The Full Match Report - U11s suffer a heart-breaking defeat
The Full Match Report - U11s suffer a heart-breaking defeat
The U11s competitive season came to a disappointing end on Sunday as we lost our Berkshire League Quarter Final to Finchampstead Falcons by 18 runs.
Despite fielding a very strong side, which was an achievement in itself with the holidays upon us, it was not meant to be our day! This was always going to be a tough game, with the Falcons regularly posting big scores during their league season.
Our team was: Ben Ward (Captain / Wicket Keeper); Dominic Haederle; Ben Hooper; Tom Buckle; Jake Jenkins; Alfie Rippon; George Barlow; Nishil Desai; James Bedborough-Storesund; Kieran Grey; Julian Milsom
Ben Ward won the toss and elected to field, a strategy that has worked well all season. We had a very strong attack, with fine seam bowlers throughout the team. Nishil & Jake opened with accurate overs. Ben Hooper came on first change & his fine pace was rewarded with a wicket in his first over a smart catch behind by Ben Ward. The Falcons kept the run rate ticking at just over 5 an over & it wasn't until George came on that we took our second wicket, clean bowling their number three batsman. George was making his league debut for us and he bowls with real pace and accuracy and, with his height, gets some steep bounce. He took a second wicket, another stump shattering dismissal, and finished with 2 wickets for 9 runs off his 3 overs. Alfie & Kieran bowled tidily and Ben Ward whipped of the bails smartly for a fine run out during James' over. Ben Ward gave his wicket-keeping duties over to Alfie with 3 overs left and he took a wicket, Nishil accepting a close catch, off the penultimate ball of the Innings. Alfie secured a stumping off Ben with the very last ball.
The Boys fielded well & were pleased to have restricted the Falcons to 111 for 6 wickets. They were a very good batting side and their running between the wickets was the best we've seen all season quick singles & the ability to turn ones into twos.
However, with a very strong batting side, including 7 Boys who have opened the batting for us this season, we fancied our chances in scoring 6 runs an over to win the match.
Ben Ward & Dominic opened the batting, but Dom was unfortunately bowled in the first over for 1. Ben Hooper came in & the two Bens built a solid partnership, but found it tough finding the gaps and forcing the score, especially against the two spin bowlers. Ben Hooper was run out in the 10th over for 19 and poor Tom was caught first ball. Suddenly we were only 40-3 at the half way stage. Ben Ward was soon out for 11 with the score on 56 and Jake & Alfie did their upmost to lift the tempo. They put on 35, including some fours and a magnificent straight six from Jake. Again, sadly there were too many dot balls and we were left needing 28 off the last two overs and 23 off the last. The 20th over was most bizarre, with two wides (extra balls taken in the last over) and 6 wickets (4 run outs) as we tried in vain to go for everything. We were finally all out off the last ball for 93 runs, losing by 18 runs. Jake scored 21 & Alfie 15. The rest failed to trouble the scorers! The Falcons bowling was very tight, but their fielding was extremely sharp, attacking the ball quickly and cutting out singles. Six an over was achievable, but we tried to do it in boundaries. The key learning is to have the ability to push the ball into the gaps for a single each ball, putting pressure on the fielders, and punish the bad ball, of which there were very few. I should have done more to help the Boys when the going in the middle became tough & frustrating. I could see that our Batsmen became anxious when it was obvious that we were falling well behind the required run rate.
The ˜5 over' rates showed the difference.
Falcons (5) 27-1; (10) 52-2; (15) 71-4
MBCC (5) 22-1; (10) 40-3; (15) 57-4
Falcon scored 0 x 6's; 10 x 4's; 7 x 2's; MBCC conceded 8 ˜Wides / No Balls'
MBCC scored 1 x 6; 8 x 4's; 0 x 2's; Falcons conceded 6 ˜Wides / No Balls'
It was the singles / twos that won the game.
The Falcons were very well drilled both with running between wickets and sharp fielding. It felt that 'experience' on the big day won the match and this was a very tough learning process for me and will make Maidenhead & Bray U11s an even stronger outfit next season. The better side won on the day, not necessarily the best side.
It was such a great shame as this group of U11s was a very talented bunch of Boys. A missed opportunity to win the league, which they were more than capable of achieving.
It must be said, however, that our U11s have had a magnificent season. We won our Division with 8 straight victories, against some very good sides. 6 of the 8 matches were won very comfortably, with great batting, bowling & fielding. We've won all our Friendlies to date. I believe every registered Boy has played in a match.
All the Boys involved this season can be very proud of themselves I'm extremely proud of them.
Thank you to all the parents that have supported us this season and, in particular, to Bimal Desai and Jon Ward for their huge coaching & tactical support; Bimal for his umpiring and Jon for his scoring.
M & B ended their Sunday season with a win to bring the curtain down…
Mat Armstrong - Sep 27, 2017
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