On a glorious summer day at Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club, Tring Park met Harpenden in the U10 Hardball County Final. We were treated to an outstanding display of cricket by two very talented teams, who showed tremendous maturity well beyond their years. The standard of cricket and level of commitment was exceptional, particularly in such scorching temperatures.
The Tring captain, Thomas Lowe won the toss and elected to bowl. After fast and accurate opening spells from Kit Newman & Joey Grinham, the Harpenden opening batsmen made a solid start, without losing a wicket. The batting side then started to attack. However, a sharp catch behind the stumps from Ferdy Middleton, ignited a tremendous spell of bowling from Dylan Wale, who went on to take 4 wickets. Fine bowling spells from Barney Allen & Mal Bowyer, who both picked up a wicket, saw Jamie de Beer take a fabulous catch at mid-wicket. After a huge effort from the Tring boys with the ball and in the field, combined with some very good batting and smart running between the wickets from the Harpenden boys, an impressive and very competitive score of 289/6 was posted.
The Tring innings was opened by Kit & Joey and despite being up against some very accurate opening bowlers, they gave the Tring boys a great platform to build upon. Kit & Joey batted sensibly, but positively from the start, with excellent rotation of the strike and some well-placed and well-timed shots that raced to the boundary. Thomas & Mal continued this positive batting display and attacked the bowling, with an extremely impressive partnership of 32 runs, which included a number of fantastically well struck shots that hurtled over the boundary. Jamie & Barney kept the momentum going, with quick and intelligent running between the wickets, coupled with good communication. Jamie & Barney took the Tring boys to within 23 runs of the target and the match hung in the balance as the last pair came in. Ferdy & Dylan immediately put the fielding side under pressure with some vital singles. However, the Harpenden boys responded with a great run out, followed by a tight penultimate over, which left Tring needing 13 runs from the last over. As the contest reached its climax, Ferdy & Dylan calmly calculated what they needed to do. Dylan struck the first ball for 4, before Ferdy sent a beautiful straight drive to the boundary. After a few singles, the scores were level, before Dylan took the Tring boys into the lead with a fantastic strike that scurried over the boundary. With two balls remaining, Harpenden needed a wicket, but Dylan’s resolute defence completed an exhilarating finish and magnificent victory for Tring, who ended up 293/6.
The final was so evenly matched and played in a fantastic spirit throughout. Immense credit must go to both teams for putting on such a superb display of cricket. The Tring captain, Thomas Lowe, did a fantastic job with clever bowling changes and thoughtful field placing. The teamwork and encouragement from both sides was so important in such hot conditions. It was great to see the boys thinking about the game and making decisions for themselves – a great advert for junior cricket.
Huge thanks to Anna Billings at Sawbridgeworth Cricket Club for hosting such a fantastic finals day.