Middleton Colts U12 v Findon – 2 July 17
Yet another win from the U12s to remain top of the league with 50 points and one more match to go. A fantastic win over an in form Findon who up until today had won all their league matches too. Good to see Cameron Kearns back in the squad along with Dill Howell for his second U12 match this season and a big welcome to Harvey Cook and Toby Barton for their first match for the U12s. After a short, sharp rain shower about an hour before the match, the sun came out and the MSC ground look splendid as usual. A quick rake and final mow from Groundsman Peter and we were ready to go.
Captain Rocco Gamblin won the toss and chose not to deviate from the well used Middleton U12s plan and opted to field first. Opening the bowling was Dill Howell from the Clubhouse end in his usual spirited and fast paced style and Ozzy Rishman from the opposite end. Both bowled well and accurately, effectively forcing the Findon batters to play defensively and not get off to the usual early flurry of runs for the best batters. As as result Findon ended the first 4 overs on only 8 runs – a brilliant job by Ozzy and Dill. Sans suncream on her hands this week, Kate deLillis took up the bowling from the clubhouse end partnered with Fred Asberry from the other. Both bowled well and it wasn’t long before Kate maintained her 100% record of getting a wicket in every U12 match by getting Knapp to loft the ball straight to the safe hands of Ozzy Rishman. Findon were 20 for 1. The ever improving Fred battled away with the ball in an excellent bowling spell which kept the Findon batters contained but with no reward. Time for the spinners, a bit of a risk partnering 2 spin bowlers together, especially when the better Findon batters were still at the crease but, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Rocco Gamblin was off to a great start with an spell that only saw Findon score 1 run off his first over but then Marcus Nelmes struck with his first ball accounting for Franklin caught by Toby Barton. A further over each from both bowlers resulted in Findon adding only a further 9 runs; Findon were 29 for 2. Spin was clearly the way to go, it was confusing the Findon batters and restricting their ability to score runs. Step up Sam Green partnered with Cameron Kearns. I’ve said before that something always happens when Sam steps up with either the bat or the ball. His first 3 balls were uneventful with only 1 run scored but the last 3 balls for his first over resulted in a fantastic hat-trick. First Pike was trapped LBW, then his replacement, Knight was cleaned bowled for a golden duck and then his replacement Pullen went in a similar fashion. Cue ecstatic celebrations on the pitch, Findon were reeling on 30 for 5. It was important however that the celebrations didn’t overshadow the bowling of Cameron Kearns who defied expectations to bowl quickly with great line and length to be justly rewarded by clean bowling Blake with the penultimate ball of his last over – fantastic to see Cameron playing so well. After 14 overs Findon were 43 for 7 having lost Noyce to a run out after trying to scramble a quick single and stumped by Wicket Keeper Charlie Manger. New boy Harvey Cook and Toby Barton were up next up with the ball and while the arithmetic skills of the umpires were tested by a large number of wide and no balls, Harvey can be proud that he stuck with it and displayed great commitment to work through his 2 overs. Toby Bowled a good line and length for his 2 overs and the Findon innings ended on 79 for 7 after 20 overs.
Opening the batting for Middleton were Marcus and Ozzy. Marcus displayed his usual determination as an opener with a wide range of defensive and attacking shots; on strike for the majority of the first 6 overs he eventually retired on 20 not out and was replaced by Toby Barton at the crease. Unusually for Ozzy he didn’t get the chance to display his batting prowess and was unfortunately overshadowed by Marcus and then Toby to be caught off the bowling of Knight for just 1 run scored –a lot of effort for little reward. But by this time Middleton were 37 for 1 after 8 overs when Toby was joined at the crease by Sam. Toby was already well on his way to a good score when joined by Sam who made every ball count to very quickly get to 22 not out, retired – an excellent display. Toby wasn’t far behind him and eventually retired on 20 not out, another accomplished batting display. There seemed to be nothing that Findon could throw at Middleton that phased them or even threatened to place another win in jeopardy. Fred Ashberry joined Rocco at the crease ostensibly to finish the match off but this is cricket and unfortunately Fred was caught facing his second ball for a duck – better luck next time Fred! Dill replaced Fred to partner Rocco and faced the last 2 overs to score a boundary each and the final 11 runs to take Middleton to 82 for 2 from 14.3 overs. Another confident and accomplished batting display from this outstanding team.
No challenge seems too great for this team. No matter what the opposition throw at them they seem to take it all in there stride and are not intimidated by any side or their reputations. They are capable of great team and individual performances and all contribute 100% to every match. This is the second match in succession that the opposing team manger has said that this is the best fielding team of this age that they have seen; there is no doubt that the performance in the field goes a long way in enabling them to restrict the number of opposition runs scored to make life easy for themselves when batting.
There were numerous player who could have been awarded player of the match today but the awards go to:
Best batting performance: Marcus Nelmes. A solid opener in the face of some excellent bowling and another 20 not out retirement.
Best bowling performance: Cameron Kearns. An excellent performance by Cameron today who surprised us all with some consistent and accurate bowling that was justly rewarded with a wicket.
Player of the Match: Sam Green. A great bowling performance resulting in his first hat-trick and then a superb display with the bat for 20 not out