The game may have been lost but the future's bright

Irvine vs Hillend XI
WDCU Sunday League - Division 3 South
Sunday 30th June 2013

Irvine 167 for 8
HIllend XI 73

Sunday saw a very young Hillend XI take to the field at Irvine with 7 young players, aided by 3 old men.

Kevin lost a toss yet again and we were fielding in conditions better suited for swimming. Opening the bowling Neil Flack (6-4-29) decided to try and impress our overseas bowling guru by bowling bouncers. The plan, if it was one, worked, as when he pitched it up, BINGO off stump knocked back. Under-13 Louis Ware (6-0-37) started at the other end and did well and was unlucky. Neil had to be removed after 2 overs as the tree of sawdust could not help him land safely . Ewan Stewart (3-0-21) replaced Neil and I can only assume the horizontal rain blinded the umpire when the ball crashed into batsman's pads, unfortunately that was to cost 40 runs.

The rain got heavier so an early feast was taken and with 6 boys under the age of 15 in the team, pizza and chocolate was well appreciated. Back out and an inspired piece of captaincy involved a second keeper, none other than Tom Batters. Kevin (6-2-19) came on and his third ball got the breakthrough as it pitched off and hit leg. Neil was brought back from the other end. Who would have thought the next 2 wickets would be caught Batters bowled Flack N - should it not be the other way round?

Under 11s Jamie Love (4-0-24) and Jamie Knowles (2-0-9) gained their adult bowling debuts and showed we have a lot to be positive about. Both were unlucky not to get wicket but bowled a good line and moved it around. Harry Briggs (3-2-20) came on to bowl and after a brief experiment of seam, reverted to plan A - off spin with a bar of soap (sorry ball) and got 2 wickets, one with a stumping from our new keeping superstar.

The final four overs saw the Flacks back on and both getting another wicket. Unfortunately the older not being close enough and the ball dropping a foot short and stopping Neil getting a five for. A special mention to our 2 late replacement fielders who are probably still sore after some amazing sliding stops so thanks Charles and Kenny who showed they still have it, looked to enjoy it and I am sure will be featuring again soon. Restricting Irvine to 167 for 8 was a great effort and all who played are to be commended for their efforts.

Batting, Neil (27) and Harry (8) put on 34 before Harry got a thin edge and rightly walked. Louis (6) joined and despite the need to leave to catch the last ferry took his time and looked comfortable until being caught very low down (a review may have saved him). Tom (3) came to the crease, and held an end up until Neil pulled a half tracker to mid on?????

Jamie Love played some lovely drives and looked good but could not get through the very close in field. Jamie Knowles only faced one ball after playing a superb drive was run out by a move Jonty Rhodes would have been proud of (a very harsh welcome to mens cricket and he would have made it on the under-11 shorter wickets). No excuse for Kevin (1) though, running himself out looking for a single he may have made 20 years ago. Shot of the day went to Ewan Stewart with a fantastic upper cut from a BOUNCER at an under-13 (great shot, Ewan) and carried his bat as Tom fell for 3 trying to land a ball on Mars, and Charles also soon departed after his maiden run.

So the game was lost but it was a great showing from the 6 players aged 15 and much younger. We must continue with the policy of youth regardless of how strong a team we face and hopefully work commitments will allow a couple of older players to bolster the youngsters. Also patience is required at all levels as the teams develop. Last week over 40 players aged 11 and under were at Wednesday evening's training and any ex-players are more than welcome to assist and pass on their knowledge.

So as I said at the start the future is bright.

Kevin Flack
Hillend XI Captain and Junior Convenor