18-year-old Matthew Kennedy from Old Colwyn – along with his teammates – were presented with their caps by representatives from Cricket Wales after coming runners-up in a county championship competition.
The Cricket Wales MACS is North Wales’s first mixed ability side, and is made up of players from both Colwyn Bay Cricket Club and Gwersyllt Cricket Club.
The team recently represented Wales in the newly-formed Super 9's County Championship against a range of strong opponents including Lancashire and Cheshire.
The North Wales team upset the odds by reaching the final before narrowly missing out to the Yorkshire county side in the regional final (North). The former team’s impressive achievement surprised both Cricket Wales and the English Cricket Boards, especially as they were competing against much bigger and more established teams, which included cricketers from the England disability squads.
Matt is currently studying on the college’s Diploma in Professional Cookery & Food and Beverage Service course. Before this, he was enrolled on courses within the college’s Independent Living Skills department for two years. The department runs a number of courses for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities and social and emotional behavioural difficulties, which are tailor-made to meet individual student’s needs.
His proud mum Debbie is a member of staff at the college, working as an administrative assistant within the GCSEs and Essential Skills department. She said: “It was a huge achievement to reach the final, especially as this was the first season that the team had played together. We are so proud of Matthew, who was also the team’s joint captain.”
This wasn’t the only reason to celebrate in the Kennedy household, as two of Matt’s sisters - Hannah and Amy, who are also students at Coleg Llandrillo – have also excelled at cricket. They are both members of the Colwyn Bay Cricket Club women's section, the team that this year won the inaugural Welsh Hundred Ball Plate tournament at the Vale of Glamorgan Cricket club, beating south Wales. The Colwyn Bay team is also currently in joint first place along with Bethesda Cricket Club women's team in the North Wales Women's Cricket League.