Five teams travelled to Manor Park for the U11 Competition; ourselves, Stow, Dersingham, Horsford and a combined Halvergate/Vauxhall Mallards team. Fortunately, it was a perfect day for cricket – warm, but not excessively hot, and a complete contrast to the previous day when the U13 Competition had been washed out.
The Swardeston team was made up of: Joe Beadman (Captain), Ezra Khan (Vice Captain), Rio Iaccarino (Wicketkeeper), Jake Garside, Alex Creasy, Charlie Creasy, Matthew Doylend and Harry Potter. [Matthew is not in the photo as he had to leave before the presentations took place].
The format was 8 players per team, facing 10 overs, with batsmen retiring at 20 runs (although they could come back in if all wickets were lost). There was a maximum of 2 overs per bowler and the 2nd innings was to be completed even if the 1st innings total had been passed.
We sat out the first pair of games (apart from Joe, who played for Horsford since they only had 7 players) and so we were able to make a reasonable assessment of the opposition. Stow and Mallards both looked very good; Stow comfortably beating Dersingham and Mallards thumping Horsford (Horsford only made 17 off their 10 overs!).
1st game: Swardeston v Dersingham – Swardeston won by 49 runs
This was just the start we were hoping for.
We batted first, with Ezra and Matthew opening the batting. Ezra started in explosive fashion and Matthew played the anchor role; then, when Ezra reached 20 (including three 4’s) and was retired, Matthew picked up the pace and was also retired, on 22 (also hitting three 4’s). Harry also struck a couple of boundaries to finish on 10 not out. Our final total was 74 without loss off our 10 overs.
We then restricted Dersingham to 25 for the loss of 3 wickets. The bowling was very tight; 6 overs only conceding 6 runs and only 5 extras given away in the whole innings. It was an excellent all-round performance in the field, with a wicket each for Ezra and Alex, plus an excellent run out by Ezra with only a stump and a bit to aim at.
2nd game: Swardeston v Stow – Stow won by 3 runs
We knew that this was a key match and, although we lost, it was an excellent game of cricket.
Stow batted first and made 68 without loss. The Stow opening pair of Ben Wilcox and Freddie Fairey batted very well indeed and both reached 20 and were retired. The disappointing element of our fielding/bowling performance was that we gave away 16 extras in total.
However, we felt that we could chase down 68. Ezra and Alex opened and once again Ezra struck the ball powerfully and made 22 (including three 4’s) before being retired. Joe came in and he and Alex were both on 15 in the 7th over and the game looked to be well within our grasp with 52 on the board. But then disaster; Alex was out at the end of the 7th over and Joe was bowled at the start of the 8th. Suddenly the momentum of the game altered and, although Charlie made 9 unbeaten runs, we could only get to 65 for the loss of 4 wickets.
This was undoubtedly a game that we could have won, but full credit to Stow who bowled very tightly and only conceded 2 extras in the whole innings.
3rd game: Swardeston v Horsford – Swardeston won by 12 runs
Joe spent an awful lot of time in the field today, as he fielded for Horsford again in this match.
We batted first, with Ezra and Rio opening. Yet again, Ezra struck the ball fluently and was retired on 21 (four 4’s) and it was really pleasing to see Rio have a good knock, making 16 (including three 4’s). Jake also batted well for his 16, which included a 6 off Joe’s bowling! We finished on 71 for 2.
Horsford in reply made 59 for 2, with both their openers making good scores and the wickets being taken by Alex and Ezra. Once again, however, we gave away far too many extras – 17 in this case.
4th game: Swardeston v Mallards – Mallards won by 5 runs
This was our final game and we knew we had to win to force a three-way tie at the top of the table.
We batted first against a Mallards side containing 5 Norfolk U10 players. Once again, we made a good start with Ezra and Jake opening the batting. However, in this game Ezra was finally out, caught for 13 (two 4’s) and it was Jake who was retired on 21 (four 4’s). There was also another good innings from Rio, who made 19 not out (four 4’s). We finished on 65 for 6.
Unfortunately, this total was not quite enough as Mallards made 70 for 3, both their openers being retired. There was one run out and Jake picked up 2 wickets in an over, both bowled.
There was a very good standard of cricket on show and all the teams had the opportunity to play on the main square at Manor Park.
The Competition was won by Mallards, with Stow second and ourselves third. William Bowman, of Mallards, was the Bowler of the Day and Ben Wilcox, of Stow, was Batsman of the Day as he was retired in all four games.
Our batsman of the day was, without a doubt, Ezra, who struck the ball cleanly and made 76 in aggregate.
Finally, thanks to Horsford CC, the Norfolk Cricket Board and the parents who came along to help and support.