2014 Youth Finals

A big thank you for those who came to the Finals Day at Garon Park on Sunday 7th. The day was a great success and enjoyed by the all the players and parents and due to this it will now become a permanent venue for the Youth finals.

The 2014 season concluded with congratulations to the following trophy winners:

Age Group Winners Runners Up
Under 11 HADLEIGH Rayleigh
Under 11B BELHUS “B” Rayleigh B
Under 13 RANKINS Belhus
Under 13B SOSEMT “B” Leigh on Sea  B
Under 15 ORSETT Westcliff-on-Sea
Under 15B RANKINS Thurrock B

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 !


A busy week for the u13s with 3 games scheduled. Given the ECB Fast Bowling Directives and the heat this meant some juggling of bowlers. A good job the squad is larger than normal.

Monday 21st July

Netherlands U13 vs. South U13 @ Bacons Oval


Team: T Casson†*, R-D Castle, D March, D Mitchell, M Mohan, T Pinkerton, T Redman, H Seaden, J Spencer, N Van Lint, J Walker, E Ward

On quite a warm day near Bradwell on Sea the Netherlands won the toss and put us into bat. Ryan and Tommy opened and found it hard going – the pitch was slow and low, the outfield very slow. Balls driven along the ground stopped quickly in the stubbly grass, balls hit into the air plugged. Tommy got a delivery that moved around and beat him. Unfortunate but that good ball is always out there. 8-1

Harry came out and worked well with Ryan running in the very hot conditions as the ball rarely made it to the boundary. The scoring rate was pretty slow, Harry got a bit frustrated and was stumped trying to push the score on. 52-2

Unfortunately there was then a small collapse as wickets fell at 61, 63, 67 and 68. Dismissals were LBW, stumped and bowled showing that the batters were having difficulty getting the ball away.

An honourable exception to this was Jess who belted a solid 4 (only the second of the innings) and then got out. Jess and James added a handful of runs each but wickets still fell regularly until we were all out on 90 runs in the 36th over.

During the first innings I had chatted with the Netherlands coach and we thought 140-160 would be a good score. Clearly it would have been! However 90 runs did look at bit short.

Dylan and Nick opened the bowling and stopped the Netherlands from getting a quick start. This clearly caused some frustration as three wickets fell in a flurry when they were on 13. This included a wicket maiden for Dylan and one batter run out without facing. Not a good feeling for the first match of their tour. 13-1, 2 and 3.

Like us Netherlands had one bat who was working hard and slowly accumulating runs whilst his colleagues fell. Matt picked up a wicket and again there was a small collapse with two wickets falling on 34 and one on 45.

The match had been pretty equal early on – after 10 over Netherlands were 2 runs behind where South had been – but then Netherlands stalled a bit and at 20 overs we’d scored 57 compared to the Netherlands’ 38. However a wicket fell in the next over and the new batter started to attack the bowling successfully. In 8 overs they had caught up and the scores were level. It was getting to be a tight match – 14 runs to win or 2 wickets. Plenty of overs.

Just before drinks we got a wicket but there was still a dangerous batter there. At drinks Netherlands needed 11 runs to win, we needed 1 wicket.

31st over: 2 scored, 9 runs or 1 wicket to win

32nd over: 1 scored, 8 runs or 1 wicket to win

33rd over: 3 scored, 5 runs or 1 wicket to win

34th over: Tom to bowl

First ball 2 wides. Netherlands need 3 runs to win.
Second ball – WICKET!

South u13         90 all out
Netherlands       88 all out

South win by 2 runs.

It is amazing how a low scoring game can be so compelling. The team played really well, apart from our bowling of wides. The umpires had been told to be strict (as per the standard 40 over District games) and this had been a problem for most of our attack. At one point wides accounted for half the Netherlands score and by the end wides were both the ‘highest scorer’ and a third of their total.

Tuesday 22nd July

South U13 vs. Met Dolphins u13 @ Garon Park


Team: F Barton, T Casson†*, C Harris, E Marron, T Nichols, T Pinkerton, H Seaden, N Van Lint, J Walker, W Wheeler, L Wiggins, Z Wilson

Despite another warm day the groundskeeper was concerned the wicket was a bit low and slow having only confirmed the pitch as playable late in the morning. Given his standards are First Class County I thought the wicket would be quite lively for u13s.

Met Dolphins won the toss and elected to bat, as we would have done. Freddie and Lucas opened the bowling with their normal parsimony restricting the run rate. Figures of 7-1-12-0 and 6-2-8-0 show how good they were but I know how frustrating it is to bowl well yet get nothing in the wickets column.

After the first 10 overs the bowlers were rested with the score at 13. Cameron and Tom were next up and despite loose first overs both continued the high standard set by the openers with Tom sneaking a wicket maiden. 20-1.IMG_2137

Met Dolphins batted solidly but never really got away from us. Using the good outfield and wicket Met Dolphins did accelerate a little from the 15th over but wickets fell regularly including 3 run outs (those fielding drills must be working) and they were all out for 89.

So another low scoring innings, without the obvious issues of the long grass and the slow, low wicket from yesterday.

Taylor changing his opening pair for this match and from the start they were ahead of the run rate. Nick batted well before being caught when the score 38. Harry joined Taylor and between them they got the 90 required in the 21st over.

Although Met Dolphins were a man short this is still a good result for us. One of our players commented afterwards it was all a bit boring. Speaking as the coach I quite like a game where we restrict the opposition to a low score then get the runs without any dramas. Monday was an exciting game to watch, I like “boring”.

Met Dolphins    89 all out
South u13         90-1

South win by 9 wickets.

Thursday 24th July

South U13 vs. West u13 @ Rayleigh CC


Team: F Barton, T Casson†*, E Marron, R Martin, D Mitchell, T Pinkerton, J Spencer, N Van Lint, W Wheeler, L Wiggins, Z Wilson

The heat wave continues. Once again Taylor lost the toss and was put in to bat, which was what he would have done anyway.

Taylor and Nick opened and built a solid foundation reaching 29 in 10 overs. Not spectacular but with no wickets down hopefully something we could move on and build upon. Whether the prospect of a drinks’ break made Taylor misjudge a shot but he was dismissed just as we may have hoped Nick and he would accelerate. 46-1.

We got a bit bogged down after Taylor had gone and Nick was dismissed almost 10 overs later at 53-2.

After that we got back to scoring at about 4 an over but with wickets falling regularly we could not make up for the barren period. We finished on 121 all out, setting a target higher than the earler two matches but possibly not high enough.

West started well and despite losing 2 early wickets they were matching our scoring rate for the first 13 overs. Then for the period we stagnated they kept going and pushed the rate up to over 4 an over. Despite losing another wicket they cruised to victory in the 27th over.

We were beaten by a team that bowled better than us, especially their spinners, and who took advantage of poor deliveries better than we did. Always room to improve.

South u13         121 all out
West u13          122-3

West win by 7 wickets.

So 3 matches played, 2 won, 1 lost.

North too strong for South u13s

May 30th: On a blustery but dry day at Garon Park our first match of the 2014 season took place against North u13. North won the toss and decided to bat first.

team photo

South U13 team
May 30th
versus North U13

Freddie Barton and Lucas Wiggins opened the bowling with Freddie taking a wicket in the first over. A promising start. Conditions were difficult for batters and bowlers with a strong winds across the wicket and Freddie seemed to cope with conditions better than any other South bowler.

North re-grouped after the early dismissal of their captain with Kempster scoring 54, before being dismissed by Lucas Wiggins, and Rymell 114, before also being dismissed by Lucas. None of the other batters got in to the same extent but with a total of 239 it was a daunting target with the scoreboard pressure being clear to all.

Ryan-Daniel Castle and Tommy Pinkerton opened for South and with 6 off the first over were ahead of the run rate. Despite losing wickets regularly including two run outs, after 17 overs there was only 1 run between the two sides. However whereas North had had two established batters able to take advantage of our change bowlers we did not. Although we were scoring at a pretty consistent 4 and a bit per over, North had scored at least a run an over faster. By the 28th over we were 60 runs behind where North had been at the same stage in their innings, with 6 wickets down.

With a required run rate of over 10 and climbing the final part of the match was really getting some match practice. A couple of lads went for the big shots … and missed. Others played out the overs scoring where they could. Even towards the end we were scoring at just under 4 an over.

North finished with a deserved victory. South needs to learn some lessons and apply ourselves come the next round of matches.

North u13          239 for 6           Barton 8-2-15-4
South U13         150 for 9           Castle 55

North won by 89 runs.

South U13 team: R-D Castle, T. Pinkerton, H. Seaden, T. Casson (capt.), J. Spencer, Z. Wilson, W. Wheeler, L. Wiggins, T. Redmond, F. Barton, M. Wicks, M. Mohan