Cumbria under-12s take part in Minor Counties Cricket Festival
Last updated at 12:27, Tuesday, 09 August 2011
Cumbria under-12s travelled to the annual Minor Counties Cricket Festival, at the Royal Hospital School near Ipswich, and following some very close results finished sixth in the event.
The format of the tournament was eight minor county teams split into two groups. Each side in the group played all the others sides along with one other side from the other group.
The winners of each group played off for the overall winners of the tournament on finals day whilst the two second, third and fourth placed teams played each other for tournament rankings.
Points were awarded for wins with bonus points for batting and bowling.
The format was to encourage positive, winning cricket over the five days and each side could bat a maximum of 45 overs in their innings.
Day 1 - Cumbria v Norfolk
Cumbria opened against a team from outside their group, in Norfolk. Losing the toss, Cumbria fielded and were on the end of some very competent batting.
Two Norfolk players reached solid half centuries and after 43 overs, they declared on 200 for 6. Pick of the Cumbrian bowlers was Thomas Hawden with 2-19 from his nine overs.
In reply, Cumbria got off to a sluggish start and were 78 for 5 after 23 overs with none of the top order getting in.
However, an entertaining 55 from Steven Moss turned the game and with support from Matthew Atkinson, the game became very nicely poised with either side capable of winning and with Cumbria having two extra overs to get there following the declaration.
With four overs left, the Cumbrian’s required a run a ball to complete a superb and unlikely run chase but with three needed to win of the last ball, Atkinson was caught and Cumbria were two runs short of the Norfolk total.
However, batting and bowling points meant the losing draw was not drastic to their chances and by the end, a large crowd had gathered round the pitch to witness a superb and exciting game of cricket.
Day 2 – Cumbria v Lincolnshire
Day 2 saw skipper and opening bat Stables ruled out withh a foot injury.
Cumbria won the toss and stand-in captain Steven Moss chose to bat. Cumbria batted through to 157 for 8 in their 45 overs which after a positive start was probably about 20 runs short of what they would have liked.
Top order bats Liam Trevaskis (33) and Greg Cameron (24) got starts but again failed to go on.
Cumbria knew they had to bowl tightly and some good bowling from Sam Hall (3 for 30 from 7 overs) got Cumbria into a winning position with Lincolnshire at 137 for 9 with five overs remaining.
However, the last wicket could not be found whilst the opposition batters kept nibbling away and with 12 balls left, Lincolnshire achieved their winning target of 158. For the second day running, the Cumbrian’s had come within a whisker of victory, but this time tasted defeat.
Day 3 – Cumbria v Suffolk
Skipper Stables returned to lead the side on day three and on losing the toss, Cumbria were asked to bat. They made a solid start with the top order again contributing something but not pushing on.
Bruce Spencer and Sam Barrett both got into the 20s before losing their wickets.
The middle order failed to fire and scoring slowed significantly when it wanted to accelerate.
Only Thomas Hawden at No 10 got the scoreboard moving quickly with a cameo innings. Cumbria ended their 45 overs on 156 for 9 – a very similar score to the previous day.
Cumbria’s fielding was excellent on the day which kept them in with a shout with Liam Trevaskis particularly athletic in the covers.
Suffolk batted steadily but also lost wickets and with four overs left, were 134 for 9.
Surely it couldn’t be two days running when Cumbria couldn’t get that last wicket to win the game?
Unfortunately it was and the last pair of Suffolk batters got them home with two balls to spare to inflict another nail-biting loss on the Cumbria boys.
In the daily reports posted at the festival, the Cumbrian team were labelled ‘the entertaining Cumbrian’s’ which was testament to the three close and exciting matches they had been involved in.
For the sake of three more runs in one match or one wicket in the other two, the boys would have been three games in with three wins.
Instead they had a losing draw and two defeats but the closeness of the games kept them in contention due to excellent bonus points earned. To progress as group winners, Cumbria simply had to beat the form team on day four.
Day 4 – Cumbria v Buckinghamshire
In the final group match, Buckinghamshire won the toss and elected to bat.
In their previous matches, they had scored heavily and this match was no exception where they reached 208 for 6 in their 45 overs.
The performance on day four from the Cumbrians was below that of the first three days and perhaps the closeness and intensity of those encounters had taken its toll. Pick of the bowlers was Sam Hall who although a little expensive took two wickets.
In reply, the Cumbria innings never really got going with only opener Marcus Stables (34) getting into his stride and wickets being given up easily.
Cumbria finished their 45 overs on 118 for 7 thanks to a late flourish from Hall (23 not out) who unfortunately also took a blow to the foot which ruled him out of the last day.
After four days, Cumbria ended up third out of four in their group and could probably count themselves a little unlucky.
That put them in the 5th/6th place play-off against a Cambridgeshire side who had scored runs for fun throughout the festival, but had failed to bowl sides out turning potential big wins into draws.
Day 5 – Cumbria v Cambridgeshire
As in previous days, Cambridgeshire won the toss and chose to bat having undoubtedly the strongest batting line up on show at the festival.
They hit the ball properly and they hit it hard, turning shots into runs with ease and giving a master class in running between the wickets.
Cambs didn’t disappoint on the final day when matches became win/lose rather than potential draws and they started extremely quickly putting bat to ball and raced to 278 for 5 in their 45 overs and when it was noted that two of their batsmen who had scored centuries early in the tournament hadn’t in fact batted, their strength in depth was impressive.
Only James McGown from the Cumbria side impressed with the ball taking 4 for 43 in his 10 overs.
Cumbria set off to chase and openers Stables (39) and Barrett (27) easily got to 50 from 10 overs.
However, wickets started to fall including that of skipper Stables to what can best be described as a comedy of errors not of his own making and the Cumbrian innings eventually subsided to 133 all out which was the first time in the week that Cambridgeshire had bowled a team out.
In fairness, the Cumbria boys were all trying to be positive in a very hard run chase.
The tour party was: Marcus Stables (Cockermouth – Captain), Greg Cameron, Liam Trevaskis, Sam Hall (all Penrith), Steven Moss, James McGown, Sam Barrett (all Keswick), Bruce Spencer (Carlisle), Thomas Hawden (Haverigg), Daniel Wright, Aiden Wright, Matthew Atkinson (all Hawcoat Park) Thomas Gregg (Ulverston)
The coaching team with the touring party was: David Bell, Nigel Dawson (both Millom) and Mark Cameron (Penrith).
First published at 11:30, Tuesday, 09 August 2011
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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