Under 12 Alfred James Cup - Sunday 26th of November 2017 at Fieldsend Oval, Maitland.
Manly won the toss and decided to bowl.
Maitland 237 (50) def Manly 209 (48.5).
Gus Anderson 76, George Saunders 26, Seth Thompson 17, Jack Beverley 16, Joshua Wilkinson 13 no.
Joshua Lawson 4/25 (7), Vehaan Akbarrally 3/22 (4), Joshua Wilkinson 2/31 (6), Seth Thompson 1/23 (8).
Will Day - 3 catches behind the stumps
Manly arrived at Maitland to the sight of a very fast outfield bathed in sunshine (Fieldsend oval is the site of the old tip so the ground is compact and firm) and temperatures were predicted in the early 30's......Summer had arrived early in Maitland!
Captain, Josh Lawson had no hesitation in deciding to bowl first backing his strong bowling attack to do the job.
This Maitland side had previously beaten the Newcastle DCA side in a trial match and were going into this clash confident.
We were interested to see how the Maitland side adapted to playing on the synthetic wickets as they only play on turf pitches up this way from U10's onwards...
Maitland got off to a fast start with one of their openers out in the 4th over for 33 runs off a nice line and length ball from Joshua Wilkinson caught at gully by Joshua Lawson.
As we found out this Maitland side is a very strong outfit and their top 4 batsmen piled on the runs……it was obvious early that the synthetic pitch wasn’t concerning their batsman at all.
Maitland 1/100 off 16 overs......
Our quicks toiled hard in the heat but the locals were dining out on the ball coming onto the bat.
Today was the day the spinners were going to dominate. Fortunately we have 5 good ones with lots of variety!.... Seth Thompson started and bowled with great leg spin control and quickly had figures of 1/6 off his 4 over spell. Hayden MacFarlane backed Seth up perfectly with more crafty leggies and 0/15 off his 4 overs. Archie Hodgson bowled really tight off spin 0/13 off 4 overs and Gus Anderson more economical leg spin to bring the run rate back down with 0/10 off his 4 overs.
Maitland 2/150 off 30 overs....
Joshua Lawson wasn't going to let the spinners take all the credit in this innings so he produced a terrific spell of quality line and length bowling to end with 4/25 off his 7 overs....a real captains knock with the ball.
Backed up perfectly by Joshua Wilkinson with 2/31 off 6 overs.
There is no doubt this Maitland side will produce some big totals in this competition with the quality they have at the top of the order.
Maitland 3/186 off 40 overs....
To our boys credit we took 7 more wickets in the last 10 overs for only 50 runs including Vehaan Akbarrally taking 3 wickets with his off spinners that gave us a realistic chance of winning this game.
Maitland all out for 237 off 50 overs!!
Our boys came into the lunch break quietly confident that we could win this one after restricting Maitland to 237 after their fast start as long as we stayed patient and put away the bad ball on this fast outfield.
After the break we quickly found out was this Maitland team was a disciplined bowling attack as well. Their opening bowlers steamed in and were very accurate!
Our batsmen started sensibly however a few early umpiring decisions didn't go our way and a sharp catch at 1st slip had our top 3 back in the sheds inside the first 11 overs.
Manly 3/28 off 11 overs....
Enter Gus Anderson - Gus made a superb 76 runs at No.4 with great support from Seth Thompson (17), Jack Beverley (16) and George Saunders (23). The boys turned the strike over beautifully and put away the bad ball when required as Gus built his innings at the other end.
Manly 4/112 off 30 overs.....
Gus continued on his merry way after the drinks break guiding balls behind backward square at ease, clipping fast yorkers off his toes to the boundary and ended up hitting 9 x 4's and 1 x six in a stylish innings that gave the rest of the boys in the sheds something to get excited about......well done Gussy you dug in and produced a classy innings of real substance.
Manly 6/167 off 40 overs....
Confidence rose as we started finding the boundaries more frequently however we kept losing wickets regularly and fell short in this run chase.
Up this way the temperature reaches its peak at about 2pm so it took great levels of concentration to stay in this run chase especially considering the quality of the Maitland bowling attack.
We may have lost this round 1 clash but we grew as a team and learned some valuable lessons on how to approach our round 2 clash at home to North Shore next week.
The boys fought hard all day in the heat and didn’t let their loyal supporters down one bit!
Deserved man of the match was Gus for his classy innings.
A big thanks to John Jackson and Mick Day for their coaching, our mums for organising a healthy lunch, Steve Thompson and Tim Hodgson for scoring & Guzman Y Gomez for sponsoring the MOM award.