Beaconsfield U9 Thunder vs Penn & Tylers Green Sunday 24th June
By Viki Sullivan
Thunder up against some stiff competition
A dry and sunny Sunday morning saw the Thunder boys, and a lot of parents in a rather delicate condition, heading up to Penn & Tylers Green for our 4th match of the season. A relatively inexperienced bunch – 4 players debuting for Beaconsfield Thunder, and some playing their first cricket match – we were optimistic about a good game against this small village team. George, as one of the more experienced players, took on the captaincy for this game, Robert agreed to umpire, and Tim kindly offered to score (I think because it allowed him to sit down!) so the manager found herself able to watch a game, for only the second time this season.
George won the toss, and put Penn in to bat (as we know, Beaconsfield love a chase) and our first bowling pair, Ethan and Tom started our attack. And what a brilliant, attacking start it was, Ethan taking 3 wickets in his two overs, to the evident delight of Ethan, and scorer dad, Tim. Tom bowled accurately, going for only 1 run in his second over and was unlucky not to get a wicket, and the dejected Penn batters left the crease with the score on 196. Next to bowl were debutants Milun and Ben, against batters who were keen to hit big. The boys did their best to restrict them by varying their deliveries, and the score was 225 after 8 overs. In came Harry and Steven. Harry unfortunately finding that one of the batters (who seemed to be permanently on strike) was intent on hitting as many balls as he could for 4 – no rewards for accurate bowling with this player at the crease. Steven, in his first ever match, was still trying to work out his best line and length, but persisted and showed improvement across his overs. However, the big hitting and extras took Penn up to 278, and Thunder really needed wickets. Rory and Thomas were next to bowl. Rory, playing his first game, showed some accurate quick arm bowling, surprising himself, and hopefully inspiring him to want to play again. Thomas continued his season’s quest for wickets, and was again unlucky not to take one, beating the bat a number of times. Score 305 with 4 overs to come. Penn’s manager came over for a chat after Guy and George had set off to bowl their final overs, and casually mentioned that they had a 10 year old and an 11 year old in the side, and also that in some matches the final batting pair have put on over 50 EACH, gulp, and lo and behold it was soon raining boundaries. Wickets again proved elusive, but Guy and George showed great resilience, even though it was not a fun moment to be a bowler. They gave little away in extras and, backed up by the fielding, gradually managed to reduce the scoring opportunities for the mega-batters. Bowling job done, with Penn on a lofty 355.
Our Beaconsfield boys like a chase, but they’re not fools, so having concluded over much-needed blackcurrant squash, that a successful run chase was unlikely (Jos Buttler being busy in Manchester that day), they set out to have some fun with the bat (and hopefully get home in time to watch the football). First to the crease were Ethan and Tom, facing mixed bowling – some fast-paced and accurate, and some rather wayward. They defended where they needed to, hit what they could reach, and ran some cheeky singles, taking the score to 216 after 4 overs. Milun and Ben were in next and were keen to score runs, but found the bowling was not easy to score off. Milun defended well, but Ben was unlucky to find himself bowled out more than once. Tough at the time, but now he has a good case for making his older brother bowl at him in the garden for a change. Score after 8 overs still 216, but plenty of batting to come. Steven and Harry came out to find, once again, accurate, fast bowling (bit of a theme emerging here). With lots of cries of ‘straight bat’ coming from the boundary (and from umpire dad Robert), they both played all their defensive shots, until Harry decided to swish a ball to the keeper with his final shot. Score 220 after 12 overs with big hitters Thomas and Rory coming to the crease looking to take some of that fast bowling over the ropes (or boundary flags to be precise). But no, Penn must have known these boys could hit big, because the accurate, good length, bowling disappeared and the boys stood scratching their heads wondering when a ball would come close enough to hit. Denied their boundaries, they ran on anything they could, but mostly amassed extras, and left the crease with our score on 248. Final pair Guy and George, knew they were not going to get us over the line – the line being 108 runs away – but went out to see what they could do. A loss of wicket in the first over did not deter them, but the fast, accurate bowling had returned (much to the annoyance of Thomas and Rory) and they had to defend their way through some tough overs to stop our score descending further. Looking rather relieved to leave the crease, Thunder finished on 256, a score that doesn’t really reflect the enormous efforts put in by all the boys facing a much stronger, more experienced team on a hot morning in the sun.
Thanks again to umpire Robert, and scorer Tim – help always much appreciated – and to all the parents for managing to get your boys to a game the morning after a school ball. Hopefully next time the boys will see more reward for their efforts.