The U11 team had one more hurdle to leap, in the shape of Elstead, in their pursuit of an unbeaten league season and the division title. A tough game was anticipated based on past results, but as Fernhurst's Sunday skipper lead a catching session for the visitors, the Elstead side were on the swings in the playground - surely mind games don't start at Under 11 level?!
Louis Eden captained the side, ably supported by his joint vice captains Vigar and Kidd, but the toss was lost and Elstead decided to field. The early signs were that a tough battle lay ahead with a slightly damp surface on a firm wicket creating interesting bounce, which the Fernhurst batsmen were struggling to get away. The opening pair of Westley and Skelton would take the score up to a respectable 19, but it was the arrival of Kidd and Cooper which really saw the score start to accelerate. Kidd chose his shots wisely, leaving the wides for a free 2 runs each time, but scoring 22 from the 10 balls that were straight. Cooper supported well at the other end, scoring 13 runs of his own during a wicketless spell for a partnership of 45 from 4 overs. The remainder of the innings went well enough, with Vigar (18) and Adey (16) both ticking along, but it was a slightly out of sorts performance with timing of the ball continuing to be an issue, and a couple of curious out of character run-outs adding to the feeling that the team was slightly below par. Fernhurst finished on 229 for 5 from 20 overs and went to tea wondering if it would be enough.
As the Elstead innings commenced, Fernhurst's question was quickly answered as Jack Kidd sent the bails flying with his second and third ball, creating an early hat-trick opportunity. Westley secured two wickets of his own in the second over, which pretty much ensured that the game as a contest was over. However, the Fernhurst team was now buzzing and in no mood to take their foot off the accelerator, with a succession of wickets falling giving two more apiece to Clay, Adey, L.Eden and Vigar (who also had a hat-trick opportunity). Adey, fielding on the single, seemed to be everywhere and took no less than 5 catches, and the rest of the team weighed in with 5 run outs - two of which were long range efforts by Kidd and Skelton. A demolition job was firmly in progress as both umpires became very accustomed to replacing the bails. In total there would be 20 wickets in the 20 overs, leaving Elstead on a final total of 40.
So, Fernhurst would win by a resounding 189 runs and rightly celebrated a superb victory, which also seals the league title for them after an unbeaten campaign. Their teamwork, organisation and enthusiasm has been a joy to watch this season, which bodes very well for the future of the club.
Full scorecard at : http://bstcyl.play-cricket.com/website/results/3005051