Had a text today from G-Man at the club saying that there would be a practice tonight over at Mopsies Park for the U13 squad in preparation for the league final against Orsett this coming Sunday. So we all went over Joe, Ben and me. Ben's the Twelth man again and it doesn't look like anyones going to be forfeiting their place, so he'll be watching and supporting again, but he trained with them in the event that he does get the call up at the last minute.
With autumn now just round the corner, there was only a short window of opportunity, but they got at least four pairs in to have a bat including Ben and Ben also got to bowl and over or two. Some tactics and weaknesses were discussed for instance, there is a need for the bowlers to be more aware of the fact that if the ball gets past the inner circle, the bowler needs to get back behind the stumps to back up if the fielder gets the ball into the bowlers end for a run out.
Generally they're looking like a good unit, on many ocassions when the ball came in there were at least 2 fielders backing up in order to eliminate extra runs in that scenario. So there isn't any reason why we can't win. Orsett are an arrogant bunch, full of themselves, mouthy in the field, aggressive and quick to capitalise on any weaknesses. They're more than willing to intimidate - the wicket keeper and the close in fielders very verbal, looking to under-mine the batsmen and make them feel isolated. The bowlers when they get the ball back quickly direct off the bat will then throw down the stumps when the batsman is still in his crease or at least make the action as if they are going to. They're generally physically big and tall lads as well for U13's, with only a handful of smaller boys. In addition the team is so popular and successful in part due to their location and the fact that they are a very well resourced team - lovely new and big pavillion, state of the art nets facilities and 3 or 4 of them to boot, that it means they're in a psoition where they turn lads away. The word is that any lads that want to play for the team have to do a test and prover that they are good enough to play for them and even then it could be years or months before they are deemed good enough to play in the first XI of each age group, so they are a pretty formidable bunch. But - the bigger they are, the harder they fall and they can be under-mined. In our match with them during the run up to these final where they beat us by about 6 wickets, there was a phase in the middle of the game where one or two of their players put down a couple of balls and B&P suddenly got the ascendancy with the bat for a few overs and they suddenly shut up and were very quiet and only resumed their confidence once a key wicket fell, but for a short period it looked like they'd run out of ideas.
In that game we lost several early key wickets, unusual wickets too the first 4 bats went for about 20 runs or so, putting us on the back foot, if those same blokes (and its very possible) could keep their wickets and survive the opening bowling attack, that would put our blokes in a very strong position and test the Orsett boys. The chances are our support is going to be far superior to theirs and if we're behind our boys and we're vocal it might get under their skin and they could easily falter. It's a mouth watering prospect, but the Orsett are on a high as they knocked their semi final opponents out easily bowling the whole team out for less than 33 runs!
Oh yeah on the theme of my own bowling I was asked to bowl an over by G-man and Liam Rouse and I took one of our lads wicket twice in the one over and he's normally one of our players that hoiks me quite easily, but he was un-done by all my new attriutes and he was bowled clean through the gate twice by balls pitched outside of leg.