Junior players, their parents and coaches, can be very pleased about the fact that our U11s, U13s and U15s teams all won their respective North Division and represented the club at this year’s play offs at Brymbo.
Our U11s were first up, led by Coach Paul Jenkins. Under a cloudy sky we made steady progress and lost only two wickets in 16 overs. Jack was top score with 11, and then Chris chipped in with 8, neither being dismissed. We set Gresford 250 to win.
Early wickets tumbled in Gresford’s reply with a wicket for Oliver, then two in an over; first from Tom, and then two in an over for Lucas! Things looked promising when our boys followed this up with a good run out.
However, Gresford’s fourth pairing batted with great skill and it was not until the final few deliveries before they crept over the line in an exciting finish.
Three of our under 11s played up for our under 13s, led by Coach Roy Pierce. They played Llay Welfare. Llay batted first and their first three batters (all Welsh players) retired on 25, so a large total was likely.
However, Northop stuck to their task really well and limited Llay to 124-5. Wickets for Oliver, Nathan, two for Finn and a run out.
Two early dismissals put our batting effort on the back foot and despite 12 from Tom, 18 for Josh and 11 from Adam we came up rather short at 77-7 against ten-man Llay.
U13s North East Wales, North Division Winners, 2016.
Back L - R: Josh, Roy (Coach), 'Fordy', Nathan, Adam, Tom W., Owen C (Captain)
Front L - R: Finn, Jack W., Jack P., Owen J., and Oliver
Players not in the photo: Leo, Karthic and Callum
Dave Hatton’s Under 15s therefore had the added pressure of trying to save the day, as it were!
Batting first we lost a wicket first ball!! It looked as though perhaps it was not to be our day, but the ship was steadied by a top quality partnership of over a half century from Captain Tom S., and Ben, who retired on 33.
Tom made 20, then a positive last few overs saw Nathan (10 not out) and Elgan (8 not out) chase the score up to 127-3.
A couple of early wickets, one for Ben and a good run out (Adam-Ben), settled us down and the Llay batters never found runs easy to come by.
Two wickets for Elgan, and one for Owen C., before Adam took his chance by claiming a hat-trick, the last wicket being the result of a diving catch by Matthew M.
Llay could not progress their score beyond 80-8 due to tight bowling and keen fielding. (Three catches for our wicket keeper, Nathan).
This Under 15s team of ours is quite an impressive unit and never really got put under pressure from a young Llay team.
U15 North East Wales Champions, 2016; "The Invincibles"
Back L - R: Dave (Coach), Adam, Luke, Ben, Jack, Elgan, Matthew M
Front L - R: Nathan, Owen, Tom S (Captain), Matthew J., and Iwan
Players not in the photo: Henry
So, only our U15s progress to the North West v. North East Final’s Day at Mochdre, scheduled for September 11th.
However, it was something of a relief for coaches to wave off happy faces at the end of rather a long day that had threatened to end in drizzle, and gloom.
Well done to all who took part!