U9s NEC softball - superb effort in defeat against a strong Sutton side
By Ben Abel
Sutton's ringers make the difference in a 26 run defeat for the Grasshoppers
On paper this match shouldn't have been as close as it was. With Sutton short on softball players for this fixture they drafted in four of their Monday night hardball team. By contrast we had just one hardball player in our side.
It was one of my favourite matches of the season and parents should be very proud of all the boys efforts as we fought so valiantly, with some of the boys producing season's best performances.
Captain for the day Daniel Cawthorne won the toss and sensibly chose to field first. This meant we only had to contend with 26 degree heat at 9:30 in the morning rather than the 30+ degrees it got to whilst Sutton were in the field!
Daniel led from the front with his bowling, conceding just 7 runs from his 2 overs and not bowling any no balls or wides.
Possible champagne moment of the season for Laurence Lewis as he bowled the Sutton batsman with the first ball of the match. We've had a first ball of the innings dismissal this season but this was a new highlight - a Diamond Duck.
Sutton struggled early on with another wicket in the first over caught by George Abel keeping wicket. Two more wickets followed in the 7th over, one a run out after a good throw to the bowlers end by Frederick Bruwer and the other a clean bowled by Jamie Harmer. Frederick followed up with a wicket of his own, clean bowled, in the 8th over and Sutton were only on 214-5.
Sutton's four hardball players batted in pairs three and five and between them scored 50 runs off the bat with only one wicket going down off the last over of the innings well taken by Jamie at mid on. Whilst we didn't bowl any no balls and conceded just 2 byes thanks to some excellent wicket keeping particularly by Liam McElligott, we did concede a lot of wides (45) and this, combined with their hardball players' run scoring, took Sutton onto a formidable total of 291 - 6 at the end of the innings.
With the exception of the wide count though, we couldn't have asked for any more from our fielding. Concentration was good and boundaries were saved by good fielding, catches were taken and run outs secured. A great effort by the boys.
When we batted we stood up well to some good bowling by Sutton, only losing three wickets to their hardball players and eight in total. Runs off the bat were hard to come by though and we relied on 22 in wides and 20 in no balls to boost the total.
The particular batting highlight was Liam's 16 runs off 16 balls with three boundaries. One a beautiful drive through the covers right out of Friday night training again!
At 238-7 after 16 overs, the Sutton boys were confident of victory. A six off the first ball of the final pairing had their fielders retreating to the boundary in droves. With the last four overs bowled by Sutton's hardball boys it was an excellent partnership between George and Sammy Adams who ran brilliantly despite the heat adding twenty eight as we finished on 265 - 8, going down to a very honourable defeat by just 26 runs.
A real team effort but Man of the Match was Liam McElligott for his run a ball 16 runs, superb wicket keeping conceding no byes in five overs with a brilliant diving stop to save a certain boundary and good accurate bowling conceding just seven runs off his two overs.