OLCC U8s put in a commanding performance!
By Tim Francis
A comfortable win for the U8s at Crockham Hill
On a lovely, warm day at the picturesque Crockham Hill ground, OLCC's U8s comfortably beat Merstham CC U8s in their ESCL league match. Merstham won the toss and elected to bat, making a solid start as the first two pairs put on a respectable 42-1 from the first eight overs. OLCC then put a tight squeeze on the run scoring in overs 9-13, backed up by some accurate bowling, good fielding and backing up behind the stumps. Max Maunder-Allan then really put the skids on Merstham's innings by taking three wickets in over 15 - including a fantastic diving catch by Noah Enston. Merstham's innings petered out somewhat after that with Ben Starr and Sam Francis picking up a wicket each in the final two overs. Maunder-Allan finished the innings with superb bowling figures of 4 wickets for 9 runs, and Merstham ended up with a net score of 270 for 7.
OLCC's openers Max Biggs and James Castell got the innings off to cautious but solid start, before numbers 3 and 4, Ben Donovan and Noah Enston, upped the ante with some good hits to the boundary. 251 for 1 after 8 overs meant OLCC was in a great position with plenty of overs left to close out their second league win of the season. Sam Francis and Josh Lally, in at 5 and 6 respectively, then took the game away from Merstham with some really impressive hitting. Powerful straight drives by Lally and pulls to the legside from Francis saw the pair add 41 runs in their four overs. Maunder-Allan continued his excellent game by top-scoring with 27, including one big six over square-leg, and with Joseph Nebel, Zac Newland and Ben Starr OLCC's score progressed to 337 for 7 by the end of the innings.
It was a really impressive performance from the U8s, with improvement seen in all aspects of the game. The bowling was more consistent, which is testament to coach Ed Luck's recent guidance, and the fielding continued to show improvement as the boys were more aware of backing up and encouraging each other. There was genuine joy amongst the players when their catches and run outs were successfully executed! The batting and running between the wickets also showed improvement, although a bit more urgency wouldn't go amiss - it is usually safe to take a quick run when you hit the ball in U8s cricket!
Many thanks to all the parents who came to watch and help with the set-up and tidy-up, and particularly to Jon Biggs for umpiring and scoring and to Juliette Nebel for providing the match tea! All in all, a very enjoyable morning of cricket - well done to all of the players!