Bolney 2nd XI 179-6 beat Burgess Hill 4th XI 134 a/o by 45 runs
Owing to limited availability, the 4th XI lined up for the first competitive fixture of the season with largely youthful team, with 8 lads between 12 and 15 years old taking the field, alongside 3 ‘less young’ team-mates. Given this, the fact that we were very much in the game until 10 overs to go, was to the immense credit of all involved.
Steve Ward came in for a Burgess Hill debut, and someone passed him the captaincy (Richard Mamoany, I’m looking at you…). We won the toss and elected to bowl.
Opening bowlers Harrison Lees & Adam Hughes bowled terrifically, and absolutely belied their comparative inexperience. Harrison took an early wicket thanks to a fantastic catch by 12 year old wicket-keeper Jack Smart; and both kept the top order very quiet with probing and tight bowling. Toby Fisher & Vish Munasinghe continued the good work with a wicket each, and the remaining young bowlers Tristan Hepburn, Ollie Elms and Adam Drew also bowled admirably through a period when Bolney tried to increase the run rate.
Bolney had a stoic German opener who nudged and nurdled to the legside on his way to a 50, but was eventually trapped in front by Steve Ward, having his first bowl for over 5 years. Bolney attempted to up the pace towards the end, and Harrison came back to keep the pressure on bowled 11 overs for his 1-35, Ward grabbed another wicket to end with 2-21, and Tristan took on the final over with admirable confidence and got a wicket for his good work thanks to a great catch from Steve Lees, and Bolney ended on 179 from 47 overs. For such a youthful line up to keep them to under 4 an over was remarkable.
Our response was spirited. Despite losing Mamoany early, his fellow opening partner Jack Smart led the way as he excelled as the most talented batsmen on both teams, striking the ball terrifically to a chance-less 70, that had the Bolney crew at a loss what to do to tie him down. He led the way, through productive partnerships with Harrison Lees (18) and Steve Ward (11). A couple more wickets fell as Jack continued, however, the opportunity to achieve a remarkable win came when Steve Lees (28) came in and started to also find the boundary with some aggressive hitting. Smart was out trying to up the ante and and although Steve continued for 4 or 5 more overs after his departure an aggressive shot on a variable bouncing wicket accounted for his bowled dismissal. The remaining young batsmen did their level best to survive the remaining overs, however the Bolney experience told, and we were all out for 134.
Huge credit to an admirable set of young guys who were a credit to the club’s youth section. Not one of them looked out of place, especially with the ball, and also a big hand from the captain to Richard Mamoany for his excellent cajoling of the boys and guiding them through such a creditable performance.