On another sunny Sunday morning, BCC U9s celebrated the end of their first season of league cricket.
As 2018 winners of Bucks U9s Super Smash League, all the boys were delighted to receive an engraved medal. We then moved on to individual awards for the season. First up were our Spirit of Cricket Awards awarded to Ian G - for fair play, a kind and caring attitude, always welcoming new people to the team and looking out for them, and for playing positively in every game - and to Max S - for always giving 100% in every match, whether with bat, ball or in the field, including nearly catching out one of his own team mates when fielding for the opposition! Our Most Improved Player award went to Nathan D, who has worked on his bowling to take 3 wickets in 4 matches, does the most enthusiastic backing up as a non-striker (and was nearly mankaded in one game for doing so) and in an attempt to prove himself a true all-rounder has shown himself to be an effective wicket-keeper to some scarily fast bowling. Keep up the hard work Nathan!
Next up were our fielding awards. The boys have learnt over the season what a difference effective fielding can make to both team morale, and the behaviour of the opposition, and that is why we have three fielding awards this season. First up was our Slip fielding award which went to Charlie N, who had spent the whole season trying to convince the manager that slip was not a redundant position in plastic ball, astro-turf cricket, by sneaking up to take slip catches whenever he could, as well as effecting run outs with some great throws. Our second award was for Boundary Fielding and this went to Thomas P for a combination of stunning catches, and saving runs with intelligent flicks in from the boundary. Great work Thomas! Our final fielding award was the All-Rounder. This was awarded to George W for consistently excellent fielding across the season. George can always be relied on to do whatever it takes to get wickets and stop runs in the field. Looking forward to seeing these skills continue to develop next season.
Now, anyone involved in BCC U9s will know that the manager always strives for fairness, so with this in mind, she had rather hoped to avoid any suggestions of bias by not giving any awards to Hector L. Unfortunately, and as a surprise to the manager who thought he could only bowl, Hector was the leading run scorer for the season, averaging 19.8 runs per game, over 5 games, so took the Batting award. Obviously he was annoyed to not make it a round 20, so will be working hard on his batting before next season! Our Bowler of the season was Jack T with 8 wickets in 3 games, averaging 2.67 wickets per game - no mean feat in only 2 overs. We'll look forward to seeing if he can improve on this for next season, though our opposition may not! Our All-Rounder of the season with 8 wickets in 6 games, and a batting average of 13 was Ben H, who was sadly not present to collect his award due to attending a wedding. We'll hold onto your award, and give you a big cheer for your achievements next time you're at cricket. Our final award was Wicket-Keeper. Although this position has been rotated to allow everyone chance to keep, one player has stood out with his commitment to keeping - taking tricky catches, stumping, and generally doing whatever he could to take wickets and stop the opposition scoring - and this was Joe B. Really great work this season Joe, and hope you're still as keen to pick up the gloves (and helmet and pads!) next season.
Really well done to everyone who has played for BCC U9s this season. It's been fantastic to watch every boy make progress, and to do it while having such a lot of fun. The manager had planned to end our awards session with some (relatively) sensible water balloon catching and batting practice. However, this idea was quickly dismissed by the coaches and the boys, who instead opted for all-out water balloon war. Battle commenced, and several hundred water balloons were thrown (with questionable accuracy given the manager had only just stopped praising their cricket skills) at lots of squealing, running boys for about two minutes, until everyone was out of ammunition, and a bunch of tired, soggy and grinning cricketers headed home.
Looking forward to next season!