Under 11s win Quoile Cup

Despite damp and gloomy overhead conditions at Queensway (Derriaghy CC), the team recorded a comprehensive 9-wicket victory over a battling Lisburn side on Thursday 2nd August.


Lisburn won the toss, choosing to bat first and get runs on the board-often key in youth finals. Openers Neel Reddy and Jack Mulholland started confidently against an opening attack of spin and pace from Michael Hollway and Max Willmott. The score progressed to 22 without loss after 5 overs. The introduction of Amy Hunter’s pace proved challenging and it was Ben McCausland who benefitted from the batsmen’s caution, clean bowling both openers in quick succession. Instonians were buzzing in the field, led by Ben and ‘keeper Darcy Donnelly who kept superbly. Ben produced a quality spell outlining him as an all-round star of the future. Although Amy went wicketless, she bowled a fantastic spell with some deliveries that were just too good to take a wicket! Charlie Gray and Rob Henderson were building a decent partnership before Ben Walsh claimed a vital breakthrough bowling Rob. Ben has a knack of taking wickets at key points in games and bowled with lovely flight and variation. With the score on 43-3 after 11, the introduction of Will Park into the attack proved to be a shrewd move by skipper Ben, claiming the wickets of Jake Larmour and Harry Moore.  Will bowled Harry with the quickest ball of the day, beating him for pace. Lisburn were now losing wickets at regular intervals but with the powerful Charlie Gray still at the crease, the threat remained that he could open his shoulders. Luke Crothers was introduced into the attack and straight away found good areas. He partnered with the returning Max Willmott who steamed down the hill. Max is arguably the most improved bowler in Under 11 cricket this year and he underlined this by bowling Charlie for a good 22. Tight death bowling by this pair restricted the scoring opportunities with Luke claiming the wicket of Jude Barnes. The innings closed on 74-7. A disciplined display in the field, along with a determined batting display by Lisburn.

With overhead conditions looking slightly ominous, competition rules were consulted and it was established that after 10 overs of the 2nd innings, if rain put a stop to play, run rate would establish a winner. Coaches Crothers and McCausland chose not to relay this information to the players, electing instead to come back with a positive forecast of impending sunny spells (which unsurprisingly didn’t materialize)-so 38 on the board after 10 with a downpour would potentially seal victory.

In reply, openers Michael Hollway and Will Park (oblivious to background calculations) continued their recent good form, moving the score along nicely against the opening attack of Neel Reddy and Charlie Gray. Neel claimed the breakthrough Lisburn needed by bowling Michael Hollway with the score on 23 in the 5th over. Ben McCausland and Will batted with confidence, running well and mostly keeping the ball on the deck. The Lisburn change bowlers struggled to find good areas consistently but Will and Ben resisted the temptation to go aerial, choosing instead to rotate the strike well. Meanwhile, despite persistent drizzle, the clouds looked less threatening.  As the boys moved the score onto 59 after 10, nerves were settled. This pairing kept their composure and when Will struck the winning runs, they had accumulated an undefeated partnership of 52. A superb innings by Will who is growing in confidence with Ben showing his versatility to adapt to the task in hand, hitting gaps for 1’s and 2’s. A proper captain’s innings.

This was a mature performance from this bunch.
An older and physically bigger Lisburn side showed great determination and fighting spirit. It just wasn’t to be their day after their semi final upset against CSNI.
Thanks to Stevie Hanna for umpiring and to Davy Skelton of Derriaghy CC for hosting superbly.
Great to see such a big crowd at an Under 11 final!

Lisburn 74-7
C Gray 22 M Willmott 1-12, B McCausland 2-17, B Walsh 1-19, W Park 2-8, L Crothers 1-7

Instonians 75-1
W Park 26 n.o, B McCausland 22 n.o, N Reddy 1-11