Super week for Preston’s Juniors
Ashley Catlin reports on last week’s packed programme of games for our Juniors:
Preston Vrs Harpenden under 11 eight a side
Preston make it a Hat trick of County finals
The last week of the league season saw the unbeaten under 11 eight a side team take on second place Harpenden at the field of dreams, Knowing 8 points were needed to qualify the boys were happy to bat first. Joe and Jude took a sensible approach to the first few overs to accumulate 18 runs with Joe hitting a couple of boundaries. Next up Push and Luke played some good shots but this was in between some poor shot selection that saw 3 wickets fell. At the half way stage the score was 221/3. Adam came to the wicket with Tom and hot a early boundary, but he was then starved of the strike but the partnership put on 21, with Adam scoring 11. The final pair of Oliver and Olly were a bit more circumspect than normal, making sure they got the total past 260, to get us enough points to get to the final. Olly finished on 11 as we posted 261/4.
The boys wanted to win and knew a good start was required. A tight over from Tom was followed by
A great piece of fielding by Luke to get a run out in Adams over. Tom then bowled the batsman before Adam ran out another batsman to leave Harps 208/3 after 4 overs. The next partnership took the score to 228 thanks to some good shots and short wide bowling by the boys. We did pick up two wickets thanks to another run out down to good fielding by Luke and a catch from Olly off Push’s bowling. The next 4 overs would need to see the boys bowl well. They got away withsome short bowling and with Olly C clean bowling a batsman it left the last pair needing to score 24.
Tom started the last set of overs with 2 wickets in 2 balls to put us in the driving seat, a good catch was taken by Joe. Adam then bowled a tight over for 6. A tight finish was on the cards as 21 were needed off the last 2 overs, with the short leg side boundary likely to take a hammering in the penultimate over. Olly elected to bowl it and bowled a good line outside off stump to go for a mixture of extras in the over. 15 needed off the last over soon became 20 as Push clean bowled the batsman first ball, With the field now deep it was 6 or nothing for Harps as they finished on 248/9 to see the boys qualify for finals day.
The Colts county cup final is 10 am @ Welwyn Garden City cricket club on Sunday 12th July. All support welcome as the Juniors look to defend their crown!
Preston under 11 vrs Hitchin under 11 Eleven a side
On a glorious night at Maydoncroft, it was a straight shoot out between the two teams, as the league had decided Saturdays game would not count. In front of a large crowd Hitchin elected to bat. The initial stages were won by Preston as couple of tight overs by adam and Tom then saw a wicket to Tom. This brought the talented Tyler to the crease who was to have an effect on the game all night. His mission was attack and he smashed 22 in 3 overs as the score raced to 30. His departure saw the innings rebuild and some sensible batting and tight bowling, alongside some good fielding saw the game go along at about 4 an over. Olly had claimed a couple of wickets thanks and Luke a good catch. With 4 overs remaining a score of 100+ looked likely but the last 5 wickets fell for 4 runs with Tom Adam and Push with 3 wickets in his last over wrapping up the innings for 89. A good effort and one we felt we could chase down, the lads were a bit disappointed they had not got a couple of half chances that would have probably have seen Hitchin dismissed for 50.
A solid start was required and we needed a couple of our main stayers to get 25, unfortunately after 5 overs the task was a uphill one as first Joe, then Olly caught by a one handed blinder from Tyler then Jack run out a result of a mix up with Adam saw us 18/3. Adam tried to rebuild the innings with the middle order but the run rate was increasing and when Adam went for a well made22 we need 35 off 5. Some big blows from Oliver J took us to under 30, but some quick straight bowling saw us close on 63 all out. Well done to Hitchin who were the better batting team on the night, the little half chances were taken by them and we wish them well in the knock out stages.
Preston under 11 vrs Hitchin under 11 Eleven a side
In what was supposed to be the final league game of the season, it was now a friendly thanks to the buroucaceyof the league. We saw ourselves in the field, some tight bowling saw them 19 /2 after seven overs with Push picking up 2 wickets thanks to catches from Olly C and Jude, we then decided that the ball was not for catching, as Olly C had 5 catches put down at mid-off or cover within 8 balls, this led to Hitchin being able to have 2 batsman get to nearly retirement stage. With another pair of catches being taken by Olly and Jude we managed to restrict the oppo to 102*4, Push finishing with 2/6. All ten outfielders had a bowl. The reply was going to be positive and a change in the batting line up was decided upon. Unfortunately a poor call saw Oliver run out in the first over. Adam then took charge before getting a good un from the spinner to be dismissed on 14 with the score on 18. Alex joined Jack and they put on 50 with Alex finding the boundary with some delicate touches and Jack becoming more positively scoring 32. Within two balls both were on the side lines as Jack retired and Alex was run out. With 27 needed off 5 overs Olly came to the wickets and the team were confident. Olly found the boundary early but a maiden was played out by Push to leave us needing 23 from 15 balls. Olly took 5 off the next over then a couple of excellent shots saw 2 boundaries to leave 8 from the last over. Some rather legside bowling started to make the task look difficult as it came down to 4 off the last ball to tie. With 9 men on the boundary Olly danced down the wicket and smashed the ball for four through mid-wicket
A good game of cricket by all, pity we could not claim the points.
Preston vrs the Area
On a lovely summers day the boys took the area team on in a 40 over contest. Winning the toss and batting first the boys made a slow but steady start, there was a lack of running to get singles rather relying on trying to hit the boundary. Joe departed for 5 but Jack and Luke put on 39 before Jack was caught for 28. Luke and Oliver 7 soon followed to leave us 62/4. Adam came to the wicket and was very positive and with Olly added a quick 20, before Adam was out for a quick 15. Alex then came in and played sensibly, Olly meanwhile decided to attack and hit 6 boundaries in his 32 before retiring for 32. The last few overs saw us try and get up to 150, some boundaries from Frazer 8 and Jude 8* saw us close on 148/9.
In reply, after the showers the area batted well and reached 73 for 1 with a retirement in there, although he should have been caught when on 9. Wickets were needed and they came through a great piece of fielding by Tom and Jude and a straight ball from Olly J. With Olly chopping and changing the bowling to try and get the main man out , the score was climbing, At 119/3 there was suddenly a run of wickets as 4 wickets fell for 6 runs thanks to Olly C and Luke and another great piece of fielding by Tom.
With 10 needed from 3 overs and two wickets needed it could have gone anyway , despite a wicket for Olly J the visitors got over the line with 8 balls remaining. A tough learning curve over the last couple of days, which has shown our fielding is not good enough