Match Report: U12s Spencer B vs Long Ditton (Cup match), Sunday 22 June 2014
An extraordinary scene greeted the U12s on arrival at Barn Elms Sports Centre. Hundreds of white-clad figures in varying shapes and sizes milling about in search of the right patch of turf. Once a spot of double-booking had been sorted, a quintessentially English mixture of tranquillity and expectation descended as several Spencer teams squared up to their opposition and other members busied about with training. Not to be out-done, Long Ditton had a little drama of its own unfolding. Louis was delayed by a puncture and his Mum had to forsake a slightly gentler Sunday get-up for a mad dash to an unknown ground…
In glorious sunshine Hari and Adwait opened the batting. Facing strong nippy bowling on a lively dry pitch Hari fell in the second over. 1 – 1. Adwait was joined by Tom and both scored lovely boundaries before Spencer claimed their next wicket – Adwait, the score 9 – 2. Louis raced to the crease announcing his arrival with a fine 4 before Tom, already wincing from earlier body blows, was on the receiving end of another bruising delivery. Prepared to battle on but clearly in pain Tom retired hurt with the score on 19 off 6 overs. Tommy was next in and he and Louis set about building a steady partnership with some fine shots and good running. Church bells tolled, a helicopter appeared watchful overhead and, somewhat bizarrely, sailing boats circled on the Thames at the edge of the field (presumably sailing tuition underway rather than a plug being pulled). Time stood still but the score moved onwards and upwards : 40 runs at 10 overs, 54 at 13. All this against furious bowling and a tight field. Sadly the partnership came to an abrupt halt a couple of overs later when Tommy was clean bowled. 57 – 3. Buoyed up by his team mates impressive efforts Ben joined Louis, sent a lovely shot to the boundary and then succumbed to another good ball. Guy was next to shoulder arms, and was rather quickly disarmed two balls later by a tall bowler with a fast action and surprisingly low swinging delivery. 64 – 5. Louis, joined by Luke, continued to thwart the bowlers with some super 4s. The helicopter returned to clock him still at the crease, until moments later he too was bowled in the 19th over for a splendid 29 runs. 75 – 6. James joined Luke to see out the remaining balls. Final score 80 – 6 off 20 overs – a competitive total against bruising opposition.
Long Ditton took to the field in good spirits. Off Ben’s first ball Hari demonstrated a text-book long barrier to curtail a quest for the boundary. In spite of strong bowling from Ben, Sean, Tommy and good stops from Guy and Adwait the score inched up, the first wicket making its appearance in the 5th over off Ben. 27 – 1. Used to watching hi-jinks in the field, spectators were not to be disappointed in Tommy’s next over, with a run-out in prospect then hopes temporarily dashed by an overthrow, Jake came to the rescue with a great throw in. 32 – 2. Excitement mounted as a pleasant breeze helped move the ball, and geese and ducks honked and quacked whilst going about their business (noted underfoot). Luke and Tommy applied the brakes to Spencer’s scoring, backed up by tremendous saves from Jake and a fabulous diving stop from James in his snazzy trainers. Soon though, with 10 overs down, the mental maths began to tell a different story 53 – 2. The batsmen began to find the gaps and, despite another run-out off Louis’ bowling giving a shortlived sense of hope, the score moved to 76 – 3. An acrobatic stop and throw-in from Guy didn’t prevent Spencer reaching their target of 81 in the 16th over. Thanks to Lorna for getting Louis to the ground, Simon for scoring with the book on his knees and Brian for umpiring amongst the duck poo.
Match Report: U12s Long Ditton vs Chessington, Sunday 15 June 2014
Under brooding moody skies and irritating mizzly rain, not to mention the chill, LDCC’s U12s welcomed Chessington to their home turf. Not sure what was more troubling – the weather prospects, England’s performance in the early hours, or the fact that the tea urn wasn’t working.
Still, Tommy won the toss and invited the opposition to bat. In their established role as opening pair, Ben and Sean attempted to keep the batsmen in check. In the gathering gloom it seemed an age before a breakthrough (though it was in fact only four overs) courtesy of Sean with a stump-scattering blow on the last ball of his second over. 9 – 1. This, with a smattering of blue sky, lifted spirits and Jake stuck out a well-positioned hand to prevent a certain boundary. Capitalising on the improving meteorological and emotional mood Tommy rearranged the stumps for the second wicket. 19 – 2. What Long Ditton hadn’t reckoned on though was a sterling effort from Chessington’s batsman Josh. Despite valiant bowling from Tommy, Aaron and Callum and energetic stops from Aaron, Guy and Louis, Josh found the gaps with some lovely shots to the boundary. The runs began to mount (a few overthrows helping the cause), an enthusiastic shout for LBW was made more in hope than expectation, and shivering parents dreamed of warm fleecy blankets as 50 runs came up for the opposition. In a twinkling, Josh had reached a very well-deserved 37 and retired. Out of nowhere with the next ball came wicket number 3 – courtesy of a decent delivery from Tommy. 68 – 3. Not content to just bowl well, Tommy took a superb one-handed catch off Luke’s first ball. 69 – 4. Used to seeing fortunes change with Luke stepping up with the ball spectators were not to be disappointed. With the fifth ball of his first over Luke claimed his second wicket off a great catch by Aaron. 71 – 5. Louis served up a maiden and James a well-judged over before the closing overs descended into total run-out madness with attitude. Both Louis and Ben ran-out their facing batsman with the help of accurate and alert fielding from Hari and Callum. 95- 7 off 20 overs.
Josh (of retiring fame) opened the bowling for Chessington as the drizzle and cold returned and Hari and Louis set off to run some quick singles (a good way to keep warm). With the U8s and U9s noisily enjoying their training, Hari was caught in the second over. 9 – 1. Adwait was next in, causing some nervous spectating as a bit of spooning went on – luckily not caught by the fielders. A beautiful boundary by Adwait tempted the sun out from behind a cloud and temperatures rose fractionally as it became obvious via a rash of 4s that Louis was in top form. A good partnership between the two developed and the score crept encouragingly upwards. The ascent was halted in the tenth over with the score on 49 as Adwait’s strident shot was caught by a sensational two-handed catch. James strode to the crease and with Louis moved the score along before, with the score on 72 – 2, Louis reached a majestic 35 and was forced to retire. James was joined by Tommy and the target of 96 looked manageable, the only nagging doubt was the number of overs remaining. Fielders moved in to stop the singles but the batsmen did some clever gap-finding. With tension building amidst the teeth-chattering another carnival of run-outs was set to begin. James 89- 3. Tommy and Ben 93 – 5. Bewildering. Guy was left with the unenviable task of scoring off his second ball to save the match – and some dignity. Sadly it wasn’t to be…
Thanks as ever to Brian for umpiring and Simon for scoring.