Bradninch playing Under-15 indoor league cricket? Yes, you’d better believe it – this WONDERFUL news is another BCC initiative down to the drive – and enthusiasm – of our very own cricket Oscar winner Natalie Hunt.
Here’s Natalie’s report on a first night of action for our team.
On Wednesday evening, our older age juniors played the first round of indoor cricket matches at Exeter University. We always knew it was going to be tough as the only other clubs to enter (Sidmouth and Exeter) are both far bigger and so had more older players in their teams. We took 7 players, aged between not quite 12 and 15 years old to play in an ‘under 15’ tournament which had been brilliantly put together by Jack Bradbury from Exeter University. We entered the competition knowing it’d be tough, but then winning isn’t our focus. Our focus is learning how to play indoor cricket and enjoying this excellent opportunity whilst doing so. I knew the attitude of our lads on Wednesday would be second to none, but what I wasn’t expecting was their amazing resilience and the fast development of the team between the 1st and 2nd games!
Our first game vs Exeter, was tough with a complete batting collapse from the off after a run out on the first ball. That was until Riley Piper took to the field and with 11 year old Charlie Piper as his attentive batting partner, he steadied the sinking ship by carefully and steadily batting for a fantastic top score of 27. Bradninch were all out for 49, but they weren’t defeated yet. Exeter knew the target was in easy reach for them, but the Bradninch fielding meant they had to fight for it. Wickets were taken by James Harris, James Coles x2 and Samuel Leathes, with catches from Vinny and Harris, and a couple of run outs . Bradninch were desperate for the last 2 wickets to fall, but couldn’t quite do it before Exeter reached the target. Exeter won by 2 wickets.
The team then had a break and a chance to analyse how they could improve, and watch Sidmouth play Exeter to pick up some tips. Sidmouth smashed Exeter, so we knew we were likely to struggle alot in our game against them but…..he who must struggle, can also learn quickly!
We then faced Sidmouth, whose team looked like they were at the very top end of the Under 15 bracket, but that didn’t faze our lads. Sidmouth batted extremely well and although the Bradninch fielding was good, they couldn’t do much against balls getting trapped in netting, or going out of the netting. With only 1 wicket being lost (b. James Harris) for more than 100 runs scored, the boys could have thrown in the towel. However giving up is something these boys refuse to do and put on a massively improved batting performance. We couldn’t reach their target, but Bradninch steadily put runs on the board, avoided a collapse of any description and every individual batting made a contribution to the total. We ended the match in total elation, when Jack Manning (who has made a return after a year break from cricket), used the final ball of the game to hit a magical 6, proving to himself what I already knew….that boy needs to play more cricket!! 😁
The individual and overall improvement in just this week, was amazing to see and I look forward to taking them for week 2 next week!