Three defeats in succession despite solid efforts with the ball
Avoncroft’s U12s and U13s have continued their season-long struggles with the bat in the “if you’re-out, you’re out” format with three defeats in their recent games against Barnt Green, Kidderminster and Pershore.
The U12s met Barnt Green in the first round of their county cup competition, and at the halfway stage, things looked evenly poised. Barnt Green’s batsmen had attacked from the off, showing some real power to put Croft’s bowlers and fielders under significant pressure. The Croft attack stood up to the challenge however and chipped away with wickets at regular intervals. Whilst this did little to slow down the run rate, Croft did manage to bowl their opposition out with 2 overs still to go; Barnt Green posting a strong but not out of reach score of 130. Sam Taylor picked up 2 wickets, with Matt Athey, Oscar Jinks, Kyle Shaw & Louis Griffiths chipping in with one apiece.
The first few overs of the reply were always going to be key and this proved to be exactly the case, although not for the reason Croft were looking for. Some accurate and penetrative bowling from the Barnt Green openers proved too much for Croft to handle, and after 5 overs they had slumped to 5-4. With the game now out of sight, Henry Jenkin and Fin Morris set about adding so respectability to the score and they achieved this and more with an excellent unbeaten stand of 89 for the fifth wicket. Both batsmen took time to play themselves in before expanding their range of shots later in their innings and can be proud of their efforts against a strong bowling attack. Jenkin finished on 17* and Morris on 21* as Croft reached 94-4, losing by 36 runs.
The following weekend, Avoncroft’s U12s hosted Kidderminster and, having been asked to bat first, they struggled to post a total that would put the opposition under any pressure. Kidderminster’s bowlers kept things very simple, bowling stump to stump, and this proved to be a good tactic as wickets tumbled. Kyle Shaw (10) and Jack Wright (10) showed some good application down the order, but Croft’s final score of 54 all out was never going to be enough. This proved to be the case as, despite an early wicket for Matt Athey, Kidderminster cruised to victory reaching 55-2 in the 11th over. Louis Griffiths continued his good form with the other wicket to fall.
Avoncroft’s U13s are still looking for their first win of the season after falling to a 55 run defeat at Pershore. Again, a strong performance in the field helped to set up a potential run chase with Louis Griffiths (3-14) and Harry Stone (2-13) leading the way with the ball. Jacob Newbold picked up his first wicket for the club, a just reward for his efforts since joining this year, and with a further wicket for Sam Taylor and two run outs, Croft bowled Pershore out for 114 in the final over of their innings.
Continuing a recent pattern, Croft spluttered along in reply with only opener Oscar Jinks (11) getting to double figures. Failing to get any sort of foot-hold in the run chase, Croft eventually finished on 59-8.
Match Report by Paul Athey, 29/06/18
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