After three games, two washouts and a bye, the Albion Park Under 11 Golds have broken their duck and brought up their first victory over the Kooka Blue team at King Memorial Oval this morning.
Captain Josh Peters won the toss and elected to field on a muggy morning. The aim of the day was to eliminate no balls and to bowl at the stumps in order to get more wickets that the team has been doing. And most pleasing was that this was exactly what the team did.
Lucas Brown has comfortably moved into the role as new ball bowler, and excelled again today, at one stage being on a hat-trick. If he has bowled straighter he could have finished with anything, but his four overs brought him great figures of 2/10. Blake Ison began with a wicket with his first delivery, but wasn’t quite able to follow up after that. He tried a bit too hard in his last over, and finished it off with two front foot no-balls, which are not only unusual in Under 11’s cricket, but his last one cost him when he also bowled the batsman on strike. Lesson learned? His figures of 1/9 from four overs was also excellent. Josh Peters bowled as good a spell of leg spin bowling as you can for a ten year old. He had three balls that bounced an inch over the middle stump and he consistently beat the batsmen for spin. He will be lucky to get another wicket this season but his coach will be happy if he bowls like that. His four overs finished with 0/5.
Kane Rex took what he learned from training on Wednesday and executed it perfectly today, bowling straight and generally on a better length. He bowled two batsmen, and also got his third wicket by a great catch by wicket-keeper Max Sciberras who showed good awareness to get to the ball. Kane finished with 3/8 from his three overs which was just what the team was looking for, Great stuff. Max kept well, and bowled one over for seven runs before he took over the gloves. The other keeper was Bodhie Rodda who also did a good job behind the stumps, and finished with 0/4 from his one over, but his final ball was a peach, and if he can continue to bowl like that he will improve out of sight. Charlotte Rodda was terrific, bowling her best spell of the season so far, with most of her deliveries straight, only bowling six no balls, and picking up her first wicket of the season from a great catch by Lucas Brown at point. Her three overs produced the figures of 1/10, which was wonderful to watch. She should be very proud of her efforts.
At the end of the innings, the Kookas had made 65 runs for 9 wickets lost, and the chance was there for the Eagles kids to force a victory. Those nine wickets – a seasons best - had included two excellent run outs again, and the fielding again was good, though it dropped a little in the morning heat. There was also only 25 no balls, another season’s best. Improvement in stages.
Lucas and Bodhie opened the batting and their partnership was terrific. They ran hard between the wickets, looked for ones and twos, and both also hit the ball well. Lucas equalled his highest score of 9, and will beat that once he takes his practise from the nets into the game. Bodhie improved his highest score again, scoring a very impressive 3 runs, but the opening partnership didn’t lose a wicket which was just the way the team needed to begin. This start was slightly hampered by losing four wickets in the last three overs before drinks, which brought the game back to level pegging at 5/35. No doubt training on running and calling between the wickets could be coming up shortly.
Kane hit some nice shots in his innings of 3 today, and though he was disappointed today he shouldn’t be. A straight bat will improve his output. Charlotte also made 3 runs today which equalled her highest score from the first game. Blake Ison again batted well, hitting the ball nicely and playing much straighter today for his 14 runs.
With the game in the balance, the final partnership between Max and Josh got the team home. Max came out full of beans and confidence, and was immediately hitting the ball into the gaps and running hard. He made his highest score today with 10 runs and also wasn’t dismissed. His straight pull for four down the ground was the shot of the day. Josh also hit the ball well with four boundaries, and if he stops looking at the sky instead of the ball he’ll even make a few more. His 20 at number seven helped to secure the team the win despite the constant nerves of the coach at square leg, with the score finishing at 100 for seven wickets lost.
With penalties added, the final scores were Kookas Blue 9/93 and Albion Park Gold 7/136. It was a good game from both teams, played in the right spirit and was hard fought throughout. Well down to the Eagles Gold kids, it was a win that was deserved through the hard work that has gone in at training.
Let’s hope we can continue to improve and perhaps get another win up before the Xmas break. In honour of the victory I am going to have a beer for each of the seven of you. No, you know what? I’m going to have TWO for each of you!