> The 5th match of the week and the final match of the season. We came into the match unbeaten all season and with a full strength team thanks to the late inclusion of Kate to play against Preston Nomads in the SJCF Under 11 final at Worthing Chippendales CC.
> Unlike the preceding days, the weather was inclement with heavy showers and an extremely strong westerly wind. We won the toss, electing to field first.
> Will and Dill opened the bowling, Will bowled accurately ‘down hill’ with the wind and conceded only 3 runs per over off of his first 3 but the Nomads batsman were in-form and most bowlers that bowled ‘up hill’ were struggling to keep the run rate down. The run rate was up to 8 per over in the first 10 and the fielding that was initially enthusiastic had become lacklustre, and we gave away 12 runs in over-throws. Fergus & Fred bowled well and then Kate came on and applied the brakes to the Nomads free-scoring. Her accurate bowling took 3 wickets in her 4 overs, and combined with Marcus bowling seam at the difficult end for an economical 3 overs for 11 (incl 5 overthrows) the run rate fell significantly. Will came back to claim 1 wicket, Sam G also returned and got a run out off of his bowling and Sam P also. So after a difficult start, Nomads finished on 178 for 5 off of their 30 overs.
The smallest ground that we had played upon meant that although we needed to score at 6 per over, if we batted well we could do it. Marcus and Hugo opened, and faced some tight bowling but they knew that they needed to keep up with the run rate and went for a quick single. Unfortunately the Nomads fielding was excellent and a direct hit meant Hugo was out, Sam G was in next and unluckily given out LBW despite having got an inside edge onto his pad. Marcus and Toby started to get the innings back on track but Marcus missed a full toss and was gone for 9. At 22-3 we were in big trouble, but Toby was in dominant form, he drove and pulled his way majestically to an inaugural 50 which was rapidly sending the increasingly wet and windswept Middleton crowd into raptures. Sam P was ably assisting Toby and it looked as if we may be able to pull off an impossible victory. The strike was being rotated regularly and the Nomads fielding was becoming desperate, bowlers crying after dropping a ‘dolly’ catch and wicketkeeper throwing his gloves to the ground in frustration after another Middleton boundary! The run rate was down to 6 per over but a Nomads maiden put the ‘pressure on’ and then Toby was out LBW for a magnificent 67. ‘Poofy’ (as we found out he had been nicknamed by his friends) had brought us close to the target and we needed 32 off of 5 overs but wickets were now starting to fall again; Sam P going LBW for a hard hitting 24 and Fergus (I’m in T20 form today!) for 13 including 3 excellent boundaries. Will and Kate tried to get the remaining runs but despite their best efforts unfortunately we fell 10 runs short on 170-9 off of our 30 overs.
The teams were very evenly matched which meant we had a really exciting game that could have gone either way right up until the last over and ultimately it was just the over-throws that we conceded whilst fielding that was the difference. However this tight loss should not detract from a great week in which there was an excellent camaraderie between the boys and some brilliant performances. Congratulations to all who played!
Preston Nomads 178-5 (30 overs)
Kate 3 for 26, Sam P 1-24, Will 1-11
Middleton 170 for 9 (30 overs)
Toby 67, Sam P 24, Fergus 13, Marcus 9
Man of the Match: Toby – a stylish 67 with impeccable timing throughout – well played!
Thanks to everyone for your support in the week