OLCC U9 ESCL opening match v Reigate CC
Reigate no match for Captain Kearns and his team
An average Saturday in May - we know it all too well: cricket matches down at Dairy Lane, tea, biscuits and all things sugary at 10:30 in the morning, new season cricket whites getting filthy on the pitch, but apparently no sunshine or warmth.
The U9 ESCL opening fixture of the season was against Reigate CC who narrowly beat us last year. Fired up from last nights intense training session down at Master Park, the OLCC team arrived ready to front-up to a new season and put right last year's result against our opponents from west of the M23.
Captain Kearns politely and confidently welcomed the opposition coach and captain, who won the toss and sent OLCC in to bat. Acclimatisation to competitive cricket out in the middle was quick - good communication, limited mix-ups, and each pair ending with a contribution in the double digits.
Middle order assassin, Satterly was brutal in dealing with some wayward deliveries from the Reigate bowlers and despatched balls across the boundary left right and centre, racing to a quick-fire 15. Harry Record, in his first outing for OLCC, also showed absolutely no mercy and sent fielders diving for cover with some of the fiercest batting seen down at the ‘Lane in recent history, top scoring with 17. Wiseman steered the ship home with a very solid and well put together 12 in the final pairing.
All of this resulted in a very respectable 99 run total off 20 overs, with the loss of just 6 wickets.
Following the ever popular tea break, the team sat down quietly and we spoke about things like concentration, commitment, encouragement to team mates and “thinking” cricket. Kearns led from the front and the tone was set for a really solid display in the field. New signing Huxley Maunder-Allan opened the innings with a first ball wicket and we never really looked back. The Reigate batsmen were constantly frustrated with tight bowling, but also energetic and intelligent fielding that smothered the thought of singles being stolen or overthrows being conceded. This resulted in fewer run out opportunities than usual, but the 3 that presented themselves were taken without hesitation or panic. The 3rd of these being a direct hit from Odendaal at square, with only 1 stump visible which really capped off a fine fielding performance by the entire team. A special mention for Harmer who, nursing a thigh strain from training, was unable to bowl and took up position at back-stop, never missing a ball and saving the team at least 20 runs in the process. Contributions from every member of the team without exception. Additional wickets from Record and Kearns, who rounded off the match with his final (and quickest) delivery of the morning sending the bails flying; first and last ball of the innings wickets book-ending a solid display by all the bowlers.
Reigate ended with 57 for the loss of 6 and in truth never threatened the OLCC target. A satisfying season-opening 42 run win for the boys brought some brightness to the gloomy Crockham Hill skies. Much to work on as we head into the season but a super start to the campaign with a measured, intelligent, and at times brutal approach with the bat and in the field. The crowning glory on all this, though, was the spirit the game was played in; our boys encouraged each other, showed respect to their opponents and were very gracious winners indeed. Proud coaching staff.
Thanks to all those who helped set up (Mr Bines for ensuring a completely symmetrical field!) and to Mrs Kearns for a lovely tea delivered in record time.