Hambledon U9 Festival


The U9A team ventured into deepest Hampshire yesterday to compete in the U9 Festival at historic Hambledon Cricket Club. 

A beautiful setting on a sunny and breezy day, we were scheduled to play three pool matches of 8 overs per innings, with then hopefully a semi final and final awaiting us.

The format of the festival matches were that each batting pair faced 2 overs and every player bowled 1 over.

Match 1 was against Hambledon Bs, with an excellent bowling and fielding performance by OGCC in the first innings, resulting in 4 wickets, minimal extras and keeping the oppo to a very chase-able 109 (scores started from 100).  After the initial pair of overs, we had scored 128 and from that amazing start, built on a solid performance to reach 168 and a victorious start to our day’s campaign.

Hambledon C was the next team in our pool and with Odiham put in to bat by the opposition, all the 8 batsmen contributed to the free flowing runs, reaching the highest total of the day of 229 in our 8 overs for the loss of 1 wicket.  Hambledon Cs played very positively but came up against a tight bowling attack and having taken 3 wickets, Odiham won the match by 124 runs.

The third and final match in our pool was against a Portsmouth A side with 3 district players.  They had also won their first two matches and therefore this was going to be the decider on who topped the pool and played the 2nd team from the other pool in the semi finals.  Clearly a well drilled side, their initial bowling was tight and pegged us to 116 from the first pair (still a good solid start though). In spite of losing 4 wickets, we put on a very defendable score of 163.  If we fielded and bowled as well in this game as we had the other two, we were very solid contenders for the victory.  Portsmouth’s opening pair kept par with the score, scoring 17 runs.  Then Odiham shifted up a gear and with 3 wickets, pegged Portsmouth back to 110 over the next 2 overs.  A further 3 wickets in the next 4 overs kept the pressure on and held Portsmouth to 125 and a fabulous victory by Odiham.

Liphook were our semi final opposition and we felt confident that we would need to play our best cricket to win this one.  A steady start put us on 141 after 6 overs and a flourish in the last 2 overs accelerated the score to 171. Excellent bowling and fielding set us up very positively with a 2 wicket maiden taking Liphook to 90 after the first over.  Liphook scored a steady rate of runs, but with the high standards of fielding and bowling by Odiham, reached a total of 136, leaving Odiham with a victory by 35 runs.

…we then awaited with baited breath to see who we would play in the final… Hambledon A or Portsmouth A…

…and so the final was set against Portsmouth A.  Moving to another, larger pitch with a strip more in keeping with Lords (massive slope), Odiham batted first with a massive 40 scored from the first 2 overs.  We continued scoring at a rapid rate and with the loss of just 2 wickets, reached an innings score of 181.  As throughout the whole festival, Odiham continued to be the complete package and having bowled the first two overs, left Portsmouth on 100 with 2 wickets taken.  Portsmouth knew they were on the back foot and attacked harder, scoring at a steady rate to reach 130 runs after 6 overs.  With a mountain to climb, Portsmouth needed to throw caution to the wind and couple this with some great bowling, wickets fell and they ended up with 134, Odiham winning the final by 47 runs.

A great win for the team based on a consistent high level of performance across all games.

I’ve deliberately left out mentioning names so far because the whole team contributed.  In the field, bowling and with the bat, each and every player put in a festival winning performance.

The festivals stars for Odiham were:

Sam Watson (c)

Ben Fisher

Max Ivey

Freddie Pocock

Hugo Acheson-Gray

Rory Acheson-Gray

Oliver Livingston Booth

Alex Harker

Not only did we play exceptionally well, we played as a team, supported each other and were sporting with the other teams….something mentioned by all the opposition coaches.

Congratulations to these fine young cricketers, they did themselves proud.