U11 – 3 report in 1 !

After our excellent win against the North, we were next scheduled to take on the Metropolitan Miami Dolphins, how would we fair against the city slickers ?

The weather was a little unkind with heavy overnight rain, maybe the wet surface would help the “dolphins” ?

We played the game at Belhus CC and my thanks to them for putting us up for the day and also to Messrs Benson and Fairweather for their help in getting the ground ready for the start.

As for the game , overall we bowled pretty poorly with most of our bowlers bowling wides and no balls, however good fielding and a couple of excellent catches by Adam Sullivan we restricted the Dolphins to 114 … surely not enough?

Well we started ok, but a mix up and our first run out of the day broke our opening partnership. Strong words by yours truly at a drinks break to our batters to stay calm and not take any unnecessary risks was seemingly adhered to by Adam Sullivan and Kaden Threadgold who were both batting well but were both looking to run each other out! At 95 for 3, we were almost their but then our captain fell for a good thirty something and all panic set loose,104 for 5 and suddenly the fingernails were creeping up to the mouth … what then happened is fortunately history, all out 113 with 13 overs to spare … how did we lose that … after 44 years of playing this game it never ceases to amaze. But it also is still very hard to take.

We moved to Rankins to play West. My thanks to Big Brian Petitt for his help in organising the ground preparations.

Pre match chats by the organisers and West looked a useful outfit and so it was, they batted very well with two or three lads hitting the ball very well and hopefully they will have a Essex trial as we all thought they looked very powerful with good technique and a decent array of shots. In the end we were well beat (by 100 or so runs), however defeat here was in my opinion much easier to take, we bowled and fielded well but were beaten by a better side on the day. This game was easy to get over … last Monday is still a case of shaking our heads … how did we lose?….

So two defeats after our initial win, what can I/we do to turn things around, well….

I was given the wonderful opportunity to chat to Manuele Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho, what better way to pick the brains of two of the worlds top managers and hopefully get some winning tips.

The interview started off quite cordially, they both advocated “rotating the squad”, yep I can go with that, Pellegrini emphasised the use of teamwork and 100% commitment, yes absolutely I said. Mourinho liked a pacey attack and I agreed, George and Josh are quite pacey I said, Jose looked a little perplexed.  Then things started to go wrong, Pellegrini said the only way to play was with “one up top”, clearly something was lost in translation and I ignored the advice. Mourinho then leaned over and said the best advice he could give was  to “Not let the opposition have the ball”, now here I had to draw the line, I am all for gaining every advantage you can but this is not cricket. “you cannot do that, they will have us much of the ball as we do  I replied confidently”.

Mourinho looked flushed and rose to his feet “Who is the manager of this team ?” he said, “I am the chosen one” I sheepishly responded……..they stormed off!

Oh well, I cannot stand Chelsea.

Anyway , off to Brentwood to face Central, who had also been beaten by West but by a lot less then we had. Brentwood is a lovely ground but it was disappointing to see that we were put onto a made up pitch, off the square and with VERY short boundaries. We lose the toss and the opposition decide to bat. They start with a left and right hander and once again we do not bowl that well with too many wides and extras. At first drinks they are 46 for 2 (both wickets to Jaime Fairweather) but 21 of those runs are extras. Adam set good field positions and we were fielding well but the change happened when Josh Clarke and Josh Faires came onto bowl. Both lads are decent seam bowlers but if they are honest they had not bowled as well as they can in both the Dolphin and West games but today we saw them at their best. Josh C took 2 for 12 and bowled pacey and straight, Josh Clarke stole the show with 4 for 5 including a hat trick as Central were hustled out for 125 in 25 overs…..a good performance in the end as the outfield was quick and short .

Tea was taken, batting order was handed out…..boys just bat, runs will come.

Our openers were Aravind Ravi and David Jarrett and boy did they bat. David played some lovely drives and leg glances and scored a superb 72* including one six into the trees. Aravind scored 41* with cover and mid wicket drives and both boys ran, called and showed great maturity, skill and determination…….very well played boys.

P.S I have just spoken to Mourinho/Pellegrini and they said if you were not English they would be signing you up !

Onwards to two 20/20 matches next week.

PPS…..I still cannot believe we lost to the Dolphins !

Great win for the District U11s

With the dark , cold, rainy days of winter and the hard hours put into training by the u11 squad, we all looked forward eagerly to our first match of the season against “the northerners !”.

Difficult team selection emails had been sent, umpires had been arranged, grounds begged for and the selection of sandwiches and cakes had gone to the eurovision jury.

One sensed trouble when the BBC Weather site for Rayleigh and Wickford recorded an unusable amount of hits from the Grant household. Had I only read about a British heat wave in the papers a little earlier, but no this weather was coming from Europe. Nigel Farage was warning us about the menace from Europe, similar to Mr Churchill all those years ago, maybe he was correct, lets face it Romania and Poland are not known for cricket and surely the Germans would have banned it if they succeeded in the 40s.

So remembering some vague long forgotten work strategy a backup plan was needed, could we play later in the week when the dark clouds of Europe would be replaced by “broad sunlight uplands”.

The “northerners” were confident, Wickford CC were willing to oblige, 2 new umpires were sorted, 387 texts later Tuesdays game was off, can you play Friday ? Unfortunately, Aravind has suspected chicken pox, Sam Good is trying to make a last minute bid for Rio by trying to catch Hodgson eye at the Peru game and Oliver Robinson is swapping the thrills, spills and bumps of wicket keeping for the thrills , spills and bumps of Thorpe Park…..never mind the south can muster able deputies.


The Match

Wickford is looking picturesque as normal, a little damp and green but the game is on. I speak to my Northern counterpart, he is quietly confident and hoping for an early finish (no doubt to rush back to Emmerdale country).They have already played a couple of practice matches so that may give them an advantage, a number of lads from their team go to prep schools who tend to start cricket a lot earlier.

After some fielding and bowling practice, Adam wins the toss and decides to bat.

The South management team pass a few comments on the opposition practice and we are confident that we will put up a good show (we lost by 5 wickets last year).

Henry and David open the batting and bat steadily, running well between the wickets and scoring at a reasonable rate against a steady attack.

Henry and then Josh get out and at 28 for 2 off 9 overs I felt the game was at a crucial point.

We just started to get things moving when David Jarrett was a little unfortunate to get caught for a battling 16 and once again the game was nicely poised at 42 for 3 off 13. The wicket was slow and a little low and the outfield was quite lush so we reckoned that anything above 130 would be a decent target.

In came Oliver Coker to join skipper Adam and they gave us a nice foundation to accelerate from by maintaining the current run rate but crucially by also not losing any more wickets. Oliver finally went for 14 leaving us at 91 for 4 with 9 overs remaining. Perhaps 10 to 20 below where we would have ideally liked to be but with some good strikers of the ball to come we still had hopes of setting a tough target.

Unfortunately we then suffered two run outs, the sort of incidents that happen late on in overs games. Adam Sullivan continued to bat very well before finally falling for a top score of 38. With two overs remaining we were on 121 and Jamie Fairweather and Micheal Pearn did really well scoring 11* and 12* respectively to get us to a competitive 141 for 7.

Clap the teams of and then a few words of wisdom in the changing room, oops yours truly so used to going into the visitors changing room at Wickford goes into the wrong room.

Tea time, and many thanks to all parents who provided such a lovely tea and especially to Mrs Humphrey, Mrs Thomas, Mrs Coker and also Andy Jarrett for scoring, much appreciated.

So come on boys, bowl nice and straight, yours truly gives captain Adam a post it note with some suggestions for bowling combinations and we open up with George and Michael. Decent opening but the opposition batsmen look fairly comfortable, 7 overs 19 for 0, Adam looks at my post it note for inspiration and fortunately mis-reads it or more likely knows better and ignores my advice. Ryan Humphrey clean bowls both openers then takes a decent caught and bowled and they are soon 34 for 3. Josh Faires joins the action and in between 2 wides bowls a great yorker, 36 for 4. wickets now fall at regular intervals with Morgan, Josh Clarke and Michael Pearn all getting wickets. We get a little sloppy in the field but captain Adam comes back to get the last wicket, caught by a Tom Daley backward roll Michael Pearn and the “northerners” are ao for 97, luvely jubbly.

Handshakes all around, into the dressing room…” WELL done”…oops sorry wrong dressing room again…”err well done boys good game” and quickly out and into our dressing room.

In all seriousness a very good win, good concentration batting and some good bowling which we now come to expect, our fielding was a little ragged at times and we need to concentrate for the full time in the field (not easy I know). But onwards and upwards. We have games in July and we have to re-arrange the games against the Dolphins and the Eagles (that is Metropolitan and not Miami and Philadelphia).

I promise if we lose match reports will be very much shorter !

SEDCB Fixtures, Results and Tables

Hadleigh & Thundersley CC are our U16 Youth Indoor Champions (Leigh)

Hadleigh & Thundersley U16 East Indoor Champions 2012-2013Congratulations are due to Hadleigh & Thundersley CC, worthy winners of our 2012/13 Youth Indoor league held at St Christopher’s School, Leigh on Sea.

Hadleigh won 11 of their 12 matches and won the league with a 59 point lead over second place Eastwood.

In the last match on the season, Hadleigh played a league representative side consisting of one player from each of the remaining teams.  Hadleigh opened the batting with J.Wagstaff and M.Holmes opening.  J.Wagstaff was off to a flying start, retiring on 27 off 2.4 overs. The runs slowed after that and Hadleigh finished on 78 with J.Wagstaff finally getting himself out on a very respectable 34.

In reply the Reps team could only manage 56 runs with Nolde (Rankins) reaching 19 runs and M.Dodson taking 3 wickets for 13 runs.

The SECDB would like to thank all team managers, scorers, umpires and parents for their commitment over the 15 weeks of competition and we’ll do it all again later in the year.