Phew !! What a busy last couple of days
But with something to smile about at the end
Today saw two County Finals for the Bob Hurst U11 Trophy and the Hacking Cup U13 being contested. Prior to all of that I was at Daisy Hill CC yesterday to help with the remaining Bob Hurst Semi between Bolton and Ribble Valley. A result was needed as the winner was to be at Sutton CC for the Final today. The weather was awful and the temperatures almost wintery. Thanks to the sterling efforts of the Daisy Hill officials and the willingness of the umpires to brave the wet conditions we were able to start a 30 over game. There was much to-ing and fro-ing with the rain and a lengthy lunch break allowed us to partake of the excellent food laid on by the club. It was quite splendiferous.
Back down to business and Ribble Valley batting first set Bolton a target of 95 to win. The Bolton batsmen made steady progress and looked set for victory when we had what can happen at this age group – a major collapse. With four overs left Bolton needed 15 to win and the last pair at the wicket. Now I had spent much of the day in conversation with Colin Davies, a Bolton supporter whose grandson was captain of Bolton, and he was of the opinion that Bolton had blown it. I reminded him of that oft quoted phrase about the fat lady and singing. Two overs to go and with the help of a few byes, Bolton required 11 runs to win. They got the required runs in two balls as their diminutive number ten smashed a four and then hit a no ball for six. Cue celebrations from one side and shock from the other. There was hint of controversy as the young lad who hit the winning runs had been given out LBW earlier only to be reprieved as the umpire reversed his decision.
So it was Bolton who headed to St. Helens and its suburb of Sutton for the Final today.
I decided to look after the Hacking Cup Final between of all teams – Bolton and Ribble Valley. Some would say I chickened out of watching grandson in the Bob Hurst but I knew exactly what I was doing. The last two games he was involved in I was elsewhere, he did well in both and Bury won. So stay away John.
The Hacking Cup proved to be rather one sided with Chris Brownlow scoring a ton and taking five wickets. Ribble Valley never looked like getting near Bolton’s total of 200 after their 40 overs. Ribble Valley’s earlier batsmen must have wondered where they were because Bolton’s opening attack comprised two Under 13 six footers. They eventually battled back a little and ended one run short of 100.
So Bolton took the first District County Trophy of 2011 – the Hacking Cup. As I explained when presenting the Cup, this is the oldest and most important of our trophies as it marks our beginnings as an Association. Next year – 2012 – LSCA will be 90 years old, as will the Hacking Cup. This could lead to a bit of reminiscing. See later.
Now whilst all this was going on I was in text communication with Sutton CC, leading to the ultimate climax when I got the news that Bury had won by one run off the very last ball of the match. Phew !!
Now I wasn’t there but the family was and I have had their unbiased view of what went on. To be fair all round I have decided to let my Guest Blogger John “Batman” Williams give his summary of the game completely unedited.
“Bob Hurst Memorial Under 11 Trophy
Bury 124 for 8 (Rehan Udwadia 52 no; Josh Taylor 26; Marcus Haydock 4 for 20)
Bolton 123 for 9 (Jordan Higham 41; Oliver Hurst 21; Tom Heaton 4 for 23)
Bury won the 2011 Under 11 District Final in the most dramatic fashion at Sutton Cricket Club, St Helens. After almost six hours of top quality cricket it all came down to the very last ball with Bolton needing one run to tie and two runs to win. With fingernails long disappeared from both sets of parents, Rehan Udwadia, who had earlier dominated the Bury innings, ran in and clean bowled Bolton’s number 10 batsman to earn what, just a few overs earlier, looked a very unlikely win.
Bury, after being put in, made a competitive 124 for 8 with Udwadia top scoring with 52 not out and Josh Taylor making a useful 26. Bolton fielded exceptionally well and had Marcus Haydock as the pick of their bowlers, taking 4 for 20, supported by James Richards with 2 for 17.
The Bolton reply progressed steadily to 67 for 5 before a potentially match winning stand developed between Jordan Higham (41) and Oliver Hurst (21). The pair moved the score to 113 when Higham was bowled by Bury skipper Tom Heaton (4 for 23). Amidst high drama, wickets then fell at 115 for 7 and 116 for 8 and ultimately on the very last ball, 123 for 9, for a Bury victory.
The really nice thing for the missus and me is that Thomas as the Bury captain received the Bob Hurst Memorial Trophy from the Chairman of Sutton CC. Bob was one of the nicest people you could ever have met, and it was great shock to everyone in LSCA when he died suddenly about 27 years ago. Number One son was 12 at the time and is now knocking on the door of 40. Believe it or not Bob was just the second Secretary of the Association. He had succeeded the legendary Herbert Thomas who occupied the Honorary position from 1922 to 1971. Guess who the third LSCA Secretary is. Three in 89 years. Phew !!
So a successful outcome for the Bury team and well done everyone.
On these occasions I always have to feel sorry for the losing teams. There were some spirited performances today and everyone gave of their best. This is what District Cricket is all about.
Just one County District Final remaining – Tameside v Rochdale for the Ainsworth U15 Trophy. This is the big one to be played at Old Trafford on Monday September 12th.
Whilst at the Hacking Final today I was greatly helped by the Sage of Merseyside, Eric Linford, enabling me to spend time looking at my script for the Big Event in the Point next week. I was glad to get this opportunity as I discovered some errors in the list of trophy winners. With the help of Dipesh at Headquarters we were able set in motion corrective measures.
Apart from worrying about getting the drinks breaks correct Eric spent some time checking his mobile to see if Phil Jagielka had been transferred from Everton to wherever. (By the way he is an Everton fan). I said it would be nice to have these worries with my team Bury.
Oh dear Oh dear !! I have just had a text from Sophie to tell me Ryan, Ryan Lowe has gone to Sheffield Wednesday and Damian Mozika is off to Scunthorpe. Now both of these clubs are in the same League as Bury !!! Do you think we might be able to afford David Beckham with the money we have made ??? I need to have a word with his best mate who used to play for Greenmount.
Tomorrow a.m. I need to crack on with preps for next Tuesday – it looks like I will have to personally enter all the players names for all the teams by hand on the certificates.
Not to worry I have a nice break tomorrow evening at the England v India 20/20 at Old Trafford. My good friend and long-time Chairman of LSCA until a few years ago, Mr Robert Stamp will be in attendance as well. I look forward to sharing his company and possible a few glasses of soda water.
Before then I feel a Tesco Moment coming on. A little celebration is called for.
PS Come on the U13 Girls tomorrow - National Champions ??
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On Friday 12th December the first formal meeting of the Greater Manchester Cricket Leagues was held at Bradshaw Cricket Club, Bolton. ... Full story