Category Archives: Junior Match Reports

Junior 25th Anniversary Game Versus Barby – Match Report

Long Itchington Cricket Club celebrated the 25th anniversary of its junior section with two special challenge matches at the Stonebridge Lane ground in July.

The club’s newly reformed junior section played its very first U13 friendly away fixture, as recorded in its first ever scorebook, against Barby in June 1992. It was therefore fitting that LICC marked the occasion by hosting a specially arranged game against Barby at its annual Club Open Day, with the sides represented by a mix of U11s, U13s and U15s selected by team managers Clive Haywood (Long Itchington) and Chris Bramley (Barby, with help on the day from Tom Middleton). The 20-over game was won by Long Itchington off the very last ball, reversing the original result (which wasn’t anywhere near as close).

This was followed in the afternoon by a special challenge match between players aged from 14 to 40 who have all been through the LICC junior section over the past quarter of a century, and coached by the section’s founders Allen Hickling and Steve Mitchell. The teams included several players whose names appeared in the 1992 scorebook, including Nick Brooks – now the club’s second team captain – Sam Blundell, James Clarke – currently first team captain – and Mitchel Lowe, and more than one who hadn’t picked up a bat or ball for many years!

This game turned out not to be quite as evenly matched as the first one, but the result was never as important as the opportunity for players to catch up and renew old friendships; for friends and families to revisit the ground; and, in many cases for the first time, for visitors to see the new clubhouse that was officially opened two years previously.

That the day was such a success was down to many people who volunteered their time, cake baking skills, and BBQ/scoring expertise (Martin Sutcliffe, whose son Aaron was the youngest junior taking part in the afternoon game). Particular thanks are also due to head groundsman Graham Foster, one of several older LICC members present who were juniors when the club was itself reformed in 1976. Others included assistant groundsman Stephen Rawbone and his brother (and current LICC treasurer) Martyn Rawbone, whose late father Eric was the club’s volunteer groundsman for over 15 years.

Under 13’s v Rugby

On a dark damp evening the under 13’s visited league leaders Rugby knowing that they had to be on top of their game to beat them. On winning the toss skipper Scott Haywood decided to bowl, which with the weather closing in seemed a sensible decision.  Regular openers Tom Hill and Charlie Parsons started tightly and kept Rugby in check. The attack was taken up by Adam Ledbrook and Scott Aspinall and they bowled dangerous deliveries when straight but as a team, a few too many wides were creeping in. Elliott Coop was unlucky to have one dropped and after 9 overs Rugby were on 50-0 but 27 given in wides meant Rugby could have been under more pressure. Debutant Ted Fairhurst made a good start and made the Rugby batsman play but both openers retired after batting well for deserved 25’s. This gave the remaining batsman licence to play positively but they were kept in check by James Taylor’s first over and then Scott Haywood brought himself on and despite a couple of top edges going for 4 had Rugby’s star bat well caught by James Taylor and then cleaned bowled another to take two in the over. Tom Hill returned and finished off well getting a deserved wicket clean bowled after an impressive 4 overs and Scott picked up a wicket in the last over with a cracking yorker. A total of 142-4 was a tall order but could have been better without 41 extras

Scott Haywood – 4-0-30-3

Tom Hill – 4-0-17-1

Max Holtby and Scott Haywood opened the batting and chasing 7 an over they needed to be positive. Scott was quickly undone and this brought his brother Luke to the crease. He started positively including a fine straight 4 but against tight bowling the target was still along way off. Luke was bowled advancing down the track trying to change the momentum of the game.  Adam Kenworthy- Fahey and Tom Hill had hit cracking boundaries before Adam was caught and bowled and Tom was run out. When Adam Ledbrook was run out without facing then the run rate required was becoming out of hand. Opener Max Holtby had tried to keep the innings together but was out in the 18th over for 11 and the final score got up to 63 thanks to positive batting and running  by Charlie Parsons in the final overs.

Its always a tough game against Rugby and it was a good test to show the areas where the lads can improve.

Charlie Parsons – 10 no

Luke Haywood – 11

Max Holtby – 11

Under 13’s v Oakfield

At last a perfect evening for cricket as the under 13’s took on Oakfield at Whitehall Farm. On losing the toss skipper Scott Haywood was pleased to be asked to bowl and he opened with Tom Hill and Charlie Parsons. Charlie immediately made the break  through clean bowled and when Tom did the same and then took an excellent caught and bowled its 6-3 after 3. This quickly became 6-4 when Charlie had another wicket  clean bowled. Scott Aspinall took over from Tom and was upset with himself as his radar was slightly off in his first over but he should have more faith in his ability as in his second over his third ball was athletically and expertly caught by Adam Kenworthy-Fahey, his 5th caught behind by Luke Haywood and his 6th got his third wicket in four balls as Luke completed a razor sharp stumping and 19-4 had suddenly become 21-7. Ollie Orton joined in with Adam taking another excellent catch. James Taylor then bowled tidily and Joe Cummings started with a wicket maiden and followed that with another maiden and Oakfield were 9 down. The last pair started a recovery putting on 16 but this was quickly ended when the returning Tom Hill claimed his third wicket with another excellent delivery. A good performance in the field but gifting the opposition 33 runs in extras (30 wides) was a little generous.

Tom Hill – 2.2-0-3-3

Charlie Parsons – 3-2-2-2

Scott Aspinall  – 3-0-16-3

Ollie Orton – 3-0-10-1

Joe Cummings – 2-2-0-1

Luke and Scott Haywood opened up for Itchington chasing 46 and were tied down by an excellent opening spell with only 6 runs coming off the first 5 overs before Scott got a jaffa and Max Holtby joined Luke. They both batted steadily not taking risks knowing they were only chasing a low total and Luke eventually broke the shackles with a boundary and a couple of cracking drives. However Luke hit a powerful drive on the up but was well caught and it’s 31-2 off 12. Will Orton joined Max and immediately started positively and the scoring rate increased. Max having seen the side nearly across the line was bowled and this left Adam Kenworthy-Fahey to join Will with 7 required. Will then hit the shot of the day with a sumptuous straight drive and after another couple of runs the lads were home with 3 overs and 7 wickets to spare. In the end a hard fought win against a good bowling side but it was good experience for all and it was pleasing to see  Will and Adam batting well at the end to see the side home.

Luke Haywood – 12

Will Orton – 9no.

Max Holtby – 7

Midweek XI Suffer First Home Loss

A superb half century from James Scott couldn’t prevent Long Itchington’s Midweek XI from suffering their first home loss of the season to visitors Stretton-on-Dunsmore.

Long Itch were confident after a good home win against Stockton the previous week as they welcomed Stretton to Whitehall Farm on a dark and dingy Wednesday evening (7th June).  Despite some light rain and the absence of the away team captain, the toss was performed with Stretton choosing to bat first.  Steele opened up for Long Itch and was immediately impressive, causing the batsmen problems with his pace and movement, and producing a close leg before shout in the first over.  Despite this, Stretton openers Haywood and Oldham started solidly.  The latter soon gained in confidence, launching Scott over the ring on the leg-side twice in the fourth over for boundaries.  Scott stuck to his task well but Oldham continued to put away anything slightly loose.  Meanwhile, Steele concluded an excellent spell (without reward) at the other end.

Change bowlers Eadon and Sutcliffe were then brought into the attack with each bowling accurately from the outset.  However, with Oldham now set and used to the pace of the pitch, he went after the youngsters towards the end of both their spells and played some good shots over the in-field, despite the good bowling.  Haywood (keen not to be dismissed by one of his junior charges) was content to allow Oldham to take on the role of aggressor as he took the role of accumulator in an impressive partnership which crossed 100 in the 14th over.  At this point Aulakh turned to Freddie Hart to exert some control, and he immediately provided some accurate bowling and would have had both openers walking back in his first over if first teamers Aulakh and Perks could catch!  Death bowler McKenna was then brought on from the top end but rather struggled to adjust his line to the left handed Haywood, who it was suggested should ‘bat the right way round’ by the bowler.  Meanwhile, at the bottom end Hart continued with some excellent bowling and was rewarded with the wicket of Oldham; clean bowled for an excellent 71.  Hart and McKenna (now having adjusted his line) continued to bowl well at the death, with Stretton ending up on 157 from their 20 overs.  Long Itch stuck to their task well despite picking up just the one wicket.

Itchington openers Desai and Scott walked out knowing they would have to bat well to chase down the target, but things were not made easy from the start, with opening bowler Ratcliffe bowling a very tight line.  He was duly rewarded with the wicket of Desai in his second over, who was too early on a pull shot that he skied to mid-off.  This brought Perks to the crease who together with Scott started to build momentum.  With Ratcliffe taken out of the attack, the spin tandem of Glover and Readman continued to bowl well at Scott and Perks, but that didn’t stop the former from finding the fence a number of times having played himself in.  Unfortunately, the umpiring Aulakh had been looking at the season’s statistics earlier that day and had decided Perks’ average of over 80 needed taking down a peg or two and so triggered him in Readman’s third over.  This brought McKenna to the crease, who wasted no time by smashing his second ball for four through square-leg.

Due to the consistent light rain, the ball was gradually becoming a bar of soap, making it difficult for the Stretton spinners to grip.  With Shaw replacing Glover at the bottom end, McKenna and Scott were latching on to anything loose and gradually building a dangerous looking partnership.  McKenna then hit one of the shots of the day; a massive six over the leg-side that almost broke a car windscreen.  At this point Haywood was nervously looking over at his vehicle, wondering why on earth he parked it directly next to the pavilion (cow corner) with McKenna playing for the home side.  However, soon Haywood was able to breathe a lot easier as a sharp bit of fielding resulted in McKenna being run out.  This brought the veteran Hart to the crease, called up after a cracking 76 on Sunday.  Unfortunately, he could not repeat his heroics and with the light steadily worsening was bowled by Barrow.

The rain was coming down steadily but both teams carried on, with Scott looking to find boundaries as the required rate began to rise.  He was able to do so with some lovely lofted shots and cracking drives, now seeing it like a football despite the dark and dank conditions.  Even non-striker Greaves found himself in the firing line, being smacked on the forearm by another powerful Scott drive.  It was quite an impact, but Greaves carried on manfully in support of the youngster.  Unfortunately, Scott was then bowled by Barrow, aiming for another boundary and an excellent innings of 51 from just 41 deliveries came to an end (and with it, likely long Itch’s chances).  Scott Haywood was bowling well from the other end and was rewarded with the wickets of Greaves and Eadon (both bowled) as Long Itch were looking to hit out.  The home side ended up well short of the total, finishing their 20 overs on 126 for 7.

Despite the loss there were a lot of positives to take for Long Itch, particularly the bowling of Steele and Hart and the innings of Scott.  Thanks to Stretton for a good game and to everyone for carrying on in the poor conditions (special mention to apprentice groundsman Steve Rawbone).  One might point to extras as one of the keys to the game, as Long Itch conceded 45 extras (including 35 wides) to Stretton’s 10 total extras (just 6 wides).  Given a winning-margin of 31 runs, this was undoubtedly crucial and something for Long Itch to work on in the upcoming weeks.  Our next fixture will be away to OL’s next Wednesday in the semi-final of the plate knockout competition.

 

Highlights:

 

Steele 4-1-17-0 with the new ball

Hart 3-0-20-1 at the death

Scott 51 off 41

McKenna biggest 6 of the day

Eadon 4-0-29-0 and Sutcliffe 4-0-40-0 stuck to their task well against some good batting.

 

Full Scorecard

Youngsters Bowl Midweek XI to Victory in Local Derby

After 2 weeks off due to rain and a plate bye week, Long Itchington’s Midweek XI resumed their season against local rivals Stockton last Wednesday (31st May).  There were a number of familiar faces in what looked a strong visiting side; Long Itch knew they would have to perform well in order to come away with a victory.

Aulakh (captaining for just the second time this season for various reasons) won the toss and chose to bat first on a used wicket (kudos to the groundsman for preparing a wicket able to withstand a test match-like over count).

Things didn’t get off to the best start for Long Itch, with Rawbone being bowled in the first over by the accurate Webster.  However, this brought the in-from Perks to the crease to join opener Desai, who together set about the task of compiling a winning total.  It wasn’t easy going, as some good bowling from Webster and Bennett, along with a track they may have lost just a little of its previously WACA-esque pace, made scoring difficult.   Long Itch were 13-1 after 4 overs, but soon Desai started to look more comfortable, dispatching to the boundary the rare over-pitched delivery.

Having seen off the openers, Desai greeted change bowler Gaskins with a six from the first delivery he faced, and repeated the feat with the first ball of Gaskins’ second over.  However, with Desai looking like he was just about to tee off, he was caught off the very next delivery whilst attempting another aggressive stroke. That brought Brooks to the crease with the score on 47-2 after 8.2, reuniting him with Perks (the two put on an explosive 150-run stand when last partnered).  Unfortunately they were unable to repeat these heroics, with Perks dismissed in the next over thanks to a sharp catch from Bennett off the bowling of Hooker for 12.

Brooks was then joined by James Scott, who showed off his new bit of willow (of which his mother has now been informed) with some lovely shots, including an impressive drive for a boundary. However, Scott had begun to steal the strike from veteran Brooks with singles at the end of each over.  Brooks thought he would put a stop to this with the final ball of the 13th, which he slapped straight to point and duly called ‘Yes’, then ‘No’ with Scott a third of the way down.  A smart bit of fielding from Stockton and Scott was walking back after a promising innings.

With Itchington 70-4, an injection was needed, and it was thankfully supplied by the incoming Franks, who punished anything slightly too short in a crucial cameo of 23 from 17.   Franks and Brooks were then dismissed within 2 balls of each other, leaving top smasher McKenna and Aulakh at the crease.   The latter didn’t last long, chipping one straight to Hooker at mid-off, bringing young Eadon to the wicket.   Together, he and McKenna managed to scramble more than 20 off the final 2 overs, including a cracking boundary from Eadon off Bennett.  His partner was also able to find the fence, with Bennett making the error of pitching one in McKenna’s half and thus allowing him to practice his golf (Four!).  Finally Long Itch arrived at a total of 133 for 7 from their 20 overs which was likely around par, given the pace of the pitch.  However, the home side knew they needed to bowl and field well to restrict a powerful-looking Stockton line-up.

Goatley and Hooker opened up for Stockton and soon set about the total, with Hooker hitting Rawbone for two boundaries in the first over.  However, at the other end Scott removed Goatley with his very first ball.  The batsman could hardly believe it when his powerful drive was met with a speculative one-handed effort from Aulakh at mid-off, who actually held on to the catch (a rare occurence in itself).  On the plus-side, Goatley did manage to take his balls faced for the season into double figures.

This brought Church to the crease, who wasted no time in getting started, hitting his second ball for four.  He and Hooker continued to score at around a run-a-ball despite some good bowling from Rawbone and Scott, until Scott struck again in his third over, removing the dangerous Hooker with what was described as a surprise quicker delivery.  Eadon took a good catch off the resulting top-edge, despite the best efforts of McKenna to trip him up (or to crouch down behind him in order to catch it himself should Eadon drop it, according to Pete).

With both openers gone, Eadon was introduced from the top end and struck in his first over, causing Dodds to sky one to mid-off where Aulakh took the catch.  Scott then took the wicket of Woodward in his final over, caught comfortably by Perks.  The talented Sutcliffe was then introduced, and should have had immediate reward.  Sadly, Aulakh’s luck had to run out at some point (having already taken two catches), and so he preceded to drop both Church and Bennett in the space of three deliveries. However, Sutcliffe carried on undeterred and together with Eadon, bowled excellently, eventually removing Bennett, Bourton and (the other) Hooker between them.

At this point, Stockton were left reeling at 67-7 and requiring more than 8 runs per over.  However, despite the collapse around him, Church remained steadfast and Long Itch knew Stockton had a chance with him still there.  However, any chance was ended as McCarthy was introduced into the attack.  After a couple of looseners, he was soon firing in his usual Waqar Younis-style yorkers, conceding just 15 runs from the 14th, 16th and 18th overs combined.   With McCarthy’s death bowling at one end, McKenna was introduced at the other and he provided the wicket of Church finally for a valiant 45.  McCarthy then wrapped things up with two wickets in the final over, bowling Webster and then catching Gaskins off his own bowling.  Thankfully, McCarthy had learnt from earlier and quickly called to take the catch himself after seeing Aulakh running in from mid-off.  Stockton were all out for 107 from 19.3 overs.

Overall a fantastic performance from Long Itch, particularly by the youngsters with the ball, all of whom bowled brilliantly to some good quality batsmen and were a joy to captain.   We now look forward to our next fixture at home to Stretton on Wednesday 7th June.

Top Performers:

Desai – 32

Franks – 23 and a catch

Scott – 12 and 4-0-18-3

Eadon – 5 not out, 4-0-16-3 and a good catch

Sutcliffe – 3-0-18-1

McCarthy – 3.3-0-18-2 and a good catch

 

Full Scorecard