U15 Boys SCB Cricket v Gordano
Boys knock out rivals in closely fought 12 over contest
On Wednesday 7 June the U15 boys were preparing to face Gordano, Churchill and Broadoak for just 1 place in the next round of the Somerset Cricket Board 8-a-side competition. Unfortunately Churchill and Broadoak were unable to play and therefore just one team stood between SK and the next round. In the back of their minds the boys had that comprehensive indoor defeat earlier in the year and as if that wasn’t enough their captain and talisman Caolán Pearce was unable to play due to an injury. Caolán travelled with the boys to boost their morale and this had a really positive effect on the group who took to the field with a steely determination to get their revenge.
Will CONROY, Matthew CRUTCHLEY, Ethan EGGLESTON, George HARRIS, Kaie LAWRENCE, Caolán PEARCE, Toby RICE, Louis STRATTON, Alexander WILSON
Stand in skipper Matty Crutchley got proceedings off to a good start by winning the toss and putting Gordano in to bat first which proved to be decisive. The boys were playing the first team pitch which had been used over the weekend. It had seen heavy rain in the days before the match but was drying quickly and offered rather a lot of natural variation for the bowler making life really tricky for the batsmen.
You could see early on in Alex Wilson’s first over that it wasn’t going to be a day for the batsmen. Alex’s fourth delivery really stuck in the pitch causing the Gordano opener to mistime his shot which presented skipper Matty Crutchley with the simplest of catches. After an early wicket Gordano mounted their resurgence and their number 3 bat got in and settled looking to be in good nick. 2 and 3 put on a vital double figure partnership for Gordano which frustrated Crutchley and Harris during their first overs.
The SK boys were calling for their bowlers to bowl the ball into the pitch to make best use of the variation that was on offer. When 11 year old Toby Rice came on to bowl you could easily have forgiven him some youthful nativity in terms of how to bowl in these conditions but anyone who knows Toby would know that he would be looking to lead the charge! Leading the charge was exactly what Toby did bowling a double wicket maiden in his first over! His very first delivery trapped the Gordano 3 plumb in front and his second saw new to the crease 4 chipping the ball up to George Harris at mid-off.
The quick fall of successive wickets really halted the progress that Gordano were making. George Harris went for just 3 runs in his second over and was really clever in the way he used the variation of the pitch alongside his own bowling variations. George really led in the field and took responsibility for a lot of the field placings and changes which was a huge support to captain Crutchley as he took responsibility for the bowling order. George was mightily unlucky to have their 5 put down off of his bowling but bowled really well for his two overs. Back came Rice for the 6th over in which he removed the remaining Gordano opener as once again he kept the ball in the right areas which gifted a catch to Alex Wilson.
Kaie Lawrence and Ethan Eggleston were left overs 7 to 10 and both given clear instructions to bowl the ball into the pitch. Kaie kicked things off with two wickets in his first over, both after making the most of the conditions. On two occasions Gordano batsmen mistimed their shots giving simple catches to Crutchley and Harris who were enjoying their exploits in the field. Ethan Eggleston kept the pressure on in his first over going for just 2 runs with the help of some excellent work in the field from his team mates.
Gordano were in need of runs and they had one middle order bat and a tail ender left at the crease with which to get them. Huge credit has to go to both of these boys as they battled hard for their runs at the back end of their innings. SK went for more runs than they would have liked and were a little sloppy with their bowling having worked Gordano into a tight spot. Middle order batsmen Kieran top scored with 19 and made those runs when his team were under pressure. He was kept company really well by their last batsmen who rotated the strike well for his 6 only being bowled out by Matty Crutchley in the penultimate ball of the innings.
SK were pleased with their bowling performance but I have to confess that I wasn’t as confident as them at the halfway mark. I’d stood at one end & seen how difficult batting was going to be & was also aware that the boys had let Gordano get a little too many for the position they were in halfway through their innings. I thought the total was chasable but I did discuss with Matty that I thought it was defendable too. The SK boys had the advantage of batting second on the pitch so their innings was going to be a test of how much they had learned as well as a little luck!
If I had been a little cautious at the halfway point then my thoughts were justified when Gordano’s opener came in with a wicket maiden first over. Will Conroy had kept wicket brilliant to some tricky bowlers in tricky conditions and saved a load of runs with some sharp work behind the stumps but he didn’t get much of a chance to bat after he mistimed his third delivery straight to short mid-off. It seemed as though this method of dismissal was going to be the end of a few SK batsmen as well as Gordano boys!
In the second over Alex Wilson really started to get going and added some calming runs to the SK total. Wilson faced the entire over which went 2, 2, 4, wide, 2 and 4. Toby Rice now had an opportunity to face his first delivery after bowling so well. Toby got bat on ball and set off for a run but unfortunately for Toby confusion meant that he found himself at the same end as Alex but the wickets put down at his end.
Crutchley then came to the crease to bat with Alex and had a ringside seat for some impressive batting. Alex was clearly seeing the ball well and all of the SK boys know that he can hit a big ball but I have to say even I was struck by just how big a six Alex managed to clout during his innings. The young lad came into bowl and had a bit of pace but was a little short meaning the ball sat up around about chest height. Alex threw his arms and hands at the ball and gave it the full flourish timing the ball as sweetly as I have ever seen. From the middle of the square on the first team pitch at Lodway, Alex planted the ball over onto the furthest football pitch on Ham Green playing fields. It was that long a hit that he deserved at least 10 if not 12!
It was a good job that Alex was making runs because the others were struggling as the Gordano top order had done. Matty tried turning one off his legs when he got a leading edge that went a long way up but fell into the keepers gloves. Alex was going so well that when George Harris came to the crease he had to retired which left SK vulnerable with two new batsmen. George was out there with Louis and I have been really impressed with the progress that both boys have made with their batting this year. The partnership these two put on turned out to be the one that clinched the victory as they ran hard, pressured the fielders and took every single run that was offered. George and Louis put on a 20 run plus partnership and both watched the ball really carefully. George was really unlucky with his dismissal – it’s pretty difficult to keep out a medium pace off breaker and Louis was unfortunate in his too. I wasn’t worried at this point because both boys had played really sensible cricket and SK now needed just 6 runs from 2 overs.
The final runs were hit by Kaie Lawrence who kept his team mates in suspense for a while before dispatching a beamer to the fence for the winning runs. Before that Kaie and Ethan had pushed hard for 2 runs which was great cricket as a lot of bats would have left their second out there.
St Kath’s were delighted with their victory with an over to spare. The boys now progress to the semi-finals of the tournament and go in search of a place in the county finals. It was impossible to give a man of the match award in this game as despite a number of great individual performances; it was the team effort that earned them victory.
- Will CONROY – vital in the field behind the stumps saving a lot of runs
- Matthew CRUTCHLEY – captained the boys brilliantly and took on a lot of decision making responsibility
- Ethan EGGLESTON – bowled tightly and ran well between the wickets chipping in with some sharp fielding too
- George HARRIS – great variation with the ball but stood out with the bat as well as some great leadership
- Kaie LAWRENCE – smart bowling following the captains instructions & hit the winning runs
- Toby RICE – the standout bowler, he turned the game at 11 years old!
- Louis STRATTON – second highest score and vital runs when they were needed most
- Alexander WILSON – top run scorer who gave a powerful and destructive batting showcase
Congratulations on your victory boys. Special thanks also to Lodway CC for hosting us – had we played at St Kath’s I think Alex might have caused some damage to buildings!