Courageous young Academy side prevail away at Heckington
By Wes Shelbourne
A performace to be proud of
The first academy fixture of the season saw an extremely young side travel to Heckington. This academy side consisted of five debutantes (including an U12, two U13 and two U14) with the more ahem.. experienced heads of Ian Fisher
, Ben Rolfs, Martin Carrick
, Shelbournes jnr and snr and captain James Kempton
. On first inspection the wicket looked in reasonable shape with no indication of what was to come. Heckington won the toss and put the academy side into bat. Kempo and Zac opened the batting and the first ball was an absolute pea roller which if on target would have snaffled Zac first ball. The next ball bounced head height and Kempo played a nice upper cut to the boundary. The next few overs followed a similar pattern and the opening pair found it hard going with Kempo 'getting one' on the chin from a nice forward defensive shot to a ball on a good length. The opening pair were soon dismissed, both caught by playing at balls that stuck in the pitch. young first timer Vaughan Whitaker
came in at 3 and did not look out of place before being caught from another tricky ball. Martin Carrick
fell quickly bring young Tom Mathew to the crease. Tom quickly adapted his game to the conditions following the adage of "if you are going to flash, flash hard" and played some nice shots along with some outside edges that went to the boundary. Tom also showed a fair amount of courage by 'wearing' a couple of shortish balls on his body. With three fours and some good running Tom reached 20, the highest score of the innings before finally being bowled. Another first timer Henry Day
showed some real stick- ability and determination to grind out his total of four. Tom Marshall came and went fairly quickly bringing Ben Rolfs to the crease. Kempo expressed a concern that he hoped Ben's skill and ability with the bat wouldn't be seen as unfair and giving the academy side an unreasonable advantage. Well, I have to give many thanks to Ben for making batting looking really hard work and ensuring that those skills and abilities were kept nicely hidden from Heckington, resulting in Ben leaving the crease for 7 hard earned runs and describing the wicket as something he has never witnessed before in his life. Young under 12 Ollie Houldershaw showed a great deal of promise in at number 10 sticking around for his four runs not out before the dismissal of Shelbourne snr brought the innings to an end for a hard earned total of 81.
The academy manager thought that any total of above 75 was going to provide a challenge and Kempo and Ben gave an inspirational team talk and there was a real positivity about the team.
As the academy side took to the field a young opening bowling partnership of Ollie and Tom Marshall spearheaded the attack. Ollie's first over in senior cricket was solid and showed great potential. Nerves were slightly evident in Tom Marshall's first over as he went for 21 and Heckington raced to 31-0 from 3 overs. This looked as though it could be over quickly. It was at this point that the guts and courage of this side was displayed with Tom in his second over find a really good line and length and trapping their opener LBW. This was quickly followed in the next over with Ollie accounting for the other dangerous opener LBW for a quickfire 22. In his next 2 overs Tom claimed another 3 wickets finishing his 5 overs with figures of 5-1-26-3 which considering his opening over is remarkable stuff.
After 10 over Heckington were 50-5 with plenty of overs and wickets to get the remaining 32 runs required. Spin was the brought on from both ends in the form of Martin and Zac and straight away hit their line and length. Heckington new that time and overs were on their side a that they could wait to pick up a single here and there and still be on course to win. However, the spinners turned the screw giving minimal scoring opportunities and I have to say everyone in the field played their part in stopping singles. The pressure from the spinners began to tell with Martin getting a wicket thanks to a brilliant catch from Kempo and Zac getting Heckington's stubborn number 3 stumped. with Mr Rolfs near enough demolishing the stumps. Heckington continued to move slowly towards Lindum's total of 81 and were 73-8 with 18 overs still remaining. The spinners continued with Zac snaffling a wicket, their number 9 LBW for 12. The score was now 74-9 and Heckington's final pair were playing everything dead bat and taking the run if it was there. It was a game of patience and could the young academy side show the courage and patience not to panic? The score crept up to 77 before Heckington's number 10 went to play a pull shot from Zac which was top edged and gratefully received by Ben Rolfs behind the stumps. Cue celebrations, hugs and lots of "well done". Martin with figures of 9-4-12-2 and Zac 10-3-18-3
This was a superb performance, and I would say the best I have seen in my time managing the academy in terms of attitude and not giving up on what was described by Ben Rolfs as a "terror track". This bodes well for the future of the academy and Lindum Cricket club and is a [performance we should all be proud of.