Girls cricket is back!!!!
Yes, Thursday evening saw the return of the girls U13’s team. We travelled to local rivals Hartley Whitney (HW) for this much anticipated fixture. The weather had prevented the first attempt the previous Sunday so we could not wait. It seems that HW were also keen to see some cricketing action as the locals came out in force to occupy some of the benches around the pitch. I’d even count the raucous patrons of the local pub as part of the crowd even though they had a view much similar to a “sea view” on a holiday let as long as you hang off the balcony with binoculars….
Our captain for the game was Lily Green and she strode confidently to the opposition for the coin toss. Having proved that a 50/50 was, in fact, a 100% certainty for HW Lily strode straight back to our team to tell them to pad up as we had been put into bat….
The format for girls cricket this year is pairs so we had to find our first two girls. I asked them if anyone would like to open the innings and by the looks of horror on their faces I thought I had just asked them to do an extra week of home schooling…. Lily G stepped up and was joined by Ophelia M-D. Now, it was Ophelia’s first game of hardball cricket and she played really well protecting her wicket at all times. Lily and Ophelia played themselves in for the first couple of overs and then for the remaining 2 overs Lily turned into an IPL player and started hitting 4’s all over the place. It was a great start for OGCC.
Next up was Amelia and Bethan who came up against some very tight bowling from HW. Once again though confidence grew and Amelia started to hit 4’s at will. These were mainly in the direction of her mother ensuring that that part of the ground were kept on their toes with a hardball thundering past. Bethan also did really well with the bat and scored some important runs.
Next up were Isobel and Chessie. Momentum was now with us and both Chessie and Isobel played some great cricket. Running between the wickets was fab and both always looked for over throws as well. It turned out that Isobel had most of the strike for this pairing and put on plenty of runs with some very stylish front foot drives. Chessie scored runs as well but was very effective in calling runs of wides or byes from the non strikers end.
In came Lily D and Megan who as it turns out came up against an HW bowler at the top of her game… The left arm bowler was absolutely firing them down at off stump and gained a couple of early wickets from this pair. It didn’t put them off and they were soon both keeping the scorers busy with a mixture of quick singles and 4’s. Lily D struck a crunching ball that was not stopped by a fielder but by a car parked nearby…. Mental note, is our insurance up to date!!!!
Our last pairing was Flora (and because we only had 9) Ophelia back in for another go. Flora took the strike and due to extras didn’t have too much to do for the first over. Her second over she faced HW’s best left armer and did really well defending her wicket to some great deliveries. Flora then went on to find her timing and scored well in the remaining 2 overs. Ophelia didn’t get much of the strike this time but did really well backing up for Flora out in the middle.
We ended up on 313-6 which I felt was a very competitive total for the girls.
Hartley Wintney went into bat and the great British summer arrived with some rain…. Luckily it was not enough to put off these hardy soles and play continued.
First pairing to bowl were Isobel and Flora. What a great start this was particularly as they were bowling against two girls who were playing down an age group to make up the HW team. Both girls bowled tight lines and both got a wicket. The upshot was only 6 runs scored for HW after 4 overs.
Ophelia and Lily D then came into the attack and impressed once again with some great bowling. Line and length were good which made HW have to hit some good shots for their score. After these 4 overs the score had risen to 223. Still looking good for OGCC but a long way to go.
In comes Amelia and Megan…. Amelia’s first ball was an absolute peach which took the edge and flew into Lily Greens gloves. As a keeper myself I was impressed with the ease at which Lily took the catch. The ball deflected someway so it was a brilliant take. The rest of the over was well bowled and only 1 bye came from it. Enter Megan!!!!! Megan’s spell reminded me of the England batting/fending off the West Indies in the 80’s…. A fierce spell of pace bowling followed and I believe the HW girls took at least 3 hits to their bodies. To their absolute credit they sucked it up and carried on albeit limping a bit…. I look forward to doing a daughter/parent net and seeing Paul Hancock face a few of these…. Needless to say not many runs came from this pairing.
Bethan and Lily G were next to keep the pressure on. Great performance from both of these 2 keeping runs hard to come by. Bethan took a wicket early and Lily had a great maiden over to start with. By the end of this 4 overs the score was 245
In comes Chessie for a great over which saw another wicket fall and OGCC well on their way to victory. Due to the old age of the coach (me) and the umpire (me) I only bowled Chessie for 1 over (I got confused….) but what we saw in that over says we have lots to look forward to and Chessie will definitely be bowling plenty in future games. The remaining 3 overs were shared out amongst Ophelia Bethan and Isobel with 9 runs coming off them.
Hartley Wintney ended on 254-7
A great win for OGCC for their first game. The girls really did well and no matter who we come up against in the future I know they will always play the game in great spirits and as a team.
Onto the next….