It’s been great to have nearly 30 Year 9&10 boys playing for the Club this summer, with several also playing some senior cricket. Chris Yates has done a great job coaching the squad, ably assisted by Tim Wheatley and Fraser Wilson. With a few games to go the A’s sit top of their League on run rate and the B’s are mid table with a 50% win rate. Sam Holland and Hamish Watson top the runs scored and wickets taken columns respectively. Notable batting performances include Harry McGuigan, Chris Ratcliffe and Oscar Young all scoring 40+ in the 8 overs allowed at this level. In the bowling Ollie Hinchcliffe took 3 wickets in 5 balls against Alton and Luke English took 3 in 6 balls against Dogmersfield.
- Sam Foskett
With a large squad of 50 boys in the U13’s we have had teams in each of the 3 divisions of the league coached by Richard Corfield, Chris Finney, Richard Cocks and Fraser Wilson. Jim Marshall has managed a packed fixture list for the A team who are locked in a tight battle for second place in the league, with an upcoming cup-final against the runaway league winners Farnham. The pairs format in the cup has suited our attacking style of play so confidence is high for the final. The B & C teams managed by Richard Corfield & Adam Meara, have found themselves in tough leagues with wins difficult to come by. However form & competitiveness has grown through the season and with nearly all the boys eligible for U13 again next year the future is looking bright.
- Richard Corfield
- Jackie Coffey
- Josephine Stevenson
The under 11 season has by any metric been a cracker (I’m not sure which metrics are defined by crackers, but you get the gist). The A team started this year with only one A squad player from last year, as such opted to play in Division 2. As the season has progressed it has become clear that if the boys take the field with the right frame of mind they are good enough for the first division, and will be a tough team to beat.
Throughout the league season we have opted to bat first when winning the toss – the plan being to take the first 8 overs sensibly – get a few not out players back into the shed and aim for somewhere in the region of 5 an over before opening up in the back half. The key to this has been running between wickets. The boys have improved beyond recognition in their desire to take quick singles, running the opposition ragged. In the field the bowling has been disciplined – mostly without being spectacular, but forcing the opposition to make shots – this has been backed up by excellent fielding. Considering the amazing weather, pitches have been bone dry and lightening fast – yet in the main the boys have stuck to their guns. A key thing we’ve been working on is fielding in pairs, one attack the ball the other cover, two players back up, to give licence for players to shy at the stumps.
The most notable match of the season so far was an away game against Odiham. They definitely fancied themselves. If you dropped the ball it raced away for four, such was the pace of the outfield. They batted first and after ten sweltering overs were 85-1. Our boys were hot and tired, but everyone was still throwing themselves at everything, every ball was applauded, every misfield was greeted with a “bad luck” – there was no blaming… The next ten overs were much tighter, and we restricted them to 137 – we’d stolen back 33 runs, a tribute to guts, discipline and above all team work. Still 137 is no walk in the park, you can’t get behind the run rate early, but neither do you want to throw away wickets. The first pair went out bristling with intent, running everything, including one that went to the wicket keeper and he juggled it a moment. They both retired after 4 overs with the score on 40! The tone was set and we won the game at the end of the 14th over – by over 3 they had stopped playing for each other, over throws, tantrums and constant carping at misfields.
The boys had a great run to the semi final in the cup. There we were beaten by a better team in Eversley – it was the day after our amazing Odiham game and undoubtedly some of the boys must have been out late celebrating, as we definitely suffered a hangover. We were well beaten, though the gulf in class wasn’t as large as the gulf in talent.
The under 11 Bs are about as interesting as cricket can get. Roughly half the players are moving from incrediball to hardball. With all the gear, learning to run (or not) in pads etc.. And in the main children who are relatively new to the game, have an interest – some of these lads will have played A team this year and others will next year. The trick is balancing fun with trying to get the children to play in a way that will enable them to continue to progress as they get older.
It is fair to say our bowling and fielding has been consistently better than our batting. Everyone gets to bowl their allotted two overs and while we have some really good bowlers, the most pleasing aspect has been the improvement of all the bowlers but most specifically some of the players who may have been considered weaker have really stuck to the job and come through as decent bowlers.
The batting early season was troublesome – we have worked hard in training to get the lads thinking more of defence, playing the ball on the ground, taking fewer risks. Like Gareth Southgate our mantra is learn and enjoy… but we don’t mind winning along the way as well, losing wickets has consistently been a factor in our games. The second half of the season has seen a definite improvement on the batting front.
So how has the season panned out – games have been tight. The Stratfield Turgis match was one such tied game – for starters playing against a team with two names and the second is Turgis is fun. We bowled first and bowled well – restricted them to 263 from their 20 overs – pretty good going. Sensible batting would get us there… or so you’d think. At the ten over mark we’d got to 226 (teams start on 200) – slightly behind the rate, but not out of touch… At 16 overs we were on 249 – last pair in, 15 to win… presuming we didn’t lose any wickets. Which we promptly did in their first over, a run out (really lads). What the two lads (Hugo and Nacho) did really well, was take singles off nearly every ball. Of the 24 deliveries they faced, they scored runs on 18, pretty impressive. At the end of over 19 Rowledge were on 262. Two runs and it was ours. A single off the first ball and the scores were tied – one more single, dead bat the rest… oh no, second ball and we lose a wicket. Suddenly we are five behind, with four balls to come. Two dot balls, its running away from us. 6 to win two balls to go. The penultimate ball is smashed for four. It now comes down to this one moment. This one bowler, this one ball…. Dot ball they win. Anything above a single we win…. The boys managed to scamper a single, amazing scenes, crowd goes wild. It’s a tie.. We’ve tied more games than I own ties. I’ve never been involved in a tied match. I think there have only been two tied tests in 140 years of test cricket, but Rowledge U11s have managed two in a season.
Several others with a run here or there. 6 more runs across 4 games would have brought four more wins. The closeness of the contests have made for really exciting cricket, played in the right spirit. Great stuff guys.
- Benj Chilcott
The year 4 group has enjoyed an excellent year. The group boasts 36 children which produced two teams, the Rowledge Spartans and the Rowledge Barbarians. The Spartans have had a very successfully time in Hampshire League 1, suffering only one defeat in eleven matches and taking top spot with ten superb victories. The Barbarians have had a slightly tougher time in league 3,however still managed three wins and ran a number of teams very close. The group has made huge progress in all key disciplines of the game, batting, bowling, fielding etc., and pleasingly the ‘handstand/flossing count’ has reduced to only approx. 4/5 per session. .
- Martyn Jagger