Reigate edge out O&LCC U10s
By Ben Abel
Boys impressive in the field in a narrow 13 run defeat in season opener.
It was a close run, low scoring opening match of a decidedly frosty morning in Reigate. Captain for the day, Sam Bream won the toss and sent the opposition in on the bounciest artificial pitch we’ll likely see (tennis ball bounce short of a length for the faster bowers). The boys put in a great performance in the field, restricting a good batting side to 229/10. The boys were sharp and focussed, supportive and encouraging, and we gave away few overthrows with good backing up and getting the ball back to the keeper or bowler. Wickets were shared among 5 bowlers (Bream, Peachey, Morel with a pair each, Record and Green & 2 run outs). Sam Ward was fantastic behind the stumps, and wonderfully vocal supporting his bowlers and offering advice to the field. Sam Bream took his captain responsibilities to heart and was all over his team with vocal support. Importantly we also took our chances (2 run outs) and held our catches with only 2 very difficult chances being put down. We did gave away 32 in wides, which proved decisive as we struggled to chase down the total as Reigate gave away only 9 in wides.
Reigate proved to be a very accurate bowling outfit, with a number of pacey bowlers, restricting Oxted to 216/10; but we were in it until the last few overs. They bowled very straight, and our boys struggled with the bouncy pitch. All our wickets were bowled, and work to do in practice on our defensive strokes and shot selection. We also struggled to get the hard ball away on a slow outfield, so little value was offered for some good strokes. Calling and running between the wickets was good overall, with no run outs and I am encouraged by the progress the boys have made and the enthusiasm showed, especially our last pair of Peachey and Roe who stole 7 byes by pressuring the field. The extras proved decisive as we out scored them in runs off the bat (31 vs 28).
All in all a good first outing in hardball cricket for the ESCL team, and an admirable, mature display by all the boys. I was tremendously proud of the engagement and attitude shown by all in the field, and there was little needed from the coaches to keep the boys switched on.
Shout out to top scorer Harry Record with 13, and bowlers Sam Bream (2 wickets for 3 runs off 3 overs), Jacob Green (1 for 4 off 2, with a maiden), Josh Morel (2 for 8 off 2) and Harry Record (1 for 7 off 3). Sharp catches by Arthur Peachey (over his head back-pedalling) and Sam Ward behind the stumps.