I’m not sure what it is about inclement weather but it seems to bring out the best in the Middleton Colts U12 team. Another emphatic win this time against a fired up Worthing CC side to gain maximum points in the league.
We arrived at the ground to find the assembled crowd pouring over their phones, alternately examining the weather apps and then looking to the sky. Although it was raining the consensus was that it was coming from the south and it would pass, however, the heavy stuff was due again at lunchtime, so if we were going to get this match finished, we needed to be quick off the mark. Captain Sam Green won the toss and decided to bowl and when the players took to the field the rain was just stopping but the pitch and outfield were very damp. First up with the ball from the car park end was Ozzy Rishman and it quickly became clear that the damp strip wasn’t going to yield much bounce. The ball remained fairly flat and stayed low which proved tricky for wicket keeper Charlie Manger to grab onto as Ozzy proved to be as fast and accurate as usual. But we didn’t have to wait long for the first wicket, 4th ball of the first over Ozzy clean bowled Simpson for a duck and we were off. Next up was Tom Saunders in his first appearance this year for the U12s – a great spell of 2 overs saw him claim the wicket of Bowley when he was run out by Cameron Kearns and then by clean bowling Good for 0. A great bowling spell for Tom who ended up with figures of 1 wicket (plus the run out) for 4 runs including a wicket maiden. Great stuff and a perfect start to the match as Worthing stuttered to 9 for 3. Time for the spinners; next up the bowling wizardry of Rocco Gamblin who couldn’t replicate his success with the ball from earlier in the week and was very unlucky not to get at least 2 wickets from his spell. The ever reliable Katie deLillis up next didn’t let us down by clean bowling the dangerous and consistent Jeshawani for 18 with the last ball of her first over. She was unlucky not to get another wicket in her second over but some consistent and accurate bowling saw Worthing only score 5 runs off her 2 overs. Captain Sam Green up next to maintain the spin attack from the car park end. Again, accuracy and consistency was the name of the game; 3rd ball of the first over and Sam accounted for the wicket of Scott, caught and bowled. Worthing were now 29 for 5 after 10 overs and it was becoming rapidly clear that unless they could pull something out of the bag (and that was unlikely due to the excellent all round fielding) this wasn’t going to be a high scoring innings. Remi Briggs next with the ball, nice, tight accurate bowling in her first over saw Middleton concede only 3 runs but in the second unfortunately Harry Merritt-Blan found the measure of her and scored 3 consecutive fours to retire Not Out and take Remi’s figures to 17 for no wicket from 2 overs. Now, we hadn’t seen Fred Ashbery for a while, not this season at least, but he’s clearly been paying attention during training and produced some fantastic bowling which although didn’t yield any wickets, he was consistently close and earned figures of 0 for 1 including a maiden from his 2 overs – well done Fred. Marcus Nelmes next, well bowled again but unlucky, ending his spell with 0 for 4 including a maiden over. Ellie Cogger next and despite an aching shoulder delivered some more great bowling for a 2 over spell that conceded only 9 runs for no wickets. Finally, Cameron Kearns was back after missing the first match of the season and fresh from an impressive performance in the field which saw him stopping an number of certain boundaries. Figures of 0 – 14 for Cameron saw out the end of the innings with Worthing setting a score to beat of 78 for 5.
After a tea-time debate about who would open and a brief talk about not being too complacent, Ozzy and Marcus took to the crease with Marcus facing the opening ball. The pitch still had no bounce, both Ozzy and Marcus found it difficult to get the run rate going and ended up scoring 12 runs after 4 overs. Eventually impatience got the better of them and Marcus was run out for 6 runs trying to scramble a quick single. In came Remi Briggs whose wicket unfortunately fell quickly after being bowled by a full toss by Simpson. The arrival of Rocco Gamblin at the crease witnessed the batsmen rapidly accelerate the run rate, both hitting out with some deliberately patient and well timed shots to score a succession of fours that saw both Rocco and Ozzy retire not out. But not before a partnership of 30 runs between Rocco and Sam Green ended after Sam was unluckily run out and was heard petitioning for the introduction of a third umpire and a Decision Review System to be made standard in all junior club matches forthwith. Nonetheless, a terrific and well struck 6 for Sam was the highlight of his brief innings and a score of 12. A brief appearance from Tom Saunders that allowed Rocco to see off his 20 with a succession of fours, and that was that. Middleton had scored 79 for 3 and used only 12 of the allocated 20 overs.
A great performance from a very capable team, it was good to see Remi in the team and the return of Cameron and Fred who brought more dimensions to the bowling attack and real presence in the field. We’ll get them batting next time. Difficult to choose the stand out performances but today the awards go to:
Bowling – Tom Saunders, 1 wicket for 4 runs, including a maiden over and a hand in an early run out.
Batting – Rocco Gamblin, a swift 20 to retire not out in spite of a bang on the wrist with the ball while in the field and pulling a muscle in his arm swinging for one of the 2 fours that completed his innings.
Player of the Match – Ozzy Rishman – stood firm in the face of the initial accurate and fast bowling attack to hang on a score 22 not out, retired and then bowling figures of 1 for 5 with a 4th ball wicket in the first over of the match.