The Netherfield U13s also had a long Cup journey this year, not quite as long or as far away as the 15s but almost as successful. The team was led by Reece Irving with two other musketeers from the County U13s, Ollie Rose and Aaron Stephens and these three were the backbone of the batting playing in all the games up to but excluding the Regional Finals at Neston on the Wirral. In their four games they all batted 3 times and scored 240 runs for only once out between them. So it was indeed a pity that the County tour was to exclude them from the Finals Day along with Ben Allison who was also away with the County U12s.
The run began at Furness on a changeable night when rain seemed inevitable but never touched us. We were inserted by the home side and made a steady start after the loss of Reece at 16 and reached 54 at the half way stage. Ollie retired first followed by Aaron, 30 & 33, but that led to a final few overs blitz with 62 coming off the last 5 overs, Ben 26no(16), Max Udall 25(11) & Oscar Coxon 22no(12). We closed with a superbly daunting 158-2.
The Furness response was steady and similarly after an early wicket made it to 54 off 10 exactly the same score but a collapse ensued as Louis Bigland & Lee Modlin 5 for 2 & 2 for 3 ripped through the middle order exposing a very young tail and they eventually closed on 78-9.
A young and inexperienced Burneside provided the opposition in the Semi Final of the County Cup.
We batted first and the skipper allowed the younger elements of the side to experience the pressure higher up the order. Louis took advantage and retired on 26 & Max on 25, Caleb Wilson 17 & Billy Braithwaite 10no both enjoyed a bat. Extras were a major contributor to our 141-3.
We were not so generous when it came to bowling. Ollie 4 for 1 & Vincent Wiltshire 4-7 from their four overs each demolished Burnside who were all out 11 with Townley making 6 of them & 9 ducks all over in 9.5 overs. Penrith would not be so easy in the Final.
The Final at Netherfield promised to be a tight game. Penrith were confident and after winning the toss elected to bat first. They made good progress 47-0 off 10 became 74 at 13 with Handsford retired on 30. The first wicket fell at 76 and another 3 at 77 so effectively 5 down. There was no real acceleration as Ben & Reece put a stranglehold on them and the innings ended at 104-6. However, the visitors were still confident as only Carlisle had scored over 100 all season so far.
Ollie & Reece were cautious against an accurate opening attack and only 35 were on the board at the half way point. 20 came from the next two and the momentum had switched to NCC but Ollie retired in the 13th and Ben was out first ball. Aaron joined Reece and they took it to 91 before first Max goes first ball and then next over Oscar went first ball. A minor blip, as Aaron took control finishing on 27no (24) as we finished 105-3 and County champions.
Carlton CC, the second Edinburgh club we were to meet this summer came down on a decent Sunday when England’s soccer team were supposed to be World Cup finalists!
The visitors batted first and although they lost two early wickets at 10 & 15 they were aggressive in their approach and we struggled to contain them. Johnson struck 7 boundaries in his 33 retired from 63 at the end of 7, hitting poor Louis for three successive fours and knocking him out of the attack after just 1 over. Restall continued the barrage with 5 boundaries along with Murray a more steady approach which yielded him 30 retired just after Restall fell to a great catch by Max off Reece. They were now effectively 5 down midway through the 15th on 112. Oscar Coxon then stepped up to bowl the 16th, 18th & 20th and stopped any thoughts of an aggressive finish as he took 3-8 from his 3 overs and young Toby Cross had 12 off his three overs as the Carlton were confined to 29 off the last 35 balls, finishing on 141-7, still a difficult chase under pressure.
Reece & Ollie gave us a solid start the latter being the more aggressive and when he retired on 32 the score was 63 off 9.3 with 19 extras! Mostly wides and no balls. Ben fell next over for 1 and Aaron joined Reece in a familiar situation but not usually with such a daunting target. From 68 off 11, 34 were added in 3 overs before Reece retired on 32. Aaron once again showed terrific maturity and control as he steered the ship until he too retired on 31 with just 7 required. Lee Modlin struck two boundaries in 3 balls to finish an excellent chase with 7 balls to spare.
On to the Regional Finals at Neston where unfortunately we had to take a young and depleted squad to face strong opposition from South Shields and Alderley Edge who showed no mercy. Our 3 musketeers were all missing as was Ben on County tours so a team with only three true U13s was always going to struggle. We were bowled out by South Shields for 58, Lee top scoring with 11 and they knocked it off in 8 overs. We then faced Cheshire champions Alderley Edge as would the U15s the following day. They batted first and made 143-8 only the openers proving difficult to budge. They both retired on 30 and next top score was 18 the only other in double figures. The highlight for the boys was two Flintoffs and a Vaughan appeared in the opposition team watched by their illustrious fathers so fair to say photos were the order of the day. Matthew Drakeford playing his final game before moving to Holland was the star performer with 3-18. Once again our batting struggled and we limped to 61-6 with Oliver Griffin top scoring on 10no. A disappointing end to a terrific campaign.
Updated 10:10 - 9 Oct 2018 by Richard Edmondson