Extras dominate as U10s hold nerve to sneak win over Primrose Hill

Saturday 11 June 2011:  SNCC U10s - 70 for 6 vs Primrose Hill U10s - 51 for 7.  Won by 19 runs (friendly).

An inexperienced (and slightly rusty?) U10s side edged out Primrose Hill in a nerve-wracking encounter, despite scoring fewer than 20 runs off the bat and with only two wickets falling to its bowlers.  The absence of training over the half-term break meant that both sides' bowling was rather wayward with a steady flow of wides and no-balls comprising the bulk of the runs scored on a drizzly morning at the Marshes.

Stoke won the toss and chose to bat only to encounter very good length and line by Primrose Hill's opening bowlers which prompted a flurry of early wickets.  Subsequently, Stokey's batsmen were hamstrung by tentative strokeplay and a curious disinclination to run singles.  Some urgency was belatedly injected down the order by the pugnacious Jasper Schofield (who struck the host's only boundary with a clumping pull shot), but a total of 70 looked difficult (but not impossible) to defend.

Despite losing wickets to run outs at regular intervals, Primrose Hill made steady progress with some of their younger batsmen playing the best shots of the day.  With six overs remaining, the visitors had moved to within nine runs of the victory target with two Stokey debutants still to complete their bowling spells.  However, willed on by their team-mates and to the acclaim of the home support, rookies Thomas O'Shea and Daniel Evans somehow managed to staunch the flow of extras before a direct-hit run out by Harry Boulding gave Stoke some breathing space.

Tight fielding by the whole team, combined with nerveless death bowling by Ted Dixon (who sensibly cut down his pace in favour of accuracy) and Harry Boulding (comfortably the best bowler on display), then kept the visitors at arm's length leaving Stokey the winners by 19 runs.  This slightly flattering margin of victory certainly exaggerated the margin between the two sides, but should not detract from the home team's fighting spirit and composure under pressure.