Malahide Cricket Club News story

Development team shaded by the Hills

07 Aug 2018

On yet another gloriously sunny afternoon, the Development XI took to the field of dreams with a team featuring 5 newcomers among the 8 youth players (all 14 or under) and 3 wise, or at least old, heads to face a strong, experienced Hills XI. 

Our opening attack of Oliver Manks and Mathew Langan bowled with such control that the Hills had to retire their openers to add impetus to their scoring.  What followed was a good battle between bat and ball with wickets to Rohit Upadhyay (2 for 16), Sean Condron (1 for 8), Mitchel Grant (1 for 26) and Oliver Manks (1 for 35) with good economical support from Mark Deacon, Mathew Langan and Zohaib Shahid.  But some late-order, big hitting from their senior players gave the Hills the advantage and took them to a challenging total of 172.  

Covering such a large outfield was a new experience for our young team.  Oliver Manks (2) and Oliver Jeffrey-Carrick epitomised the team's excellent fielding scoring 3 run outs with direct hits.  Matthew Langan took a fine catch at short long leg to dismiss the Hill's captain.  Not to be outdone, Brian Thornes in an oh-so-near Champagne Moment displayed agility, acrobatic elan and juggling prowess to reach a ball at mid-wicket, only to be brought down by gravity.  Jack and Brian both kept well in challenging conditions.

Batting on a grass wicket is unfortunately a novelty for young players and ours struggled to find the pace and bounce of the pitch against accurate Hills bowling.  Jack Grant and Brian Thornes (retired on 29) gave us a good start but the batsmen coming after couldn't pick up the pace.  Mark Deacon produced a typically breezy 18 until he was caught (typically) playing an entirely unexpected, wholly uncharacteristic and almost responsible defensive shot.  Neil Carrick (28*) and Mitch Grant (8) added some useful runs at the end, but it wasn't enough and we fell short by 50 runs.

Development cricket is all about introducing young players to adult cricket, so it was fitting that we should play on the main adult pitch.  There were many lessons to be learned today, but the boys should be proud of their attitude and performance.

Thanks to Chris Deacon for umpiring, the many parents who provided such an excellent tea, Phil Frost for the use of the main square, and the Hills for a good, competitive game played in the right spirit.