Under-11s win the title in grand style

Drumpellier Under-11 XI v Greenock Under-11 XI

Having secured the title on Friday night with a win against Helensburgh, this terrific Greenock Under-11 team wanted to complete the season with a good win. Could they make it 14 wins from 15 matches to win the title by two clear points?

Greenock batted first starting early hoping to complete a full 20 / 20 before the light faded.

Harry Briggs and Tom Forrest opened the batting for Greenock in probably the windiest game of the season. The Drumpellier opening bowlers used the wind to great advantage making batting very tricky. Progress was slow but in these conditions batting and running was very sensible and the boys made a good start finishing the first 5 overs with a positive 15 runs.

The same was true of the next 5 overs with Stefan Armstrong and Baljeevan Bopari struggling slightly to pick up the flight of the ball. Having said that it was only three balls into their first over that Stefan hit one of his mighty sixes, a bit of a trademark for the season. Very few extras were bowled by the Drumpellier bowlers forcing the Greenock pair to push for the odd single, one such attempt leaving Baljeevan short of the crease for a run out. After a frustrating 5 overs, pegged down slightly by the bowling attack, Greenock had done well to add positive runs to the total.

The windy conditions began to work in Greenock’s favour as some of the younger Drumpellier bowlers struggled themselves with the wind, adding 20 extras to Greenock’s total. David McQuat batted very well with great support from Drishya Neupane. Including the extras, this pair added a very solid 43 runs (with no loss) to the total with David striking a succession of fours. This was the innings Greenock needed to allow them to settle.

Jack Currie and Jonny Murray completed the final 5 overs with another solid and sensible display of batting, communicating well and taking advantage of the right balls. The conditions again made hitting boundaries difficult and it was a case of taking the singles to keep the scoreboard ticking over but Jack could not have finished his season without a mighty swipe and he too knocked one over the rope for six. With no wickets lost and including extras, this pair added a further 36 runs leaving Greenock on a very respectable 114 for 3 (Net 99 runs.)

Perhaps a little concerned that Drumpellier might just have a hundred runs in them Greenock’s opening bowler Jack Currie had only one thing on his mind, wickets! He didn’t disappoint with two wickets in his first over followed by another in the 3rd against the opening pair. Jack completed a very successful day with a wicket off the penultimate ball to finish on 4 for 17. Harry Briggs (2 for 13) and David McQuat (4 for 12) were equally as determined and accurate, each taking a wicket in the opening 5 over spell leaving Drumpellier on a negative score of -13 runs after 5 overs.

David McQuat was unlucky not to get himself hat trick 2 overs into the next pair, having seen Jonny Murray (1 for 12) take a wicket off his very first ball. Tom Forrest’s dangerously accurate looping ball suffered in the wind slightly but he and Drishya Neupane. bowled out their overs restricting Drumpellier to a running total of -2 after ten overs.

With the light beginning to fade and a bit of confidence setting in, the bowling rate quickened up. The wind helped push a few balls wide but Drumpellier were not able to get behind the ball to threaten runs in any great number. The wickets tally faltered slightly but by restricting the batsmen to the odd single confidence was growing. After 15 overs including a solid effort from Baljeevan Bopari, Drumpellier had just crept into positive figures sitting on +8.

The final batting pair took to the field requiring 92 runs but with Harry, Jack and Jonny closing out the bowling over, the final 5 overs this was never going to be likely. Bowling was intelligent however and the boys new they had to just carry on what they had been doing so successfully over the season. With dot balls and singles sharing the boxes on the score card, it took a wicket each from Harry and Jack to make up for a few wind blown wides to leave Drumpellier well short, finishing on 76 for 11. (Net 21)

At the end of a very workman-like match Greenock realised that the League title was well and truly theirs (by a clear two points) and the celebrations of Friday continued all over again. They leapt all over an equally excited coach ( Gordon McQuat) and if they could have lifted him above their shoulders off the square they would have.

You don’t always get the opportunity to see the team you support win “the title” and it is not always that important that they do. But it has been a pleasure to watch this group of very talented young cricketers play and to see them enjoying their cricket so much. They thoroughly deserved to win the title this year and everyone that has played over the season has played their part in the team’s success. Well done to you all and thank you for the terrific entertainment you provide us with.

Gavin Murray