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Bring on the u11 Finals! Derby the perfect warm up for SHCC Gold & Blue

An unusually cool late February morning took none of the heat out of the last pre-finals match of the season, as Gold took on old rival and training partner Blue in a derby at Croydon Park.

u 11 Div 1 Match Report: Jonny Richardson

Summer Hill Blue 140 def Summer Hill Gold 119

After winning the toss, Blue sent Gold in to bat and their pace attack was met with some stolid resistance from Mac and Isa, who kept good balls out and worked the wider deliveries delicately behind the wicket for a series of classy singles to third man.

Eli stamped his arrival to the pitch with a glorious 6 over mid-off, which he watched soar off into the distance without moving an inch, as if he’d just applied the last daub to a grand oil painting.

He then combined with Alex to run a series of clever byes behind the stumps - Blue having elected not to field a back stop - as well as some risky 2s that, for the most part (!), paid off, ending with a handsome 31.

Alex composed two lovely hook shots and some textbook back foot defence for his 12, and Ollie and Henry put on 24 between them to close the innings, with some lovely strokes on either side of the wicket, bringing the Gold total to 87 off the bat.

Moment of the innings may have gone to keeper Hugo, who after a swirling Eli top edge darted some 15m back towards deep square leg, taking that most difficult of cricket catches: when you’re on the move, with the ball landing over your head.

There was some much improved running between wickets - not least the seizure of several overthrow opportunities - and with a few more precise and considered calls we can get our run outs down even further, and add probably another 5-10 runs by converting easy singles into hard-run 2s.

Our bowling innings got off to a flying start with Ollie's bowling rattling Marlowe’s stumps and Henry plucking an absolute screamer out of the air with one hand at point, making it look as easy as if he were just getting some Vegemite down from the shelf.

James’ beautifully flighted spinners tempted and confused the Blue top order, and our field - particularly in the first 10 overs - applied some fantastic pressure: Mac did great work behind the stumps keeping our extras total down, and Isa threw the stumps down twice from the off side - once for an exciting run out. With everyone walking in with the bowler, the first half really was an exemplary display of what it means to have a batting team on the back foot.

In the middle order the Blue batters started to hit us around more freely with some beautiful stroke play - Hugo made a glorious 38 and Jai 22, well done to both! - but despite that there were still some great fielding displays, not least several beautifully executed run outs at the bowler’s end - Ollie with Eli and then Ollie with James - which were proof our fielding drills, where we’ve practised clean pick ups, and accurate, underarm throws in to the stumps, are paying off.

A beautiful Alex solo effort - caught and bowled - pushed out wicket count up to 8, but even that wasn’t enough to catch the sprightly Blues, who finished with 140 with their 24 penalty runs, 21 runs ahead.

Thanks to scorer Bruce for keeping us on track and umpires Sean and Phil for directing proceedings, and well done again to both teams on a great match played, as ever, in good spirits with a friendly and respectful rivalry that would be the envy of any cricket club anywhere.

Roll on the finals!


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