Report by Neil Metcalfe (with title kindly supplied by Khalil Gibra), 4th August 2020
At half time of the under 9A match away against Dunnington U9A there seemed to be many more thorns than roses being seen by the Ovington team. This was very much a surprise to me but this was just one of several examples that was indicative of how this enjoyable match allowed a number of cricket learning opportunities to all. Some of this is explained below.
I suppose some pessimism can actually be expected at future coin tosses as for the third time in a row the toss was lost and Ovington were put into bat. Captain Alex Guino Taylor and Thomas Robinson went in to bat first and showed some good safe batting by keeping the opening bowlers wicketless. Their pair score of 17 was the highest net score, showing the use in not losing wickets. Debutant Lubo Snee looked very elegant with his shots when partnering Alex Lawson and the former went on to obtain his first boundary for the team. He was unlucky to lose a wicket when the ball slowly rolled into his stumps after hitting his leg, which led to another learning point to pass on to all concerning when a batter can kick the ball. Alex L hit a lovely off drive on one occasion for four. The highest gross pair was obtained when Wilf Metcalfe and Jack Gover battered together. Despite a run out on the first ball Wilf started hitting some boundaries to get the score moving on and Jack showed ongoing development with his shots and confidence in running between the wickets. He was unlucky to face the best ball of innings when an in swinger to his left-handed batting took out his off stump on the last ball. There was nothing that could have been done to that beauty of a delivery.
So at half time those with a number of games under their belts felt the team score of 64-4 was too low and “we are going to lose” was mentioned by several. It needed to be highlighted to the team that the playing conditions and how the first innings had gone was very much suited to the bowling side and taking into consideration the wicket, overcast weather and the wind blowing the bails off every other ball made it hard to bat on. This peptalk also used the fact that the previous week saw the B teams of both sides involved in games of one-run margin when 38 runs beat 37. The one-run loss for Ovington B was taken as a motivating force as well.
So with a bit more confidence the team set into the bowling and fielding with impressive gusto. Around-the-wicket bowlers Thomas and Jack started well and Jack only conceded two runs from his two overs. Dunnington had spurts of attacking shots and some were particularly big and providing the learning opportunity to consider putting an order in for some plastic bats, perhaps for the younger U9 squad players, such was the speed some of the shots zoomed to or over the boundary compared with our wooden ones. Alex L came back from being hit for a 6 to then being on a hat-trick three balls later after beautifully bowling a couple of opponents out in consecutive balls. Lubo impressed with his spin bowling and Alex GT displayed the best bowling seen so far in his fledging career which led to him being involved in a couple of wickets. It all came down to the last over with Dunnington needing seven wins to win. Wilf was the bowler and produced a perfectly timed maiden over to finish with bowling figures of two wickets for two runs and for Ovington to win by four runs.
So three wins from three already and the team move on to a couple of tricky-sounding fixtures against Woodhouse Grange and then York in the next couple of weeks. Tricky perhaps but with the performances and improvement maybe the team will start seeing roses and not thorns in the forthcoming fixture list.