This is going to be a biggun, it'll take a few nights to get this typed up and the pictures loaded.
The night before all the weather reports, even those with some kind of commercial sponsorship agenda were indicating pretty much the same thing 07.00 - fine, 09.00 cloudy, 10.00 rain and 1pm Heavy rain. I'd gone to bed thinking that there wasn't much hope of a full game and wondered what the outcome would be if we awoke to rain at 08.00hrs? As it happened when we awoke it was dry and there were even a few blue patches and the cloud that there was didn't look too threatening - it looked promising.
We arrived just after 09.00 with the game scheduled to start at 09.30. The field our game was on was the one in the distance, the other side of the field adjacent to the club-house. You could tell it was ours as there were more people there already than you get at some county games. As the 12th man and knowing that everyone once again had indicated that they'd be playing, Ben didn't feel compelled to get his whites on and he left his gear in the car. We walked over and joined the B&P contingent and looked to see if there was any Orsett fans. There were a couple of people.
There was excitement and anticipation, the boys looked nervous and the coaches looked pretty much the same, the mantra was 'Go out there and enjoy yourselves, this is your day. Don't play silly shots, see yourself in and do the best you can, that's all we ask of you'.
The Orsett were on the far side of the pitch doing drills, our lads had got there early and possibly done there's already? The umpires made there way over from the clubhouse - independent umpires for the first time as it was the final. That was good to see, as there was the sense that there would be total impartiality. The captains Mitchell McLeod B&PCC and the Orsett lad were beckoned to the middle and the toss was done. McLeod won the toss and chose to field as far as I could make out and the final preparations and psyching up was done as the start of the game
The back room staff wished all the boys good luck, Ben went round all his team mates wishing them good luck and encouraging them as they got ready to go out on to the pitch.
Let's just set the scene here a little. The opposition Orsett CC as far as I can make out are one of the most successful clubs at this age and level in the district if not the most successful and have been so over several years. Their club is so well resourced and patronised that the rumor is that they turn prospective kids away if they fail some kind of aptitude test. Even if kids get in the chances of them ever playing in the U13 League 1st XI is slim, as the team is so phenomenally strong. The strength of the side is such that in the semi - final last week the bowled out Leigh On Sea for 23 runs winning by 10 wickets. When our team faced them back in June we lost by 6 wickets.....
Match report(By Dave Ayres).......A bright and sunny Sunday morning was the backdrop to Basildon & Pitsea's latest away trip; this time to an Orsett team boasting 6 district/county level players, and who have scored runs aplenty for little or no wickets this year. Yes the gathered support knew this was a tough game; however our little warriors done the club proud with a battling display against such adversity.
The toss was lost, and the opposition skipper put B&P into bat. At the end of the first over we had amassed 6 runs, however Sonny Downes was back in the pavillion after being run out. Then the run rate fell into oblivion; between overs 2 and 8 only 12 runs were put on the score, with the loss of 2 more wickets; Mitchell McLeod being caught for 0 and Jack Green trapped LBW for 1, and the score just 19 for 3 from 8.
Anthony Ayres came to the crease, and between him and Regan Mead, plundered some runs off the next over; 14 to be precise as Mead decided singles were boring, fours being the preferred score. At the half way mark B&P were 34 for 3, and a short drink break gave some respite from the tight and measly bowling. After the break, some fortune with misfields, and some shot making from Mead and Ayres lead to Mead taking his now obligatory walk from the pitch after his latest retirement; at least 2 of the coaching staff now looking over their shoulders as he comes hunting the retirement record. Nathan Hubble joined Ayres in the middle, and some very opportunistic running of quick singles and 2's from 1's meant that by the time the stumps rattled to end Ayres innings, the score was a healthier at 64 in the 14th over.
Small cameo performances from Harrison Birch (6), Tom Hardy (2) and a little not out from Harry Davie (4) combined with Hubble's 18 not out to amount to B&P's score of 87 for 6 from 20 overs.
Tea in the marvellous clubhouse completed, it was time for B&P to field, and to try to stop the juggernaut that is Orsett's batting machines. The openers for Orsett started plundering runs left, right and centre, and after 4 overs were 28 for 0. However in the 5th over, Ryan Davies caught the number 2 out from Ben Thompson's bowling, and we had a wicket. More runs came however, and we had to wait 3 more over for the next wicket, the other opener for Orsett; who from the looks eats all his vegetables and stands in compost of an evening faced the walk back, a good catch from McLeod; although straight at him I think there wasn't an adult present that fancied getting in the way of it, from Harry Davie's bowling and we had rattled the machine.
The following over, a wicket maiden from Ryan Davies, as Thompson repaid the earlier catch to send the no 5 back to the clubhouse; him being clearly rattled as he thought there was a no ball. The wicket stood however and the run rate slowed a little. Next over the no 4, who had previously ducked from a ball that was starting to pop up off the pitch a little, waved at another one that popped up and edged it to keeper Hubble, McLeod bagging the wicket.
However, Orsett hadenough in reserve; the no 3 walking off with a not out 28, and no 6 & 7 seeing the game through with 12.5 overs bowled.
So, it was not to be for B&P, who now play Belhus next in the League.
Add to that the physique of the Orsett boys and the pool of players from which they can draw their team is such that they are bigger and no doubt on the cusp of being taken up to the next age group as many of our boys are. So, as you can possibly sense this was a big ask off the back of their annihilation of the Leigh On Sea team. Oh...... one last thing, in this whole process this season, they haven't lost a or drawn a single match.
To be continued.........