Sunday 17 June 2012: SNCC U9s - 73 for 4 vs North Middlesex U9s - 53 for 6. Won by 20 runs (friendly).
With the weather making the season so far one of frustration, it was a pleasure to see our promising bunch of Under 9s get out in the middle at North Middlesex.
Captained by Tom Clements, Stokey batted first and were rocked by the first ball of the day that kept low, very low, on a pudding of a grass pitch and shot beneath William Holden's elegant forward defensive en route to the stumps. It was testament to the boys' disciplined batting (with Monti Mill and Jamie Lindsey being particularly resolute) that only another three wickets fell in the 18 over innings, with those dismissals all coming in one over from the pick of North Middlesex's bowling attack. With scoring proving to be so difficult, due to the low and sometimes non-existent bounce and the slow outfield, it was pleasing to see the only boundaries of the innings coming from Remy Mitchell and then Theo Bannister, before Luca Griffiths and William Holden batted very sensibly at the close, when North Middlesex's strike bowler returned to the attack. After their allocated 18 overs Stokey had compiled an impressive net 73 after losing just four wickets. This was deemed to be a par score on such a difficult wicket.
In reply North Middlesex were consistently hamstrung by tidy Stokey bowling with paceman Zanezwe Ngobese extracting some much-needed bounce from the surface. Other bowling highlights inclued a two wicket over from Monti Mill and another very tidy spell from the youngest Stokey player, U7 Larry Billson-Smith. Coming into the last over a mammoth 20 runs were needed for victory by North Middlesex, but under pressure U8 Ted Walker delivered the knock-out blow, clean-bowling one of North Middlesex's best batsmen. North Middlesex finished on a net score of 53 after losing 6 wickets in total. It really was a collective effort, with all ten boys coming out of the game with huge credit, while many thanks must also go out to our hosts who played the game in a great spirit.