The Under 18s had their first cup outing, looking to defend their well earned title from the previous year starting off against SMRH. They fielded a team with both experienced heads such as Cheeky and Ruari along with relative newbies such as Callum Sibley. There was also a stand in keeper Keshav for the day who did a tidy job behind the stumps for a part timer.
It was a wet outfield due to the heavy sustained downpour the night before so playing on the Astro was the best option to get a positive game in. This meant that fielding wouldn't be easy with many players sporting their brightly coloured trainers with their whites as Carlton fielded first. Gav and Rory opened up bowling tidily upfront combining well to build pressure until the opener, Savage, was stumped courtesy of quick glove work by Keshav. Rory bowled through and finished with figures of 1-7 off his 4 while Gav changed ends to allow Harris to turn his arm over. The two also bowled well getting wickets to fall at regular intervals with good shots being hit from the odd loose ball. Harris got his man, Sharkey, LBW in the 6th over when we was looking good on 14 after having hit a six up the hill off Gav's bowling previously. From then on wickets fell quickly with bowlers bowling very straight lines forcing the batsmen to hit, this was coupled with some good out-fielding too, the highlight of which was a direct hit run out from Ruari off his own bowling. Cheeky operated well bowling his four overs at the death conceding just 11 runs and picking up 2 good wickets. SMRH finished well with a quick 14 from Kapoor with good shots all around the wicket. The highlight of the batting innings was a well made 25 from Scott Blain that eventually came to an end in the 19th over when he was cleaned up by Cheeky. The visitors ended on 93/6 with all bowlers picking up wickets and keeping it tight.
After a quick turnaround Carlton's openers, Harris and Angus, walked out looking to knock off the below par 93 that had been set. Harris began hitting from ball one with ease as the ball was coming on well off the astro. They made a flying start and a solid base as Harris raced along hitting many boundaries including sixes while Angus rotated the strike from the other end picking up singles. The first wicket, of the set Harris on 47, fell after 10 overs. With the score already on 66 it meant others could go in and knock off the last few. Ruari was the first to try this but unfortunately was bowled having only scored 1 run, this brought the skipper to the crease who too failed to reach double figures as he was stumped by a standing back keeper on 8. While these wickets fell at the other end Angus kept a cool head and delivered some killer blows towards the end to put the game to bed including a huge six, giving the man on the moon a job to do, as it sailed over the far boundary still rising as it hit the tree 3 quarters of the way up. This saw the game won with Angus on an unbeaten 34 having anchored the innings.
Overall it was positive that a game was played given the heavy rain of the day and night before so all credit goes to the ground staff for that. It was a strong and positive start to the Under 18s title defence but still with improvements to be made. Onwards and upwards to the next round against Kelso!