HHCC U11s had their second game of the season at Bushy Park on Tuesday evening against Kew. Despite a late injury scare for Louis “Hoppy” McCartney and young Daniel Mackinney being put on standby, the team remained as selected , Hoppy passing a stringent late fitness test with the coach.
Skipper Sam Fullicks won the toss and elected to field, opening the bowling himself. A fine spell with two wickets,both bowled and for only three runs. Ellie was his opening bowling partner and she was just as economical with only six runs from her two overs, none from the bat (two wides and a no ball).
A change of bowling saw debutant Will Aust turn his arm over and his slow right arm deliveries left the batsmen in all sorts if trouble with two wickets picked up for 24 runs. Thirteen coming from the last over, as the opposition went all out for three figures. Jamie Hillier also came into the attack and was again very impressive, only a well-deserved wicket was missing from his figures. Ryan Exworth bowled as before, with fine deliveries interspersed with wayward ones when trying to bowl too quickly. That consistency will come with practice.
Another making their debut, Archie Knight, then bowled with real pace and bounce and despite some nerves looked a fine bowler in the making. It was off his bowling that a fine piece of fielding from Max Ratcliffe picked up another wicket – a run out. This typified the whole team’s performance in the field, very keen and lots of backing up. Special mention to a fine stop and throw by Jamie Hillier that almost hit the stumps and one great pick up from Freddie Blair that saved 4 runs. Knocking the bails off was Owen Morris. Another composed performance with only 1 bye conceded. Max then came on to bowl and promptly picked up a wicket, again bowled. Our third debutant, Alex Bush, came on as the batsman started to attack to get the score going and bowled very well with a nice smooth action.
With a total of 6 wickets, 5 of them bowled, it showed how straight our team can bowl when they get it right. Alas the number of wides was still a little too high and accounted for nearly half of Kew’s final total of 105. With practice, I am confident that these numbers will fall dramatically and we will be a very competitive bowling unit.
As coach, I thought that 106 was a little high for us to be chasing, but the boys had no such reservations. Alex and Freddie opened the batting and despite not many runs coming from the bat, the wayward bowling from Kew meant the score was ticking along nicely with neither batsman looking in much trouble. They had put on 25 before Alex was bowled by one that kept a little low. This brought Sam to the crease andhe promptly dispatched his first ball for four. Freddie was like a rock at the other end as Sam set about the bowling, scoring off anything that wasn’t a wide. They took the score to 54 before Freddie was caught and bowled as he tried to attack. It was a shame he did not score a run but that doesn’t reflect the type of innings it was, with over half of the target runs achieved whilst he was at the crease. Max came in at 4, and was very solid when he moved his feet or stopped watching the clouds. Some good calling and running ensured that the score kept ticking along before Max finally missed a straight one with only 16 required. Ryan Exworth then strode to the wicket hoping to build on his cameo from last week but he was run out without facing a ball as they went for a second run to keep Sam on strike. Archie now came to the crease and safely negotiated the final ball of the over. Eight were needed from three overs, so Sam was retired unbeaten on 38 and Louis “Hoppy” McCartney came to the crease. His injury did not hamper him as he smashed his second ball to the boundary to halve the number required. Two more wides from the next two balls meant that victory was Hampton Hill’s and a very well deserved victory too, based on a fine team effort with everyone playing their part.
Well done boys