U13's County Championsby Vince Reddick
After early morning rain the weather cleared up and our County Final against Abbotskerswell U13's took place at the County Ground on Tuesday. Fielding our strongest team we were confident of being able to secure a win.
Our visitors called the coin correctly and asked us to bat, which was what we wanted to do anyway. The team have been making some big scores this year built on solid and aggressive starts and we went for this strategy with Ben Green and Jake Reddick opening. The pair put on 19 in the firs two overs before Reddick was caught off of a suspected 'bump' ball. Not to worry, the ever reliable Jamie Telford joined Green at the crease and the pair set about the Abbot's bowling, keeping the rate betwee 7 and 8 per over. Visiting skipper Toby Codd, bowling off-spin, came into the attack and immediately removed the dangerous Ben Green (20) with his first ball. This saw Paddy Poustie join Telford, and in his own inimitable style he flayed the Abbott's bowlers to all corners, hitting two 4's and two 6's before retiring on 30. Jamie Telford retired on 30 soon after and the platform was set for a 140+ total. Abbotskerswell, to their credit, weren't going to give up without a fight and they fought back with late wickets. Only Tom Williamson put up a fight and his quick 13 not out included an imperious cover drive boundary which helped our boys finish on 128 for 6.
After a short break and a few words of wisdom (!!??!) from Vince Reddick, the boys took to the field knowing that if they bowled well and fielded as a team they would win the match. The defence started very well as opening bowlers Ben Green and Dom Gaywood bowled tight spells to restrict the Abbot's openers to only 15 from the first four overs, less than we achieved in two overs. As our accurate bowling and good fielding continued, the pressure on the visitors batting mounted. Exeter then took pace off the ball and the spin trio of Ben Howkins, Jamie Telford and Jake Reddick all claimed a wicket each as Exeter began to turn the screw. By now the run rate was up to 10 an over and increasing. Only two overs went for 10 or more and as the batsmen tried to slog their way out of trouble, it was left to the returning man-of-the-match Ben Green to claim 3 late wickets to finish with 4 for 15 from his four overs. Abbotskerswell put up a good fight but came up 15 runs short on 113 for 9 from their 20 overs. Our boys will now have to defeat the winning team from Gloucestershire to progress to the West of England & Wales Regional Finals later this month.
A very big thank you to Graham White who manned the bar on Tuesday night, Brian Gaywood for scoring agiain, and Mrs Gaywood for the lovely 'half time' biscuits, and not forgetting Andy who works tirelessly to prepare pitches for us and who we rarely see.