After their unbeaten run of seven games carried Stokey's Under 13s to the top of the indoor league, the team were just three finals day games from potential glory.
First up, what should have been a routine victory against North London Bs. After a shaky start with the bat, complacency looked as if it might get the better of them. But, as has been the case throughout the indoor season, Stoke Newington’s accurate bowling and razor sharp fielding ensured there would be no slip-up.
Stoke Newington 60 – North London 19
Game two, against Hornsey A started ominously with what had been up to now the most reliable of batting pairs, Henry and Dillon struggling to lay bat on ball. But the next three pairs helped post a more than respectable 84, with Aman and Stanley the pick of the pairs, scoring 33. Again, tight bowling and fielding restricted Hornsey to 48.
Two wins out of two meant the final and the title beckoned. Standing between the boys and the trophy, North Middlesex, too often their nemesis. Could they overcome their bogey team? Again, the boys batted first, confident that whatever total they accumulated they’d have a fighting chance of defending. But, with the score on 12 at the halfway stage, the coaches feared past defeats to North Middlesex were weighing on the boys’ minds. The last two pairs betted sensibly, helping the team reach 46 – not a huge score but one they felt they could defend. Outstanding bowling, particularly by Tom Holden who took four wickets in the penultimate over, excellent keeping by Henry and the now almost expected high-class fielding, made victory seem comfortable in the end, as North Middlesex finished their innings on 10.
Congratulations to the whole squad for a richly deserved reward for their skill, coolness under pressure and fantastic team spirit. At least seven of the nine-strong squad have been playing together for over five years and that understanding proved invaluable.
Squad: Sal Whitehead (C), Henry Pratt (w) Tom Holden, Tom O’Shea, Stanley Bilson-Smith, Aflie Kingsley-Smith, Aman Singh, Dillon Singh, Harry Tanner