An excellent result today for the U11s against Pagham in difficult damp and slippery conditions – well done to all the boys. The overall result was Middleton 186 for 3, Pagham 106 for 8. Firstly, on such a damp day thanks should go to the grounds staff who, despite the early rain, prepared an excellent pitch and were happy for the boys to sip and slide around the outfield.
The key to this match was the bowling and fielding , Captain Toby Barton (now known as ‘Dave’ to his team mates) won the toss and chose to bowl. Cameron Kearns kept wicket throughout the match and saved several potential balls heading off to the boundary as byes but it was the tight and accurate bowling that impressed, with only 5 wides and 2 no balls, on a pitch that was slippery and with a wet ball. An excellent fielding display saw some fine catches and Pagham only found the boundary 3 times in 16 overs. Stand out bowlers were Toby Barton with 3 wickets and 2 maidens and Marcus Nelmes. Marcus was particularly unlucky not to get at least 2 wickets as his bowling was straight and accurate and had the batsman tied in knots on several occasions. His figures of 4 runs off his 2 overs showed how well he did.
We found ourselves with 9 players versus Pagham’s 8 so the field was rotated throughout the match and when it came to batting, Cameron volunteered to stand down and helped with the scoring. The batting was just as accurate as the bowling with some splendid shots played as Middleton found the boundary on 10 occasions and worked well together to be opportunistic in their running with great success. Stand out performances with the bat came from Sam Green whose high score of 19 not out included 3 boundaries, Rocco Gamblin with 15 not out and Marcus Nelmes with 12 not out who played as well with the bat as he did with the ball. Sam P, Will, Sam N and Dill also contributed to a great performance.
In the end Pagham were comprehensively out played and didn’t really recover from losing a wicket in the first over of the match and then losing wickets consistently in every bowling spell. An excellent team performance from Middleton Colts U11 of which they can all be proud but there has to be a man of the match and it was a close run thing because there were many fine performances but the award goes to Toby Barton for his 11 with the bat, a haul of 3 wickets for no runs scored – a real captains innings!