The 1st XI were inserted at Newcastle Under Lyme and, against a very useful bowling attack who bowled straight and full, our batsmen struggled to accrue enough runs to ever make it look as though we were going to make a significant impact on the game.
After losing Joe Gardener for five, too few for a batsman of his ability, Sam Bixby and Mason Clark scored 11 runs apiece.
Joshua Thomas 14, Josh Lynch 17 and Jack Jones, captain in Llewelyn Cowell’s absence, with 23 took our total to 102-7 in our 35 overs which was unlikely to be enough.
However, this innings was an improvement on previous games with batsmen playing with greater patience, more responsibly and making much improved shot selections as well as using up their allocation of overs.
Our bowlers bowled adequately but not well enough to ever keep the Newcastle batsmen under pressure despite Jack and Joe taking a wicket each early on.
Rafeez Mortuza was the pick of our bowlers statistically but had he bowled a fuller length he would almost certainly have taken more than his 3 for 18 from 4 with two maidens.
Had we taken two difficult catches, both of which would have been outstanding, then the result may have come our way but they didn’t, hence we lost by five wickets.
Sfairesphobia is the technical term give to a fear of round balls and having watched the U13a team field on Saturday Mr Boyd is convinced this is a phobia the team all suffer from, momentarily at least.
Extras were in abundance and mis-fields were plentiful as we made an ok team look good. Chasing 145 winning was always going to be a challenge and it wasn’t until captain Josh Stewart came to the crease batting at 8, supported by Osca Clark, that we managed to score some runs.
After 18 overs we were all out for 87 but if we take the 52 extras we gave the visitors off their total we were chasing 93 runs so Mr Boyd can’t help but think we gave them the win as opposed to Newcastle winning the fixture.
The u13b bowled much better than in previous games and a James Copeland run-out and two good catches, one from James and one from Jonathan Osbourne reflected a promising fielding display. Chasing 123 to win, however, was far too much and we fell to a chastening defeat being bowled out for 13.