Under 11 girls vs Haywards Heath

Under 11 girls vs Haywards Heath

Under 11 team pic against Haywards Heath Top from left : Eva, Margot, Matilda, Frankie, Phillippa . Front from left : Jo, Lola and Harriett

The under 11’s welcomed Haywards Heath to the Green for their very first outing to the hallowed turf. Hayward Heath’s parents and players commented on how beautiful our grounds are (despite the drainage channels … ). Who were we to argue – its a useful reminder how privileged and lucky we are to play on such a picturesque ground – something we all take for granted. The Green really sparkles in the sunshine – and Thursday evening was no exception. Who would want to play their cricket anywhere else ?

A couple of our players recalled playing againt Haywards Heath at their ground earlier in the season and remembered their superfast Sussex bowler bowling at over 100 miles an hour. Who could possibly forget her. Some of our players even had nightmares thinking that they would have to face her again. Everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief when they informed us that she wasn’t playing. Phew !

Haywards Heath won the toss and elected to field first.

Harriett and Matilda batted first and it didn’t take us long to realise that the Haywards Heath speedster must have passed on all her bowing secrets to her teamates. The bowlers had very long runups and bowled at over 99 miles an hour – only a few miles an hour slower than the speedster. It was like watching Mark Wood bowling to the Australians in the Ashes at Headingly a few days ago – only faster.

All our batters looked very composed and confident at the crease but struggled to get the ball away. They stuck to the task admirably and did their best against a very good bowling attack. It was a big ask and it’s clear why Haywards Heath are top of the league – their bowling was fierce and very accurate.

Jo and Lola came into bat last and were up against particularly fast bowling. Jo however noticed that the wicketkeeper was standing quite far back and sensed an opportunity. She very cleverly came down the wicket as the bowler bowled to Lola and before you could say ‘England are going to win the Ashes’ she had already run to the other end and completed the run before the wicketkeeper realised what was going on. Lola also realised what she needed to do and quickly scurried to the bowlers end to complete the run. Smart stuff. Jo and Lola did this a number of times to great effect. It was like being given a lemon and making lemonade. Bowlers – you bowl fast – your wicketkeeper stands back – we take the runs – thank you very much. Fabulous. Jo has had a quiet season by her high standards but her overall game awareness to spot the opportunity was a delight to watch – we all need to learn from that.

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Fantastic game awareness from Joanna Nicholls

A bit of rain fell but nobody seemed to notice – the girls from both teams were having fun playing cricket as they should be. What rain they asked ? Exactly …. Rain falls all over parents and umpires but not on 11 year old’s enjoying playing cricket on the green.

After a quick break for a drink and too many biscuits the teams were out in the middle again.

Our bowlers stuck to their task admirably – focussing on bowling the right line and length. It was good to see how our accurancy has improved – which just comes though practice. Our fielding was good generally and it was great to see Eva take a difficult catch and make it look so easy – it wasnt ! Eva has clearly been practicing her catching a lot (hint hint …)

Haywards Heath had a few really good batters and we had to move our fielders around a number of times to protect the boundaries.

As sharp as a button Lola noticed that one of the batters at the non strikers end was out of her crease when she was bowling and attempted a ‘Mankad’ which is when the bowler tries to runout the batter out just before she releases the ball. The umpires agreed that they wouldnt be giving players out for that in the game but it was really good and quick thinking – real cricketing intelligence right there.

The game finished with Haywards Heath exceeding our total by some margin. Congratulations to them – they were without doubt a very strong team and deserved to have won the game.

Well done to Lola who was nominated by Haywards Heath as the player of the match.

There were a lot of positives to take away from the game – our batting , bowling and fielding has improved a lot this season and the team spirit is second to none. The girls are clearly enjoying playing which is the most important thing.

As always there are areas to work on :

  • Batting – we just need to ensure that we are watching the pitch of the ball closely so we are able to hit the ball cleanly. Lots of practice hitting the ball can only help
  • Bowling is a very difficult skill to master and we need to keep practicing and focussing on bowling straight rather than fast – the speed can come later
  • Fielding – we need to ensure that we field deeper to protect the boundaries and to walk in when the bowler bowls

Well done to the girls for another spirited performance – they continue to improve every game

Thanks to Eva’s mum for helping to sort out the refreshments and to all the girls who recognised that we all need to help pack away.

Looking forward to the tournament on Sunday. Fingers crossed for good weather.

Under 11’s giving Haywards Heath three cheers for a fantastic game and nominating their player of the match.