Champions off to strong start

U11s: Redlynch & Hale 83-7, Sway 84-2

Sway U11s started their defence of their New Forest league title with a trip over to Redlynch & Hale.....only find that that their hosts had erroneously turned up at Jubilee Field! So after an impromptu net session, and on the home side finally arriving, Sway lost the toss with Redlynch choosing to bat.

With this being the first game subject to a host of new rules - a shortening of the pitch from 20 yards to 17 yards, 9 players a side, 16 overs and last man stands it was not really clear what a par score would be and what the best tactics would be.

The Redlynch openers, however, Jamie Arch and Ellis Boardman were in no doubt about the best tactics which were to attack from the off. Despite some really good extra-less spells from the Sway pace attack of Jasper Condon, Declan Treacey and Seth Pickering, the home side got off to a flying start and although riding their luck at times with balls dropping into gaps, some great running between the wickets saw the hosts reach 48 off 7 overs.

 With Arch retired not out, Sway started to apply the brakes. First Ellis Boardman was superbly caught running in from deep mid wicket by Treacey off Harry West, then perhaps an ever better low catch by Tom O'Callagan at mid wicket off the bowling of Brage Wallis. O'Callaghan (3-0-11-2) was probably the pick of the Sway bowlers and he claimed the first of his two wickets, bowling the dangerous Tristan Prinsloo.

Sway were able to now really put a brake on the home sides innings. A further wicket for O'Callaghan, a run out from a direct hit by Olly Marshall and wickets for Oscar Davis & Marshall saw the home side finish up on 83-7 off 16 overs. An excellent bowling by the Sway bowlers but special mention has to go to Harry Allies for an almost faultless performance behind the stumps.

In reply Sway opened with Marshall and Tracey who were facing the impressive attack of M Beard and Jamie Arch. Without taking too many chances the Sway pair were able to keep the score ticking over at or above the required rate and still had all their wickets in hand and had reached 52 by the halfway stage. With Marshall & Treacey retired not out, Seth Pickering was in at 3 with a licence to thrill and the more cautious Oscar Davis at number. Neither lasted too long but they did not waste any time and it was left to the big lads, Condon and O'Callaghan to knock off the required runs - which would have come a lot sooner if it were not for a superb individual performance out in the field by Redlynch's skipper Arch.