One of the most pleasing things as a junior coach is watching a team coming to believe in themselves, and beginning to realise their own potential and ability to win games. Much could be said in this regard to the Albion Park Under 11 Golds team, who once again played a terrific match to bring up their third consecutive victory over Lake Illawarra at Dawes Park at Barrack Point this morning.
Lake Illawarra won the toss and elected to bat, which excited the Albion Park team who now believe this is part of their winning formula. What was more important was that they bowled and fielded well, and for the most part this was the case. Our keepers today were Lucas Brown and Blake Ison, who both did an excellent job. They were tasked by the coach today to try to allow zero byes in the innings, a task they completed, which was important in helping to keep the pressure on the batsmen. Blake’s two overs were both maidens which gave him the figures of 0/0, while Lucas came on for his two overs late, and took two wickets in his final over, including yet another caught and bowled for which he is becoming an expert at. The young Malcolm Marshall finished with 2/6.
Kane “The Destroyer” Rex was the star once again, because he tends to listen to the coach who implores his bowlers to bowl straight, and wickets will come. Kane once again generally stuck to this task, picking up a wicket in each of his first three overs, and had the chance to take more with a fourth over, but he got a little tired and probably tried a little hard. His figures of 3/14 were again a fine reward for hard work and never giving up. Josh Peters continues to tie up all of the batsmen with his big turning leg spin, and changes in pace and trajectory. His 1/3 from three overs was again impressive. Charlotte Rodda’s first over was a bit nervous, but she followed it up with probably he two best overs she has bowled this season. She bowled only three no balls in those last two overs, and she was extremely unfortunate not to pick up a wicket. Her pressure did create a run out which was terrific. She finished with 0/12 from three overs and should be proud of her effort. Max Sciberras bowled three good overs, only falling foul of bowling wide when he tried a bit too hard to get a wicket. When he stayed solid to his technique the ball came out well, and finished with 0/13. Bohdie Rodda had a day he’d rather forget, but if he practices his bowling at home every afternoon he will continue to improve.
There were three excellent run outs today, one from Josh who picked up the ball and ran it in to the stumps to beat the batsman, while there were two direct run outs from great throws by Kane and Lucas. This was balanced by five catches being dropped which was a little disappointing, by all five catches actually went to hand before being dropped, so the kids made good efforts to take them. At the end of the 20 overs, Lake Illawarra had scored 9/67.
The same batting line up once again launched the Eagles kids assault on the total, and once again openers Lucas and Bohdie batted through the opening partnership without losing a wicket, a sterling effort. In an innings difficult to score with few deliveries available to play strokes at, Bohdie again looked good for his 1, while Lucas improves every week with the bat and the responsibility by scoring 10 with two boundaries. Kane looked good again, and even played a perfect defensive shot, which is the best way to show everyone he is taking on the lessons of training. He only made 2 today but it was the way he batted that was impressive. Well done Kane. Charlotte again looked terrific with the bat, playing out Lake’s best and fastest bowler with aplomb. Once she is confident enough to start calling and running for runs on her own she is going to start making some good scores.
It was tough at the end of the innings with some of the kids beginning to get tired in the field and with the ball. Blake was a bit distracted with the bat today and couldn’t get going like he usually does which obviously frustrated him. His 5 runs would have been more on a normal day. Max batted well again under difficult circumstances, none more difficult than being sold up the river by his batting partner when Josh called him through for a run that wasn’t his call and left Max terribly stranded. Suffice to say Josh will be reminded of this for some time. Max finished with 2, while Josh, apart from his calling, batted well again to finish on 13. Albion Park’s total was 3/83 off their 20 overs, with the most impressive part being the loss of only three wickets, and two of those being run out. It shows that their defensive techniques are beginning to tighten up which is good to see.
With wicket penalties added, Albion Park Gold ran out winners over the younger Lake Illawarra team by 119 to 79.
With one game to go before Xmas the Golds will be looking to continue their impressive improvement. But it looks as though a good dose of fielding practice – especially catching – will be on the cards this Wednesday.