30 April 2019

Week 1 of the Summer term saw Abingdon competing against Bradfield College in a reduced, pre-season block of fixtures, and then Reading Blue Coat School, again reduced by the early season rain that fell in Reading. 

Playing two T20 fixtures against Bradfield, the 1st XI asserted some early control in the first game, limiting the hosts to 120 for 9 in their 20 overs with captain, Harvey Jupp, picking up 4 for 14 in his 4 overs. Despite the loss of a few quick wickets in the middle overs, Abingdon reached the target in the 19th over with 5 wickets in hand. Freddie Smith making an unbeaten 56 at the top of the order. The second game saw Abingdon bat first, and a target of 142 was set, with Jamie Lawson contributing a fluent 38. In reply, Bradfield got off to a difficult start, losing their first 3 wickets inside 3 overs for just 5 runs. Will Ginks picked up figures of 3 for 18 from 4 overs as Bradfield finished 30 runs short. Two very professional displays to start the season from the 1st XI.

The U15A had a nail-biting finish in their opening match at Bradfield. Set a challenging total of 169 to win, they showed great character and maturity in recovering from some difficult situations. At 20 for 3, Aaron Mara and Nathan May both scored 30's in a recovery from a difficult start to the innings, and the game went all the way to the wire, as Callum Ryall and Max Sheppard put on a very intelligently crafted partnership of 30 to win the game with 2 wickets in hand and 4 balls to spare!

The U14A, also at Bradfield, batted first and got off to a very strong start and were in a very good position on 79 for 2 from 15 overs. Unfortunately, as can be common in pre-season fixtures, a flurry of wickets meant that they could not capitalise on the excellent start and they fell to 119 all out. Despite their best efforts, Bradfield reached their target with relative comfort – another 30 runs might have made the game a more interesting encounter.

Despite the best efforts of the weather, we managed to complete a good number of matches in Saturday's block against Reading Blue Coat. The only fixture hosted by our opponents was that of the 1st XI, who were asked to bat first. A rapid-fire start at the hands of Freddie Smith (59) saw the innings off to a very quick start and a classy 102* by captain Harvey Jupp allowed Abingdon to set a very challenging total of 269 from 35 overs. Early wickets, meant that the game was all but over and it petered out to a comfortable 69 run victory.

On War Memorial the U15A side elected to bat first and quickly set about their business. Opener Freddy Selby-Lowndes scoring a stylish 69 and captain, Rory King, easing his way to 47 in a total of 205 for 4. In response, Reading Blue Coat struggled to get any momentum to their chase and Max Sheppard's 4 for 12 saw the Abingdon side win by a comprehensive 118 runs.

At a very windy Cox's Field, the U15B team also batted first and managed to finish their innings having not lost a wicket! Aiden Long scoring 64* and Josh Jackson 44* in a total of 144. Continued pressure with the ball meant that the side eased to a 54 run victory.

In the U12A match, runs were shared between the batsmen as Abingdon batted first, setting 140 for 5 in their innings. A strong all-round bowling performance allowed a comfortable 42 run victory. The U13B and U12B sides found scoring quickly a more difficult task on the day and despite losing by small margins, the lack of runs and speed of scoring ultimately made the difference on the day. Sadly the U14 matches and U13A fixture were cancelled due to the overnight rain in Reading.

Next, we play Stowe in a mid-week block of fixtures and then Warwick School on the Saturday.

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