U11s Final Match Report and Season Roundup
Iain Williamson reports on the Under 11s’ season:
MATCH REPORT U11s HARDBALL HOME V WELWYN
The U11s completed their group games with a heavy defeat to Welwyn Garden City who as by far the best team ended up as deserved Group Winners.
Fielding first and with a lightening outfield we struggled to contain a strong Welwyn line up. The kids bowled straight as we only bowled 3 wides (accounting for 7 runs) but too many full tosses and no balls saw the Welwyn top order take advantage to post an imposing total of 153/1 from their 20 overs. The highlights of our bowling were Elliott picking up our solitary wicket, clean bowling their No.4 and Jacob’s 4 overs that only went for 15 runs. Our focus in the field did not quite live up to the previous week’s efforts, with mistakes such as not backing up costing us several extra runs, however we kept going and playing with enthusiasm which is no mean feat considering the amount of cricket the boys have played over the past few weeks.
Facing mainly the same bowlers as the previous week, in particular the impressive Hannah (whom I was told opens the bowling for the U13 Middlesex girls team) it was always going to be a struggle to get near the winning total. However the boys applied themselves well and ran between the wickets well to pick up any extras on offer (no run-outs this week!). Arham (6), Xander (7) and Toby (9) batted well in the middle order and some fine boundaries late on by Harry (16*) saw us reach a respectable 71-6 off our 20 overs. After last week being the only batsmen not to get in, Robert finally got his chance and resolutely defended to finish not out despite not troubling the scorers. To only lose 6 wickets against Welwyn’s bowling is testament to how far the boys have come on as it wouldn’t surprise me if Welwyn go on in the finals of the competition.
The U11s finished 3rd in the group with a record of played 8 won 3 and lost 5. The highlight of the season was the impressive 7 wicket victory over Hitchin at home (which meant we finished above them in the league) and we also came close to upsetting 2nd place North Mymms at their ground. I attach a summary of all the games played and the players statistics (apologies I am missing North Mymms away as Ashley took the team on that occasion). This is a very impressive effort considering we have only had 2 U11’s in the team with the rest playing one or in some cases two years above their proper age group. You could see the difference between the boys and some of the opposition as with that extra years growth they were much bigger and powerful giving them an advantage in all three disciplines.
Batting – We had 3 players who managed to score 30+ and retire, Elliott 30* at Hitchin, Nidhaan 31* home v Weston and Jacob twice 32* at Hitchin and 30* home v Weston. Excluding the game A v North Mymms, Jacob finished as our leading run scorer with 83 runs at an average of 20.75. The boys have really applied themselves this year, their shot selection is improving as is their running between the wickets. We are harder to get out and as a team we were only bowled out once H v North Mymms. It is so important to make sure that we bat our full 20 overs so that even if we are struggling to score runs from the bat the extras continue to boost the score. As the boys continue to grow they will gain more co-ordination and strength and be able to hit the ball that little bit harder which will no doubt help to improve their run scoring. Also a few of the boys might finally grow into their pads to help their running between the wickets! Things to work on are trying to hit the ball into the gap to pick up runs, using their feet and moving their head towards the ball to improve their timing.
Bowling – Excluding the North Mymms game away, we had 2 bowlers who took 3 wickets in an innings, Robert 3/6 from 3 overs H v Weston and Arham 3/11 from 4 overs H v Hichin. Robert finished as our leading wicket taker with 7 wickets at an average of 15.86 and virtually all those that bowled took at least 1 wicket. The boys have really come on with their bowling and this is best demonstrated by the fact that they conceded only 7 runs from wides in the last game, compared with 48 in the first game! Bowling is all about consistency and having a run up and bowling action that repeats and the boys need to continue to work on their accuracy and developing their skills be it swinging, seaming or spinning the ball.
Fielding – This has been the discipline where the boys have most surprised me this year. We have had several games where we have been simply excellent in performing the basics of backing up, walking in and using long barriers. Jacob and Harry each took 2 catches and Jacob, Elliott and Toby all bagged a run out. The boys have proved that they have the basic skills it is now just a matter of applying them on a more consistent basis and ensuring they focus for the full 20 overs.
Team Spirit – Well captained by Jacob this year the boys have shown a tremendous team spirit and generally kept their enthusiasm throughout the game, constant shouts of “ducks on the menu”, “a dot ball is a hot ball” and the general encouragement by the boys to the bowlers and their teammates was great to hear. There were no instances of poor behaviour and the kids were simply a delight to coach, a real credit to themselves, their parents and Preston Cricket Club.
Overall the boys have done tremendously well for the U11’s this year and I would like to thank each and every one of them, as I stated in my previous report, if the boys continue to develop as they are then Preston will have some fine young cricketers feeding into the senior teams in years to come.
A big thank you to all the parents for their help and support, in particular the constant ferrying around of the boys to the various fixtures (especially those that also play in the various U10 matches so are doing it 2/3 times a week!), the provision of food and drinks for the boys at our home games (notably not reciprocated at Welwyn!) and the help in setting up / packing away the ground. It makes my life a lot easier so thank you.
I am sorry that with a bigger squad there were times that several of the kids missed out and didn’t get to play but I tried to be fair and ensure that in every game as well as ensuring we were competitive the players either had a chance to bat or bowl and in some cases both (Jacob and Arham especially as this was their only cricket). I hope the players and parents have enjoyed the games as much as me and I look forward to continuing to help the boys with their development.
The final colts training session is on Sunday and at this stage we don’t have any further U11 games arranged but there is a possibility we will and if so we will contact you accordingly but I understand we are now getting into holiday season.
Thanks again, kind regards