Burgess Hill u11s 301-4 net lost Preston Nomads u10s 351-5 net by 50 runs.

In the absence of a league game this weekend, we arranged a challenging friendly with Preston Nomads u10s hard ball team at St John’s Park, and it proved to be an excellent high scoring game.

Nomads won the toss and decided to bat. Their approach was calm and steady, and they were excellent at knocking the singles and keeping the score ticking. That said, we kept them in check – with opening bowlers Hayden Wickwar & Toby Spooner bowling accurate lines, and Toby getting reward with a wicket, to finish his spell with figures of 1-6, which in the context of this game was outstanding. Billy Fuller came on and was immediately thrilling with his new longer run-up and faster bowling and certain had the batsmen in trouble with it’s accuracy and pace, and was also rewarded with a wicket. Glenn MacDougall picked up a wicket too, but the Nomads’ rate was starting to rise as we started spraying some wides and no balls. Conor Ward came on and took a wicket with his first ball, however we weren’t containing the acceleration at the other end, as the visitors back-loaded their big guns, and we continued to let a few wides go. When we entered the 18th over, we had them at 303, however the closing batsmen – Rupert & Jack – who Conor knows well from his Southern Sabres squad, turned the screw and pounced on any inaccuracy from our closing bowlers and found all the gaps to score a whopping 48 from those last 3 overs. The 351 score was a formidable one to chase – but credit must go to the quality of the Nomads’ batting.

Sent out with the coach’s instructions to play the shots and have fun chasing, the reply should probably have started better than it did. Toby and Billy opened up, and were hitting boundaries, including a lovely straight 6 from Toby. Each scored 13 from the bat, however the partnership also gave 3 wickets to the visitors, including a silly run out. That said, it was refreshing to see the attacking intent that was to continue through the innings. Louis Harcourt found a little form, and played his best innings of the season to score 8 from the bat, and Ollie, Benji and Hayden chipped a few runs where they could. The odd wicket was holding us back a little, however the energy was good albeit at 237 after 12 overs we had a mountain to climb.
The 4th pair were Lewis McIntyre and Glenn, and they batted excellently, Lewis cracking 3 boundaries in an unbeaten 14 and Glenn hitting a couple in an also unbeaten 9. They scored 28 in the pair, and set up Conor and Jack MacDonald to finish off in their accustomed style. Conor was aggressive off good bowling in scoring his unbeaten 17, and although Jack played a more supporting role, they ran as well as ever and put pressure on the field to score 36 in their pair and take the score above 300, a figure teams don’t normally score against Preston Nomads, and they knew they had been in a game.

Despite the margin of defeat – there was plenty to take encouragement from. It was certainly our most complete batting performance as a team this season, if not in any season – and the defeat was indicative of some uncharacteristic wayward bowling which amounted to us yielding 63 extras. Add to that, the remarkable batting at the end of the Nomads’ innings, on another day it would have been much closer.
Brilliant fun all round, and lots of boys really enjoying their morning in the sun.