Manly Warringah 3-138 (40 overs) defeated Central Coast 6/126 (40 overs) by 12 runs
Harry O'Sullivan 64
Tom Molloy 28 not out
Matt Evans 23
With 7 of last years 8 quarter-finalists in our half of the draw we knew we would have to do it the hard way if we were going to go back to back after winning last years U/11 competition. Central Coast are a strong side and we welcomed them to a cloudy but surprisingly dry Harbord Park after heavy overnight storms.
The ground was in good condition but the outfield was clearly going to be slow and boundaries were going to be a premium, and so it proved. Tom Molloy won the toss and we elected to bat first. Harry and Matt opened and had to deal with some accurate Central Coast bowling and with a tight ring field scoring was slow. At the first drinks break (14 overs) we had crept to 0-25. Matt went with the score on 69 in the 24th over for a well grafted 23 bringing skipper Molloy to the crease. Both boys needed to up the run rate and started to run a number of quick singles. This started to build some pressure on the fielders and the score started to get going but it wasn't until the 33rd over that we reached the 100 mark. Harry reached his 50 and was finally out in the 37th over for a very hard working 64. Considering we didn't score a single boundary in 40 overs that was a great effort. A couple of late cameos saw us reach 138 which was probably 170/180 on another day.
We knew we had a lot of work to do and had to bowl and field well to get over the line. Central Coast started reasonably well certainly scoring a quicker than we did but we were able to pick up wickets in the early overs to leave them 3-40 at drinks. While our bowling was steady we struggled to get on top and with CC's run rate flatlining the game started to drift. We lost our focus for a while as not much was happening but Central Coast were edging their way closer and closer to the target and at 5-80 off 30 overs were still very much in the game. It was touch and go right up until the last couple of overs and there were plenty of nervous Manly supporters and coaches as the game reached its conclusion. In the end, tight overs from Molloy (0-16 0ff 8), Will Brewster (1-12 off 6), Tom Cole (1-10 off 4), Eshaan Holla (1-14 off 4) and Matt Evans (0-10 off 4) did enough to restrict Central Coast leaving us victors by 12 runs.
Two evenly matched teams in conditions that were not ideal but a hard-fought win nevertheless and we know we will need to be better in matches to come.