U15 Boys SCB Cricket Semi Finals
Boys qualify for Somerset County Finals in emphatic fashion!
On Tuesday 20 June the U15 boys faced opposition from St Bernadette and Wells Blue School in the semi-finals of the Somerset County Cricket Outdoor 8-a-side competition. Three schools were competing for two places in the finals day with the top school earning the right to progress as top seeds from the north group. Temperatures had soared to 30 degrees and the boys were hoping their cricket would do too! As an added boost the group were pleased to see the return of their captain Caolán Pearce who was back from his knee injury and raring to go.
Will CONROY, Matthew CRUTCHLEY, Ethan EGGLESTON, George HARRIS, Kaie LAWRENCE, Caolán PEARCE, Toby RICE, Louis STRATTON, Alexander WILSON
The draw mean that St Katherine’s faced St Bernadette’s in the first game and were put in to set the total for the first game. They opened up with Toby Rice and Caolán Pearce. The pair started really well and put their foot down right from the offset taking 10 off of the first over. On their way they were helped by some wayward bowling which gifted them a few extras but both Caolán and Toby also played some great shots. After the second over the boys were 23 for 0 and looking like they were going to post a big total. The St Bernadette captain took on the responsibility of the third over in attempt to peg back the St Kath’s boys and he did exactly that with the first wicket. Wickets didn’t really bother the St Kath’s boys as they knew they had plenty of batting to come. Vice skipper Crutchley must have been relishing his opportunity to play with some freedom – I think it’s fair to say that the shorter variation of the game suits Matty’s style. He quickly made his 20 to retire tucking in to a couple of 6s along the way; much to the frustration of the St Bernadette fielders who were forced to hunt for the ball. Toby Rice anchored the innings brilliantly and the boys continued their rate posting an impressive total of 83 from their 7 overs.
Conditions were warm to say the least – you only had to look at Toby having batted for 7 overs in the heat to know that! The format of the competition dictates that everyone has to bowl which is a great test of any side. Every single one of the St Kath’s bowlers was tight and they kept the opposition below the required rate from start to finish. The pick of the bowlers was Matty Crutchley who only went for two singles off of his over alongside Rice and Eggleston who picked up the two wickets. Once again the St Bernadette captain deserved great credit for the way he batted. He retired on 20 having done all that he could to support his team mates. St Kath’s bowled their 7 overs conceding just 50 runs and were 1 down with 1 to go.
Their second game was against Wells Blue School and St Kath’s had the fortune to be able to watch them play against St Bernadette before they took them on. Wells Blue beat St Bernadette’s by just two runs in a really close competitive game and so they took to the field with a confidence in their performance and determination to better their first game.
The boys won the toss and chose to bowl first and it became clear from ball number 1 that they meant business and were out to grab hold of their spot in the final. Captain Pearce came thundering in and unleashed his first delivery full and straight which cleaned up the Wells Blue opener and was greeted with delighted by his team mates. Things got better in the second over when Kaie Lawrence proved too difficult to get away and finished with a maiden. Wickets also fell in the 4th, 5th and 6th overs off of the bowling of Eggleston, Conroy and Crutchley. The stumps were taking a battering; so much so that I was struggling to get them back in the ground where it was rock solid! The boys restricted Wells Blue brilliantly to just 37 runs off of their 7 overs.
Harris and Pearce went out to the middle looking to get the job done but Wells Blue weren’t going to just roll over. Their opening bowler was sharp and after bowling two dots got one to rear off of a length which George nicked behind. The going was tough for the first two overs and things were made worse when Louis Stratton was sent back to the hutch. The boys found themselves 13 – 2 after two overs and with cousins Matty and Caolán at the crease. You always worry with a smaller run chase that if it gets down to the last couple of overs that pressure starts to make batsmen do strange things. Fortunately for St Kath’s, Matty and Caolán had absolutely no intention of letting it get that far and the boys targeted the fourth over taking 15 runs from it. Having watched Matty go with two sixes, Caolán finished with one of his own to end the innings. The boys were victorious and had their spot in the final secured!
I couldn’t be happier for this group of boys. They have played some brilliant cricket this year and always take to the field with a real determination to do well. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them progress through the rounds and am really pleased that they now have an opportunity to play against the three other best state schools in Somerset.
Player of the semi-finals was, as is often the case with this group, a tricky decision. On this occasion consistency with bat and ball across both games earned Matty Crutchley the accolade. Matty top scored with the bat in both games and bowled brilliant. Matty has been in great form for club and school this year and it has been a pleasure to see such a talented young lad doing so well.
Congratulations gentlemen – looking forward to the finals!