Excitement on Youth Finals Day

The first Sunday in September is traditionally our Youth Finals day and our three finals produced a thrilling climax to the season with two finals decided by just one run and the other by two wickets in the last over.  As usual, the U15 and U13 finals were held at Benfleet CC, while the U11 final was held at Wickford CC.  The South Essex District Cricket Board would like to thank the hard-working volunteers at our host clubs, including umpires, scorers, caterers and groundstaff along with the management, players and supporters of all the finalists for making the finals special occasions for all our young players.

Rayleigh CC - Under 15 SEDCB Champions 2011

In the Under 15 final, an exciting match that swung to and fro throughout was finally decided with Rayleigh (pictured right) coming out on top by just two wickets.  Wickford batted first and were restricted to a total of 78 by good tight bowling and three direct hit run outs.  This target looked well within reach with George Barker and Christian Humphries looking comfortable against the Wickford attack but when both were run out in the same over and wickets falling steadily thereafter, Wickford appeared to be in command of the game.  But several lusty blows by Nick Buckley and Gideon Humphries together with good running by Tom Peppiatt and Matt Jahanfar kept Rayleigh in the game.  With eight wickets down and three overs to go it was left to Luke Keeley and Jahanfar to get twelve runs and then five from the final over.  A neat late cut from Jahanfar for four and then a single saw Rayleigh home with three balls to spare in a nail biting finish.

Orsett CC - Under 13 SEDCB Champions 2011

In the Under 13 final, Orsett (pictured left) won by just one run against Basildon and Pitsea after the latter’s last wicket pair just failed in their attempt to score ten runs off the last over.  Earlier, Thomas Haden scored 25 not out as Orsett reached 88 for the loss of nine wickets.  In the Basildon & Pitsea reply, Orsett’s Joseph Mitchell took 3-19. Jack Plom bowled very tightly, conceding just seven runs from his alloted four overs (one wicket).  Harry Lockyer kept up the pressure by claiming two wickets for just eight runs.  But Basildon & Pitsea fought back well as the second ball of the final over was hit for six, but tighter bowling then ensued which left three runs required from the last ball.  A drive was hit to the cover fielder and only one run was mustered.

Wickford CC - Under 11 SEDCB Champions 2011

Wickford (pictured right) played out a tense maiden last over to defeat Westcliff by the same margin in the Under 11 pairs format final.  Westcliff batted first and scored 295 for the loss of nine wickets, which yielded a net score of 250.  Wickford’s Lee Grimes took three wickets for fifteen runs in three overs and colleague Josh Spooner served up 2-7 from two overs.  Wickford, with home advantage, scored 36 runs off the first eight overs requiring just fifteen runs from the remaining dozen overs.   At this point the visitors introduced their key bowlers and this paid dividends as five Wickford wickets fell leaving the last pair one run ahead with four overs to survive.  Five runs were added before Essex bowler Lockhart struck with the last ball of the penultimate over.   This left the hosts just one run ahead but young David Vose defended heroically against district captain Tom Baker to win the match as Wickford finished on 276-5, yielding a net score of 251.  For Westcliff, Lockhart picked up 2-5 from three overs and Pinkerton returned figures of 2-6, also from three overs.