Young U15 Side Show Character To Lewes

With a number of U15 players either injured or making themselves unavailable for selection, those who wanted to step up to the plate showed real character against a competitive Lewes Priory side. On the lead up to the game, selection was difficult, and even at 5.00pm we only had 8 players. Two more U13s stepped in at the last minute, so we took the field with a mixture of half U13s and half U15s.

Establishing a batting order wasn’t easy with so few wanting to open, but bat Adam Drew (9) and Tristan Hepburn (15) bravely put their hands up, and survived some hostile bowling to last 8 overs, and give the team a platform – a great effort! Ben McNiven (15) came in, and after unwisely being purposefully dropped first ball in an alarmingly misguided show of sportsmanship, thinking he was someone they should keep at the crease, he made them pay with some quick lusty blows to get the scoreboard moving. Harrison Lees (27) joined him and batted brilliantly before being bowled after reaching retirement score. Then young Freddie Fortune (14) and Toby Lewis (6) arrived making some useful runs and avoiding the aggressive opening bowler’s last flurry. 102 for the loss of just 5 wickets, batting out the 20 overs, was a very good score, and gave us something to defend.

The very impressive stand-in skipper Joe Hartley continued to rally the team, and the dressing room was buoyant at tea, with a real determination to try and win the game. Young Toby Lewis admirably took the gloves, as we took the field. Joe opened the bowling (4-0-24-2) with the consistent and pacy Adam Hughes (4-0-8-3), and embarrassed Lewes leaving them at 30-6. Harrison and Adam Drew carried on the good work, H chipping away another wicket. As we approached the last 6 overs, Lewes were still 30 runs short with only 2 wickets in hand. Joe Broughton (2-0-8-0) bowled brilliant leg spin to stem the flow, and Ben McNiven (2-0-12-1) bowled with pace in the gloom and secured another wicket. Lewes only had their last pair left, and were around 15 shy of the total. There were two potential match winning moments – Harrison nearly effecting a good run out opportunity and a ball just over Adam D’s head – before Lewes won the game in the 19th over.

Ultimately, situations like this show a lot about people’s character – some will run away, and some will stand up and be counted. Despite the narrow loss, we learnt an awful lot about these boys on this night. A big thank you to the boys who played for the great attitude you all showed me tonight.

Andy McNiven, BHCC U15s