest building in the world. After a shockingly fast elevator ride, the girls reached the observation deck almost half a kilometre above ground for a spectacular 360 degree view of Dubai. 

After they had finished being typical English tourists, they headed off to Wellington School for some more netball matches. They came away with two convincing wins in the scorching heat thanks to some commendable teamwork and coaching.

Meanwhile, the boys had a game against GEMS Wellington, a well-established local school. Wickets fell early, but Mark Dormer kept his composure and dug deep scoring 45 before being caught just short of his first half century. After a good performance, RGS set a score of 191 for their opposition. We dropped two early catches and their opening batsmen dominated which meant we never really got back into the game, although there was plenty of good bowling from Raiyan Haq and Calum Fletcher. With our first defeat, the mood was slightly dampened. but not for long as the tour group got together and headed off for a cheeky Nando's!

Day 6
With it being our last day in Dubai, everyone was determined to end the tour on a high. The boys had a 20-20 slog-fest at the Ajman Oval against Dubai Academy. 

But first we all headed to Jumeirah beach where we had a swim and a game of rounders before the girls headed off for their final match of the tour against JES, a team who had shown outstanding play in the tournament earlier in the week. Living up to expectations, we had some mixed results, with the As winning and the Bs suffering a narrow loss. 

Over at the Ajman Oval, our cricketers mustered a very notable 116 in their 20-20 match after some clean strikes from Harry Stephenson. Eventually we won by 12 runs, ending the tour on a high. 

Following the matches, everyone freshened up and headed to the Dubai Mall for one final splash of cash and seeing the well-known dancing fountains which delivered a mind-blowing routine.

Later in the evening, we had our own awards ceremony back at the hotel. The most impressive award going to James Moreby who gladly received a bottle of shower gel which was both welcome and necessary!

Day 7
With an early flight, we were all up at 4.30am ready to leave the hotel. 30 weary students made their way through check-in and onto the plane, bound for Newcastle.

 The tour was a great success and thanks must go to Mr Smalley, Miss Atkinson, Miss Chapman and Michael Craigs for organising such a memorable tour and for tirelessly taking care of all of us. Without their hard work and dedication, the trip wouldn't have been such a huge success.

We'd also like to thank our sponsors Howard Snaith and Royal Caribbean for all their support and our fantastic tour kit. 

We left Dubai a much more united group who made lots of memories which will last a lifetime.