Carlton U14 Eagles 201-4 ( Gav 47*, Gabi 42* and Jamie 33*) bt Grange Tornados 64 ao (Rory 4-0 and Innes 2-7)
The revelation of a 9 a side U14 league game with smaller boundaries has always been an exciting prospect. However last night’s game exceeded all expectations, apart from the weather ones.
Skipper Rory Ledingham won the toss by an absolute mile, according to him, and decided to bat first. The dynamic duo of Gav Murray and Robert Rowlands opened up for the Eagles. The pair took ten off the first over and noticed the variable bounce in the pitch. Boundaries certainly looked the dominant scoring method, as there was 7 hit in the opening three overs. Robert, unfortunately, missed a straight one in the third over. In stepped cousin Jamie Beattie who seemed comfortable at the crease and ran well with fellow Knights counterpart Gav. Despite the size of the boundary the pair managed to run three 2s and a handful of sharp singles. Gav retired in the 7th over on 32 and was replaced by the explosive Gabi Taylor. He lived up to expectations and got underway with a 6. Jamie let loose and started hitting the ball to all parts. Gabi deflected a few balls for four down to the vacant third man area. The pair ended up retiring at a similar point in the game, Beattie retiring with a 6 over long on and Gabi hitting 2 huge sixes that hurtled towards the performance squad’s fielding drills.
After 10 overs the Eagles were 127 for 1.
Jack Taylor and Rory Ledingham were the next batters to enter the fray. Both batters looked to push things on as they had a solid base already set. Rory was bowled second ball and in came Innes who looked solid at the crease. Jack hit a lovely four before being clean bowled. Zaara and Innes had a nice partnership, both rotating the strike well. Innes retired as Zaara hit a few clean boundaries up the hill before being bowled in the final over. Gav Murray came back in and hit a four cutting well, selfishly deciding not to take Shaun’s advice of a drop and run. He then demanded Shaun ran a 2 and once again would not give the strike back. He eventually did with 2 balls remaining, however, Gav ran a bye through to the keeper to ensure he faced the last ball. He hit it past long off for 4 and finished up on 47*.
The Eagle’s amassed 201 runs, a real team effort. The total showed the intensity of how the team batted and ran, and how good shots were rewarded on Grange Loan’s quick outfield.
After a slice of banana bread, courtesy of Sarah Ledingham, the Eagles bowling innings got going.
Shaun and Jamie opened up the bowling. Line and length looked to be crucial on the Grange Loan arti and short and wide raced away to the boundary. Shaun got the Eagles’ first wicket in the 3rd over with Gav taking the catch behind the stumps. Zaara and Rory Ledingham came on first change and kept things extremely tight, Zaara going for just 2 of her 2 overs. Rory’s first over was miraculous, after 2 dots first up he bowled the other opener full and straight taking the bails off of the middle stump. The new batsman was dismissed next ball again clean bowled, this time leg stump taking the brunt of the ball. With men around the bat and wild calls of hatrick ball, Rory duly trundled down the hill and delivered a ball, full straight, and into the middle stump. After the celebrations ended the team remembered there was still a ball remaining in the over, confirmed by coach Corne. The slip cording and men close in seemed to climb the more wickets in a row. Someone shouted ‘4 in a row’ and Rory complied. The pure line and length was sublime and really showed the rest of the side how to bowl effectively on an arti. Rory finished his overs off and ended with figures of 2-2-0-4. The heavens opened and play was halted as the performance squad and Eagles pushed the covers on to the Masterton wicket. Typically the rain stopped just as the covers were in place. The Taylor twins came on next and Gabi grabbed a wicket with his first ball, the reward of the pressure Jack built from his over. Shaun took the catch comfortably. Robert and Innes came on from the pavilion end and both bowled tidy spells. Innes took the final two wickets in two balls in his second over. The first being bowled and the second was caught by Rory diving forward.
An exceptional performance all round from a young U14 side scoring 200+ on a challenging pitch and defending it easily with everyone getting involved in the field. Thanks to Grange for playing through the elements, the parents for delivering the players, the groundstaff for the pacy outfield and to Corne for taking the side.