4 Debuts in a week signal a positive future for Croft’s juniors
Avoncroft Under 11s had a mixed week in terms of results, with a 29 run defeat at Cookhill followed up with a 31 run victory over Alvechurch & Hopwood in two friendly pairs contests. The real story however was the impressive performance of 4 debutants who all made positive contributions to their side’s performances.
On Tuesday, Croft travelled to Cookhill; a team we know well and one who always play the game in the right spirit. Batting first, Cookhill got off to a bit of a flyer with Smith scoring 15 in his four overs. Sam Taylor helped to peg back the scoring by picking up a wicket in his opening spell but the pick of the bowlers early on was Rohan Levy who, in his first game for Avoncroft, swung the ball at good pace to keep the Cookhill batsmen in check. The hosts continued to bat positively but Croft hung in the game – Oisin Morgan bowled excellently to achieve figures of 1-11 in 3 overs and was well supported by Aidan Parish in his spell of 0-8 from 2. Joe Neeson also deserves mention on his debut, showing great promise with the ball as well as commitment in the field. Cookhill finished on 96-2 for a net score of 290.
In reply, Croft never really got into the game as only 6 runs were scored off the bat by the first 3 pairs. Their “experienced” final pair of Fin Morris and Sam Taylor added respectability to the score, shaking off the shackles with some electric shot-making. Both batsmen scored 15 which will hopefully give them some confidence to play with the same freedom in their County league games. Croft finished on 79-6 for a net total of 261.
The following day, Croft took a different 8-a-side team to visit Alvechurch. Jack Wright and Jamie Stewart were the debutants this time around, and both contributed with excellent performances. Jack impressed with some very tight bowling in which he picked up 1-13 in his 3 overs whilst Jamie was unlucky not to join him with a wicket of his own. Jamie did get his name on the scoresheet with a composed run out as part of an energetic fielding performance. All of Croft’s bowlers can take credit, with Ben Athey (1-2), Henry Jenkin (1-6) and Oscar Jinks (1-10) also in the wickets. Alvechurch finished on 52-5 for a net total of 227.
Croft’s reply was measured early on, but got some much needed impetus from Toby Smith who scored 10 runs in his 4 overs for the loss of one wicket. With one pair to go, the game was still in the balance, but Matthew Athey (14no) and Henry Jenkin (2no) stayed calm to see Croft home with a combination of elegant drives and positive running between the wickets. Croft finished on 83-5 to win by 31 runs. The two games showcased an impressive depth in the Under 11s squad with 16 different players contributing to some enjoyable cricket.
Match Report by Paul Athey, 28/06/2017
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