Avoncroft U11s started their season in fine style, winning a very close game against Ombersley off the last ball.
Batting first, Ombersley looked confident early on, but Croft stuck to their task and were rewarded when a great piece of fielding from Kyle Shaw not only stopped what looked like a certain 4, but also led to the run out of Jack Harris for 6. A second wicket followed shortly after as Ben Taylor took a good catch off the bowling of Louis Griffiths, and when Shaw and Fin Morris both hit the stumps in their first overs, Ombersley had been reduced to 27-4. A partnership of 35 between Miles Herron (24) and Ed Bowers (11) started to take the game away from Croft but both were bowled, by Ben Huxley and Henry Jenkin respectively, as they looked to pick up the run rate. Matthew Athey returned to take the final two wickets, finishing with 2-11 for 4 overs as Ombersley finished on 83 all out off 19 overs. Louis Griffiths was the pick of the bowlers, with 1-10 off 4 overs, but it was a good effort from all the boys, with 6 different bowlers picking up wickets.
In reply, Avoncroft suffered their usual top order collapse in the face of some excellent bowling from Jamie Thorp (3-10). Thorp reduced Croft to 11-3 in the fourth over, leaving them with some rebuilding to do. Fin Morris and Matthew Athey set about the task with determination and a great deal of concentration, seeing off some good bowling and waiting patiently for the bad balls to hit. The pair put on 41 for the fourth wicket, batting through until the 14th over when Morris was bowled for 15. Athey was joined by Kyle Shaw to continue to run chase, which moved along smoothly until an excellent piece of fielding ran Shaw out with a direct hit. That left Croft on 62-5, needing 22 off the last 20 balls. Henry Jenkin came to the crease and played a supporting role as Athey picked the pace. Needing 6 off the last over for victory, Athey (29no) hit the first ball for 4, before taking a single off the next. This left Jenkin facing the final balls on his 11th birthday, and in the face of tight bowling from Miles Herron, the boys stole a single from the last ball to see Croft home for a 3 wicket win.
Match Report by Paul Athey, 30/4/17
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