There are days as a coach when you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall, when all the training you do is forgotten when the boys/girls step over the whitewash. But you forget about all of that when something you work on every week pays off as fantastically as it did against Kew last night. The fielding performance made the MacCoaches extremely proud
With bright sunshine and blue sky, and everyone accounting for non-existent traffic, the game started early, with HHCC batting first on a very grassy and spongy wicket
Freddie Blair was with a new opening partner in Jamie Hillier, his reward for a good performance in the last game. Unfortunately, the partnership did not last long as Freddie succumbed to the dreaded step to leg and was bowled. Skipper Sam strode to the crease and looked at the pitch with trepidation, but he had no worries and he and Jamie started to push the singles and start to pressure the fielders. Jamie hit a lovely four as his confidence grew, with his feet moving well to the ball. This though caused his downfall as he over reached and was not quick enough get back to his crease and was stumped for 8. Ryan Epworth came to the crease, with the words of both Sam and the coach/umpire ringing in his ears “Move your feet to the ball”. And he did, and batted beautifully and built a nice partnership with Sam, with bad balls being dispatched and good balls being defended or pushed for a single. After Sam hit a lovely 6 over mid-wicket, he was retired on 31, with the score on 76 and 5overs to go. Joe Edet came to the crease and eased a single. Then came THE Over, bowled by Ethan. First ball was to Joe, who stepped back and hit in the air to the on side. The fielder dropped the catch, but to everyone’s surprise, Joe had stepped back too far and hit his own wicket. 79/3. Archie Knight came in next, and was looking good practicing with his Dad, playing nice and straight. But this was all forgotten as he tried to smash his first ball, and only skied to the keeper.79 /4 and Max Radcliffe is facing hat trick ball. He more than survived, stroking a lovely shot backward of square for a boundary. The next ball was a wide, before the bowler got his line right and had Max rooted to the spot as his leg stump was hit. 85/5. The last ball was to be faced by Tommo Webb who must have stood in the same concrete that Max had and he also fell bowled. 85/6, 6 runs and 4 wickets in the over.
2 overs to go and Louis McCartney joined Ryan, and sanity prevailed for an over, with some wides and a couple for Ryan. The last over was bowled by Ethan and was on his second hat trick ball .Louis survived and then pushed a single to give Ryan the strike. A wide was next followed by a lovely stroke from Ryan for 3 runs. Louis hit the last ball and tried to sneak a run to reach 3 figures but was run out with the total on 99.
Adam Mackinney opened the bowling and immediately had the opener playing and missing , before he skied one to cover where Max looked to have taken a nice catch, but the ball fell out of his hands (and Max was the champion catcher at the Father’s Day event on Sunday !!) To his credit, he quickly picked up the ball and almost ran the batsman out. Ellie McCartney started at the other end, and seemed a bit confused by the grass wicket and bowled a couple short, but thankfully no boundaries came. Adam returned and finally got his man. He first bowled 2 away swingers that the batsman was nowhere near, and then cleaned him up with an in swinger that clipped the top of off stump. Stand in Keeper Sam was mightily impressed, although the umpire / coach / Dad was not convinced that Adam had actually planned this. Another away swinger than almost picked up another wicket with the edge flying past the despairing glove of Sam for 2.
A change of bowling brought Louis on against the left hander and he struggled with his line a bit, but almost had him bowled with the surprise straight one. The next ball was played nicely by the young batter off her legs towards Ellie. The batter thought there were 2, but Ellie produced a fine diving stop and then quickly got the ball straight back to the Sam’s gloves and he easily whipped the bails off with the batter stranded. A broad smile appeared on the coaches faces, as they had been practicing the throwing to the keeper quickly on Sunday and Ellie had perfected it here.
Tommo replaced Ellie from the Church end and, despite a wide first ball, bowled nice and straight with nice flight to pick up two wickets. Max then came and bowled tidily enough and also had success with a straight one. After 9 overs the score was 43/5. Archie then came on to bowl in tandem with Max and he bowled with good accuracy and pace and picked up a couple of wickets , one a fine low catch from Louis in the covers, much to the delight of his Dad on the boundary edge.
Then came the Jamie show, and not with the ball. Archie bowled to the new bat and it flicked off his pad to fine leg. Jamie was up on the one and quickly picked the ball up and threw to Sam. Not the perfect throw as it was by his ankles, but Sam showed great dexterity and quick hands to pick up and remove the bails in one swift movement with the batter well short. The home team did not heed the lesson as the next ball was a carbon copy and an ever better throw had yet another run out for Jamie and Sam. The last ball was now a possible run out hat trick, and the batsmen tried. The ball was hit to Adam in the covers and with the batter scrambling to get in after a good throw; Sam whipped the bails off and turned to the square leg umpire triumphantly. Unfortunately, the said umpire (and coach and dad and writer of this report) was partially blinded by the sun / disturbed by the horn of a passing car and gave a decision of not out. One more wicket was required, and this was achieved in the next over, from Ryan, with yet another run out, this time from a fine throw from Louis and yet more good glove work from Sam.
At this point, Kew allowed their 12th man to have a bat, with the result secured, and it gave the chance for Joe to bowl a much improved over and for Freddie to show his bowling skills for the first time this season. And it was Freddie who took the final wicket when bowling batsman no12.
Another good team performance (apart from THAT over with the bat) resulting in another deserved win for this side. The fielding training definitely paid off with 4, possibly 5, run outs, all from good straight accurate throws had the MacCoaches beaming. Now all we need is for the bowlers to keep bowling straight and reducing the wides, and for the batsmen to follow Ryan’s lead and move the feet to the ball and play some lovely strokes.
Next up is Staines and Laleham, who inflicted a close defeat on HHCC earlier, so another close game is anticipated.
Well done boys and girl