There were many memorable moments in the Under 11 matches this season and many examples of excellent cricket.
In our first match against Lutterworth, Kush took 4 wickets, Seb scored a rapid 25 and was outstanding behind the sticks and Jay played some awesome hook shots. But more important than the individual efforts was the team effort, with every bowler taking a wicket and outstanding efforts in the field. We took 17 wickets in that match.
This performance became the blueprint for the rest of the season. We took 17 wickets 3 times, 14 and 11 wickets twice. I’m told it’s unheard of.
The match v Stoughton was memorable for the quality of Jay Tank’s batting, our highest scorer making 2 outstanding hook shots but most of all the fielding and Archie Gibbs 3-for on debut and Seb’s 5 situ pings
The boys hunted the ball like a pride of lions. It was amazing to see the batters frozen to the crease and if they hit the ball and as panic set in they ran some singles that they would have got if they’d been playing anyone else. Twice in one over they played the ball to extra cover only for Ollie to pounce on the ball and fire a throw straight into Seb’s gloves directly over the stumps. Run out twice.
Despite losing the county players for half of our games due to summer holidays and other commitments, the boys still went undefeated applying the blueprint in the matches against Electricity Sports, Langtons and Countesthorpe.
This was a team where everyone contributed with bat, ball or in the field. We bowled hardly any wides, dropped maybe one or two catches.
We scored 162 runs against Langtons and took 17 wickets. Seb again outstanding behind the wickets and in partnership with George Hooper put in 54 in their 4 overs
Archie Gibbs took a 5-for against Electricity Sports.
Tej took 5 catches against Countesthorpe, but it was the bowling that created the pressure to make the batters hit out. Only 9 wickets in that match seemed something of a disappointment.
This season the boys went undefeated in the league as did Houghton (our league match was rained off) so we tied the district table at the end of the season.The league therefore asked us to play a decider.
This was our only tight game. 2 down after the first 4 overs and with 3 on the board, we weren’t in great shape. We only scored 95 runs of four 16 overs, and if it wasn’t for Billy and Tejas hitting out, we’d not have reached that total. Although they only scored 28 in their 4 overs, it brought us back into the game. Billy’s cutting and pulling was outstanding. Ollie too struck a few fours, to keep the score board ticking over.
Again our fielding and bowling was tight and with 24 needed off the last over, it looked certain than other easy victory was in the bag, but some very big hitting they scored 20 but lost a wicket. Victory by 9 runs. Close indeed.
The semi against CCA was played at Dunton Bassett and another outstanding effort saw us to 326 and we thought 350 was on the cards. Stand out batters were George Hooper and Ollie Winder. We were 54 after the opening 4 overs. The others continued to rack up the runs until we ground to a halt in the final 4 overs.
Another outstanding bowling display followed, especially from Archie Gibbs which was backed up with massive fielding pressure. It was like Stoughton all over again. Batters frozen to the crease whether because of Seb’s keeping or the outfield pressure. From a starting point of 200, they reached 223/9
We all thought a semi finalist would put up a better show, but I think we started to realise how good we were.
The final at Kibworth on August 18th was against Bharat Sports, winners of the North East league. They were a good bowling unit and the best fielders we’d seen all season (apart from us of course). A defendable total of 83 was scored, mostly thanks to lusty hitting from Billy and Ollie but not outstanding against a finalist we thought, but we were wrong.
4 down after the first over by Archie Gibbs (2 run-outs), including a golden duck for the opening batter. 5 wickets (3 run-outs) off the final over bowled by Billy Tear didn’t help either.
Although they scored runs, they were mostly lucky edges through third man, losing 17 wickets was their downfall, half of which were run-outs. Wickets for every bowler again meant that every bowler this season took at least one wicket when they bowled for the team.
A great season by an all round team where everyone contributed whether with bat, ball or in the field. For the coaches, it was great to see all the things we practiced being performed in the matches. Relay fielding was something we taught this year, and they used it many times.
And for the boys who’ve come to Sunday training every week for since they were big enough to hold a bat, it’s all been worth it. It’s a shame we don’t have a fielding trophy to award. We must have broken the runout record and Seb must have broken the stumping record.
The best thing of all is that half of this team is still young enough to play U11 cricket next year