22nd August 2020

Hants u17 Kerry Cup T20

Sway/Lymo u17s agonisingly slip to 1 run defeat in cup quarter final
Hook & Newnham u17 (119ao) beat Sway/Lymo u17 (118-8) by 1 run

Sway/Lymo, the 2019 champions, lost their grip on the T20 Kerry Cup in a compelling quarter-final clash against a strong Hook & Newnham team boasting several Hampshire county starlets. A slightly depleted Sway/Lymo won the toss & asked Hook to bat first. The visitors progressed steadily to 33-0 off 5 overs of fairly accurate pace from Josh Royan (4-0-19-2) and Axel Deem (4-0-27-1) with Watterson (57) looking particularly menacing. The introduction of spin brought immediate results as Dan Bailey (4-0-25-2) bagged a couple of wickets both bowled. At the other end there was a welcome return to the team for David Elford (4-0-20-0) who immediately slipped into a good rhythm bowling line and length.

At 63-2 off 10 overs the Hook innings was poised for a decent score but a fine spell of legspin from Sway/Lymo skipper Josh Bailey (4-0-17-1) kept the pressure on. The dangerous Wyatt was beautifully caught in the deep by Royan & then Watterson was run out in a calling mix-up allowing Sway/Lymo to strangle the Hook innings with just 20 runs coming from the final 5 overs. At halfway Sway/Lymo were satisfied to be chasing a run-a-ball 120 for victory.

Hook's Hampshire Academy opening bowling combo of spinner Alex Campbell (4-1-19-1) and especially fast-bowler Max Simpson (4-1-9-2) bowled superbly to keep the usually dominant Sway/Lymo openers, Josh Royan (53) & Dan Bailey (5), in an early stranglehold with D. Bailey losing patience & caught off a skier in the 3rd over. Incoming bat Josh Bailey was equally pinned down as just 4 runs came from 4 accurate overs. The two Josh's began to gradually loosen the shackles taking the score to 36-1 off 8 overs and looked in control of the chase when one of two match-influencing incidents happened as J.Bailey (11) was controversially given out LBW. Axel Deem then unluckily fell to a sharp reflex caught & bowled by James to further deplete the Sway/Lymo batting engine-room. Royan was then joined at the crease by Freddie Pearson (20) who went for his shots & they put on a dashing 54 in just 6 overs to get the score to 90-3 off 15 overs, right up with the run-rate.

The re-introduction to the attack of the impressive Simpson for his final over immediately brought Hook dividends as he clean-bowled Pearson & Arthur Lomax in the 16th over. However Royan was pacing his knock perfectly with some fine shots all around the wicket and as long as he remained at the crease Sway/Lymo were favourites as David Elford joined him in a vital 20-run partnership. As Royan went for a big shot he was dropped off a skier in the 18th over, but having then brought up his excellent 50 the second influential incident occurred as he miscued another big shot & was caught at the start of the 19th over & departed disconsolately with 6 still required for victory off 10 balls. Unfortunately the Sway/Lymo tailenders were only able to get 4 runs off some accurate death bowling leaving a bemused Hook victorious by 1 run.

So despite Royan's magnificent effort Sway/Lymo's Kerry Cup defence ultimately ended in disappointment, not quite fulfilling their potential. However in the shortened season six good young players made their debuts at this level of competition, standing them in very good stead for future campaigns, while the likes of Royan, the Baileys & Pearson move up from Colts cricket to undoubtedly make their marks in adult cricket....... & Bailey (senior) hangs up his colts managerís hat!

Photo caption: Josh Royan who took Sway/Lymo u17s to the brink of victory