10 May 2017

Warwick were our opponents last Saturday, having been reintroduced to our fixture card this year, and they proved a strong challenge. The lower school teams started the block of fixtures off with morning games at both Warwick and Cox's Field. The U12As and U13Bs travelled to Warwick for early starts. The U12A side struggled on a very dry and unpredictable wicket, losing a flurry of early wickets, which they failed to recover from, being bowled out for 46 runs. Warwick got off to a quick start and took an extremely positive approach with the bat, able to knock the total off well in advance of the allotted overs. Whilst a bitter pill to swallow, the U12s have plenty of potential and we will see continued improvements over the course of the term, I am sure.

The U13Bs, like the U12As, found the going tough, batting first. Whilst they lost few early wickets, it was difficult to get any momentum with the bat and the run rate suffered a little, posting 86 for 4 in their 20 overs. Despite an excellent bowling performance from Leo Vine, with 5 for 12, Warwick chased down the total for the loss of 6 wickets.

At Cox's, the U13A side batted first, posting 124 for the loss of 6 wickets. Caspar Mannix top scored with 37, but they were perhaps 15-20 runs short of a competitive score on a quick scoring ground, so would have to bowl extremely well to restrict the visitors. Despite their best efforts with the ball, Warwick managed to chase down the total for the loss of 7 wickets. On the adjacent pitch, the U12Bs fielded first, and struggled a little with their consistency with the ball, which is understandable given that many of them have only been playing for a very short time! Warwick posted a very challenging 145 for 7 in their 20 overs, which is a difficult chase at any level of school cricket. On the back of a fine 41 from Robin Hambidge, Abingdon reached 109 for 8, batting out their overs to fall 36 runs short.

The U14 sides were all on Cox's Field in the afternoon matches, and performed very impressively. The U14As posted 215 for 7 with valuable contributions from Liam Hilditch (43), Freddie Smith (42) and Karum Sangha (38). Despite a promising start to the chase, Warwick struggled to maintain the required run rate and fell 28 runs short at 187 all out. The U14Bs continued their good form, posting 159 for 8, with Louis Summons hitting an excellent 59. Warwick struggled from the start with their chase with Archie Malcolm's 5 wickets ensuring they fell well short, being bowled out for 52; 107 runs short. Most impressive of all, however, was the U14C team, who posted a massive 192 for 6, including a dynamic 61 from Henry Fitzpatrick. Henry Lykke Dahn and Tom Anderson both took 3 wickets apiece to bowl Warwick out 136 runs short, for 56.

At Warwick, the U15B team struggled against a strong Warwick side, who bowled very straight from the start, bowling the visitors out for under 50. Unfortunately, the Warwick batsmen took little time in knocking off the runs, losing just the 2 wickets. The U15As were involved in a very exciting game that could have gone either way. Batting first, Abingdon made 217 for the loss of 7 wickets with Nathan Hudson, Jake Sedgwick and James Coombs all making strong contributions with the bat. The game ebbed and flowed right up to the last ball, off of which Warwick required 3 runs to win. A dot ball to finish, meant that Abingdon held on for a very well-deserved win by 2 runs.

All three of the senior sides were in action, with close results in each of the matches. The 3rd XI bowled Warwick out for 89 runs at Cox's and made things more challenging for themselves with the chase in losing regular wickets, managing to reach the total for the loss of 7 wickets in the end. The 1st XI bowled first on War Memorial and the game never really changed pace, with a steady run rate of just over 4 runs per over throughout the Warwick innings to post 169, a total that we would have certainly taken at the start of the match. Similarly to Warwick's innings, the run rate never got going in Abingdon's reply and the home side fell a disappointing 7 runs short, bowled out for 162 in the final over.

On the 1st XI pitch at Warwick, the 2nd XI were involved in a great game of cricket to complete the day. Setting the home side 233 for victory, thanks to some excellent batting from Alex Sayeed (58) and a 'box office' (Mr Southwell-Sander's words) 64 not out by Dan Bacon, the game was constantly in the balance. Once again, a game that came down to the last over, with Warwick edging over the line with 2 balls to spare in an outstanding game of cricket.. very nearly another tie for Mr Southwell-Sander's 2nd XI, with both sides losing 6 wickets apiece.

This weekend, we look forward to the challenge of Cheltenham College across the Middle and Senior School, whilst the Lower School sides are in action during the week against Thorngrove and Moulsford respectively.

The boys are also now able to benefit from the new six lane cricket net system that has been built on War Memorial, replacing the old net wickets. The facility, known as 'Robson Wickets', has been named after our late Head Groundsman, Paul Robson.

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