Sixth's edge derby gem

Joining the 5s and 6s on Sunday, 4th September, was a crowd depleted by the previous evenings splendid cricket event. Club Captain Nikolai however arrived in extreme spirits to cheer on both teams.

 

Only the naïve would have expected the 5s to be anything other than fiercely competitive, regardless of the 6s promotion ambitions. Any side with Crothers, Hunters, Pallins, Wylies and Dicksons in the line up would ask for, nor give, any quarter.

Lively and focused bowling early on from the 6s kept the scoring low. James Lambert, Adam Kennedy and James Rose produced close to their best spells of the season for the 6s, as the 1sts grass wicket presented a challenging surface to the teams,but the 5s stuck to the task of amassing runs with typical tenacity. The introduction of Jim Hunter saw the 5s press on, with Jim scoring an excellent 44. The 5s closed on 106. Paddy Carsons 1 for 3 in 4 overs deserves special mention and Owen Lamberts tight last over (despite an obvious back injury) showed real commitment.

Leading the chase were Brian and Adam Kennedy, who opened extremely well at 7 runs an over. However a loose shot from Brian and a super catch saw them depart. James Rose took matters forward but again was out to an excellent catch, and Ben Lambert (run out) and Ben Beattie (clean bowled by TJ Pallin) followed them back to the bunker shortly after as the 5s pressed with good bowling. Adam Wylie also wreaked havoc on the grass surface.

Yet the 6s remained confident as Neil Carson took position. The scoreboard began to tick over again, but a quite exceptional catch from Jack Kelly manning Cow (off TJ Pallin) saw Neil depart on 19, replaced by Stewart Beattie. Confidence ebbed.

Recovery by the 6s looked increasingly unlikely as James Lambert and Paddy Carson departed in short order, leaving the 6s 8 wickets down, with Owen Lambert in the bunker nursing an injured back. Confidence was on life support.

On came Jamie Beattie at No.10 with the 6s some 40 runs short although with 12 overs in hand.

Grabbing the initiative, it was soon clear that Jamie would be the lead partner and so it proved as the runs came. Stewart almost ran out of luck as Andrew Hunter almost pulled off a miraculous catch of a hard struck ball. Near misses and lunging dives for the crease punctuated the gathering tension as the 5s worked tirelessly to break the partnership.

Entering the 23rd over the scores came level and it was a look of relief that saw the winning run chalked up with man of the match Jamie Beattie ending 18 not out in an innings of considerable maturity.

Real competitive cricket played by two determined teams ended with tea and laughter.

As the season ends, the 6s sit in joint first place in Junior 9 and joint winners/promotion looks a real prospect.

Raising the bar for the lads/dads teams represents a serious challenge for next seasons 5s as they look to the prospect of Junior 8 and double the fixtures.

Readying the boys for cricket higher up the senior club is the goal, and there is a lot of talent coming through our ranks. There may have been some who doubted the wisdom of two lads/dads teams, but those present on Sunday saw the opportunities. The dads rolled back the years and the pleasure in playing competitive cricket with some extremely talented young men is something that those dads will never forget.

Grateful thanks to all the lads and dads who committed, took extra lessons (yes they did!) and gave up bank holiday weekends and evenings to play. Particular thanks to Neil Carson and Michael Anderson, who both gave of their time and experience to run what were, in effect, in playcoaching clinics. The boys learned much from them about building partnerships, taking singles, and playing hard to win in the very best traditions of the spirit of cricket. So did their Captain.

Hard to follow the season that has gone, but that is what the 6s will be doing. The players have been a credit to the club and should be very proud of their achievement.