What an extraordinary day this was. We set off for the tournament in torrential rain with the Copthorne square already underwater. Arriving in light, rain the sun then appeared and a splendid day unfurled.
This was a 6 a side tournament with 2 pools of 3 teams and the top 2 going through to the semis. Looking at the strength of the opposition we were hoping to win at least one game if possible.
We started against Handcross Park B and bowled first. Each player, except the keeper, has to bowl one over. Ian opened and did really well followed by a solid over from Ben K. Jamie increased the pressure with his spin and then Josh also bowled well. James N completed the set with a tight over. Handcross had scored 48 and, through sensible batting and very good running we managed to reach the target score with 3 balls to spare. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the boys all of whom had contributed to the win. The day was getting better by the minute.
Game 2 was against Great Walstead A’s. Once again we restricted them to a relatively low score and then managed to overhaul it with some aplomb. Suddenly we are group winners and facing Ardingly in the semis. Asked to bat we set a more than adequate total and, with a superb final over from James we had won another game and made our way to the final.
Handcross Park had been scoring runs for fun all afternoon and prior to the game, the boys were told in no uncertain terms that they were going to be thrashed however we had other ideas. Great bowling from all five boys kept Handcross to a very gettable 48 and things were going well with Jamie and James going like a train. A running mix up followed by the retirement (on 25) of James brought us to a nail biting last ball. Josh facing, 2 for the win, 1 for the tie. A swing and hit and the speedster set off only to fail by inches to make his ground. A loss in the final by a run but what a day.
I thoroughly enjoyed being there with a bunch of boys who gave their all and won and lost with equal good grace. I know that the parents had an equally exciting afternoon. I was really proud of all their efforts and the spirit in which they played. We had fun and very nearly pulled off a dramatic win against significantly larger schools. It’s days like this that make the job so worth while. Congratulations to all the boys.
James N, Jamie W, Ben K, Josh P, I Haywood, M Eades (wkt)