Our youngsters had a great season indoors over the winter which will no doubt stand them in good stead for the 22018 outdoor season.
The Un10s had a very good season in the top division, losing narrowly to the top two teams. Thanks to Ian Preston-Jones and Iain Pickering for making it happen.
In the final game of the season, Sway won the toss and put Bournemouth into bat. Rather uncharacteristically, our bowling was a little wayward down the leg side and we consistently gave away too many penalty runs from wides and the odd no ball. The job was made harder by them having some left-handers, forcing our bowlers to have to change line to stay legal. Declan was the pick of the bowlers and he was a constant threat with great line and length. Brage started well and stayed on to bowl an extra over, pinning Bournemouth down for the most part. Harry A was again rock solid behind the stumps. Unfortunately, catching chances in the field were not taken and Bournemouth piled on the penalty runs, reaching 187 /2. A good stumping was the team fielding highlight.
Matching that would be a tall order, and so it proved to be. Declan and Harry A made a good start and played some fine shots before being run out, Declan just short of his retirement. Jasper showed no mercy and bludgeoned the early bowlers before retiring on 26. Seth started brightly by playing shots as required, but swung at a good length straight ball and missed. Oliver did well on his debut appearance before succumbing to some good bowling which was a feature of the opposition. Brage hung around for some time and found himself last in with Jasper on his recall. With Jasper milking the strike, they put on another 20 team runs before Brage was dismissed, leaving Jasper alone with surely an impossible total to get. There followed an exhibition of power hitting and some sensed a miracle, but it was not to be when Jasper was the last man to be run out on a fine 48. Sway all out for 97. MOM was Jasper who the umpire even singled out for special praise.
Bournemouth were by far the best team we have met indoors and we will learn to bowl straighter with the (soon) winter training. The team has done really well to keep playing throughout the winter and I am sure they will all feel the benefit in the summer months.
The U11s finished runners up, losing one game. The single defeat was a narrow one at the hands of the league winners Ellingham and in this game Sway fielded two U7s showing how strong we are in depth.
Broadstone won the last game of the season today to knock us into 3rd position in the league under Ellingham and Broadstone. 3rd out of 7 is a great finishing position in the very competitive division 1 (of 3 divisions in the age group). We only lost 2 games, one against the bowling and fielding might (and luck) of Ellingham and one against Parley's late batting flourish (Parley finished in 4th place).
This performance bodes well for our outdoor season where, in addition to the strong U12 team, we have many of the U13s who bowled so well last season.