Sunday, March 15, 2009

First mowing of the year

As promised a lovely sunny and warm spring day. Simon sent a text in the morning and said that he wasn't going to be able to make the practice, so I cancelled it and let Alex know. During the morning Ben and Joe see image below went over the Rec with their mate Oz for the first time ever on their own, this represents quite a big step in their lives and an equally big one for us as parents because it means they were about half a mile away with no form of contact and out there on their own in the woods and stuff. My only concern is cars and getting across roads, if anything is going to happen that's going to be it. So for them it's their first step from being little boys towards being more responsible for themselves and us letting go a bit more. They admitted when they came back that it was a bit daunting but they liked it as there was no-one to say 'Don't do that don't do this'.
Cricket Stuff.

The field that we establish the wicket on (see blog header image) is still being used for football on Sundays so after lunch I went over and had a look at how much damage was done to the wicket area and whether it was obvious that I'd rolled it last night. It wasn't too bad and it wasn't overly obvious that wicket area had been rolled although on closer inspection it's ver obvious as it is so much flatter and than the surrounding field.

Earlier in the day I'd also gone over to the cricket pitch that's local to us to see how that's getting on and whether the green keeper has cut it yet and he had. The wicket is looking very lush at the minute and nothing like our field, but then our field has been cut a few times in the last month or so and gets a pounding from the football games. We decided that as the wicket had been rolled and the weather is set to continue in this fine vein it might be an idea to mark the wicket out more prominently and cut it so as to establish it's position this year. So armed with our Ransomes Ajax (that I'd lowered slightly after testing in our back garden) 4 posts and a long bit of twine we measured out an area 8' wide and about 24 yards long and got down to cutting it for the first time this year.
As you can see from the image despite the fact that we cur virtually nothing off the grass you can just make out the lines. The intention is that we'll cut it once every 2 weeks or whenever the weather allows just to promote good growth. If it rains sufficiently for the roller to have some impact I'll roll it again in the future, but the rolling that's already been done has made a substantial impact already which is good.
Once that was done I took a couple of stumps over there and threw a few balls (60) and again I had the same lame results with the Leg breaks. Dead straight or just slightly going towards slips with some decent bounce and again as the session culminated it did start to come together. Once back home I then threw a few outside the house and they turned really well but I'd changed the emphasis of my grip again in comparison to what I'd been doing at the start of the session on the field. It is that 3rd finger very much the key to the spinning, the two up fingers hardly doing anything and the throw more or less off the 3rd finger and that was giving me a good amount of spin and improved bounce.
Ben & Joe had their usual training session, this week attended by 15 kids in the under 11 group. There's another group of boys some of who look as though they're potentially under 11 as well and they're in the nets but they're part of last years team. It's going to be interesting to see how they select the team because if the boys that were in the nets are in the Under 11's they are far more superior players to the group that practice with Ben and Joe.
I feel as I mentioned last week Ben and Joe are losing the will to go to the sessions because they are repetitive, but they don't seem to grasp that if they want to be good players they need to practice and they need to listen to the coach. We'll have to see how it develops as the final weeks come together.