Although this division is called Under 18s, most of Ley Hill’s players also play for our Under 15s side, so it is no surprise that they are having a tough time adjusting to what is a massive step up for them. Having said that, I have nothing but admiration for the way in which these young cricketers have welded themselves into a team rather than a disparate bunch of individuals. I have watched them improve with each match, and tonight, I saw them playing together better than ever and they are to be congratulated on their efforts.
Chenies & Latimer won the toss and decided to put Ley Hill into bat. Benji Ellis-Jones was unfortunate enough to be caught early on, but his opening partner Ben Eckersley stayed put and scored 22 before he tapped one back to the waiting hands of bowler Aidan Taylor. James Webster arrived at the crease as number 3 and stayed put for just under an hour, scoring a magnificent 57 runs from just 39 balls, including 8 fours and 2 sixes. He got to his 50 in 32 balls and was delighted to discover that unlike the junior leagues run by the Bucks Cricket Board, there is no “retirement rule” in this league (which is run by the Mid Bucks League) and continued hitting out until he was caught off the bowling of Shan Patel. Everyone else did their best to hurry the score along, including a well crafted 15 runs from Tom Veall and 9 runs from Freddie Ventham. Ley Hill 135 for 7 wickets, 3 of them being taken by Aidan Taylor for just 15 runs, including 2 “caught and bowleds”.
C&L captain Alex Walker opened with Matthew Brown and both showed their class and skill by being not out when the score reached 138. Alex ended up with 68 not out and Matthew with 50 not out. Although Ley Hill used seven different bowlers, they were not able to dislodge the pair and the innings ended in just 16.3 overs. Commiserations to those fielders who tried their hardest to take catches but on this occasion it was just not to be.
One more match scheduled and all junior matches are finished for this season, but I hope very much to carry on seeing many of these talented young cricketers appearing for both the Saturday 2nd XI and the Sunday XI during August and September.