Junior Team ReportsBatting Nightmare as U11s See Quarter-Final Victory Slip From their Grasp

Batting Nightmare as U11s See Quarter-Final Victory Slip From their Grasp

GREAT MELTON U11 lost to TOPCROFT U11s by 2 runs at Topcroft in the Terry Moore Trophy Quarter-Final

The cliché about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory was never more aptly demonstrated as Melton U11s somehow managed to lose their Terry More Trophy quarter final when it seemed virtually impossible to do so.  Some kamikaze batting saw Melton manage to lose 10 wickets chasing just 38 runs to win.  Melton were already leading by 12 runs when the final pair, Finlay Hughes and Matt Carter, came to the wicket and all they had to do was not lose a wicket but Hughes was bowled first ball and the Topcroft bowlers sensed the game was far from over.  Four more dismissals, 2 by Hughes & 2 by Carter  – all clean bowled –  meant Melton had slumped from 286-5 to 296-10 and Topcroft won by 2 runs.

Pat Walton set the tone for an irresponsible batting display by swinging wildly at a full toss and being clean bowled in the first over.  With Jack Gorman out lbw then run out as Walton called for a suicidal second run, Melton’s score stood at 238-3 after the first 4 overs (220 net).  It still represented a good start as, in between the moments of madness, skipper Walton struck some impressive boundaries in his 32.  Saxon Earley (13 not out) and Olly Leinster (3) ran well between the wickets and Beth Harmer (7 not out) batted very sensibly with James Carter (2) as the second and third pairs slowly but surely edged Melton in front.  Although a further 2 wickets were lost, including Carter being bowled off the last ball of the 12th over, with the cushion of 12 runs it looked odds-on a Melton victory.  J.Rhodes (3-10) and J.Day (3-16), had other ideas, however although, in keeping with a rather bizarre game,  Topcroft nearly threw it all away at the death.  With Melton needing 7 to bring the scores level, a succession of misfields and overthrows resulted in 5 runs off the last ball of the match.

Earlier Melton’s bowlers had restricted Topcroft to 268-5 (238 net).  Finlay Hughes (3-2-2-2) conceded just a single wide in his 3 overs, no runs coming off the bat, while Matt Carter took 2-7 and Walton 1-10.  Beth Harmer also bowled impressively with figures of 3-0-8-0 while Saxon Earley kept wicket extremely well, with a catch and a stumping.  Even so, the U11s have produced better bowling displays as 30 of Topcroft’s 68 runs came in extras, mainly wides and no-balls. Rhodes (14) and Potroff (11) top scored.

Chasing 239 to win in 16 overs should have been a comparatively easy task but, there were shades of an earlier defeat against group winners Horsford, as the batting fell apart in spectacular fashion.  Credit must go to the Topcroft bowlers who turned the game on its head but, hopefully some lessons will be learned about thinking things through and valuing your wicket.  Although everyone was disappointed at throwing away a semi-final place there were some, particularly Beth and Saxon, who played very well and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side..

We felt somewhat shell-shocked after the game but, hey, worse things happen – it’s only a game of cricket!  There’s always next year!

Steve Phoenix

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