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Jubilation on Sunday Morning as the U15’s win!!
Stokes Field is usually a very quiet and tranquil ground at the best of times. However, on Sunday morning this place was changed into a battle ground as the Long Ditton u15’s played against a very competent but injury ravaged Chessington team. Chessington, without their strike bowler and star batsman due to a broken thumb, won the toss and put LDCC into bat. This seemed like a good move for both sides because Long Ditton skipper Tom Rogers fancied a bat anyway. So the fearless opening duo of Ratnakumar and skipper Rogers opened up for Long Ditton. Things got off to a good start when in the first over Ratnakumar scored the first runs off the day with a guided shot through third man for the first boundary. Rogers with his new batting stance was soon up and running as well guiding a four through third man. The opening pair where looking good until disaster struck, Rogers was bowled by the first ball of the ninth over for 13 leaving the score on 26-1. This brought star batsman Charlie Boxall to the crease. However, 2 overs later Ratnakumar was out swiping at a ball just outside his off stump. He played on, leaving Long Ditton 30 odd for 2. This brought the coach’s son to the crease. Ollie Neely has been in the runs this season and that was demonstrated straight away as he played shots to both sides of the wicket. Boxall was next to go caught at mid off trying to hit over the top. The big hitting Troy Judkins was next in, however he went first ball bowled by the Chessington off spinner. The explosive Charlie Clark was next but he never got going and was out caught and bowled for none. This brought the very underrated Ryan Cording to the crease and he showed why he was so underrated as he and the prolific Ollie Neely ended the innings in fine style as they freed their arms and added 30 runs off the last three overs to take Long Ditton to a very under par 108 for 5. With Oliver Neely finishing on 39 not out and Ryan Cording being run out on the last ball of the innings for 18. Their knock delighted the skipper who said ‘they’re opening next week’.
It then took an inspired team talk from coach Chris Neely and Captain Rogers as they tried to gee up the troops for what would be a very nervous innings in the field.
The very experienced seamer Adam Barlow opened up down the hill. He bowled well but went wicketless with his 4 overs going for 15. Off Spinner Charlie Boxall opened from the other end and he bamboozled the opening batsmen but he too went wicketless as he ended his four overs with figures of 0 for 12. Rogers then turned to batting hero Ollie Neely and this bowling change worked straight away as Neely picked up two wickets with his first two balls including the very dangerous Chessington Skipper for 17. Judkins came on from the other end and he struggled early on in his spell testing skipper Rogers’s keeping skills by sending the ball miles down the off and leg side. However, he was back on the money in his second over as he really tested the batsman’s resilience and agility with a series of well placed bouncers but at drinks Chessington looked set to win comfortably on 54-2. Long Ditton were dealt a serious blow as star all rounder Ollie Neely had to go off for a few overs with suspected dehydration in the 30 degree heat. This meant Rogers turned to another all rounder, Charlie Clark. His first spell of two overs were a bit all over the place so he was given a rest. Troy Judkins continued up the hill and his perseverance paid off as he got a wicket with a full toss that was missed by the Chessington batsman, which left them 60-3 after 14 overs. Judkins was now bowled out. This left Rogers needing to find four overs from somewhere. He turned to spin King Ryan Cording who bowled very well, only conceding 12 runs off his 2 overs. At the other end left arm seamer Jake Quinn was brought into the action and he bowled with pace and determination as he went for 19 off his two overs. Then Rogers was dealt a huge boost as Team Manager, scorer and Mum, Claire Neely passed Ollie Neely fit enough to take his place on the field to bowl two of the last four overs. Things were getting tight with Chessington needing 14 from 4 overs. Ditton then used their trump card by using the supposedly ‘injured’ Tom Dixon as a substitute fielder for one of the injured Cockerill twins. Rogers brought all the fielders into the inner ring. The 21st over went for 2 runs. This left Chessington needing 12 runs from 3 overs with 6 wickets in hand. Skipper Rogers then decided to have faith with the pace of Charlie Clark and this was inspired as he took two wickets including the first LBW umpire Chris Neely has ever given at U15 level. All the pressure was on Neely as Chessington needed just 8 to win from 12 balls, surely they would do it wouldn’t they? Neely’s first ball was on the money,a full leg stump Yorker, however the batsman somehow managed to inside edge it down the leg side past the despairing dive of Keeper Rogers, however substitute fielder Dixon stopped a certain boundary when he dived and saved two runs. 6 needed from 11 balls with the number 9 on strike Neely held his nerve and no more runs were conceded in the over. So the pressure was put onto Clarke with Chessington on 102 for 7 off 23 overs. They needed 6 to win. Clarke came into bowl and conceded a single which brought the number 9 batsman on strike. Charlie then bowled 4 perfect balls. Chessington needed 5 to win off the last ball. Rogers sent the whole field to the boundary however this proved to be unnecssary as Clarke sent another worker in and Long Ditton had won by 5 runs.
This was Long Ditton U15’s first home win in nearly 3 years. After the game, Rogers was heard to have said ‘woo we won!’ however coach Chris Neely said ‘I think most of the credit must go to Tom, his motivational talks at every wicket were second to none. His Captaining, field setting and bowling changes were the best I’ve seen in a long, long time. He really is the best skipper I’ve ever seen.’
This was the second U15 win of the season having beaten an under strength Leatherhead earlier on in the season. They currently lie in mid table in the mid Surrey U15’s league.
Their next match is at home on the 4th July against a fairly strong Ashtead side. Rogers’ men will be looking to build on this run. Entrance to the game as always is free. However any donations you would like to give to the skipper please feel free.
Tom Rogers-U15 Captain.