Under 16 Presidents Cup Round 1 Match Report
Date of Event : Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:50AM

Manly 144 (Liam Dinan 52) defeated by Newcastle 6/145 (Luka Vajdic 3/32, Liam Dinan 2/29)

After 6 weeks of training and one win and one loss in the trials, the time had finally come for the U16 Presidents Cup team to get into the competition proper.  With no fewer than 6 debutants in the side, we made the long drive up to Newcastle.  Following warnings of hordes travelling from Sydney to attend Newcastle’s first-ever V8 Supercars event we set off early.  And when the traffic didn’t eventuate, we arrived early, which gave the boys plenty of time to acclimatise and get used to constant hum of V8 engines roaring in the distance – a sound which by the end of the day we had ceased to notice.
Our skipper Callum McKay won the toss and elected to bat on a deck which the groundsman assured us was typically batsman-friendly.  Unfortunately we lost our openers, Adam Greenwood and James Waddington early, and so Jack Melchiore and Tom Edmunds set about attempting to right the ship.  But unfortunately, just as we appeared to be getting back on even terms, Jack and Tom were both dismissed in quick succession and we found ourselves 4/39 and needing to rebuild again. 
Liam Dinan went to the crease in the 14th over and set about becoming the glue which held the Manly innings together.  In a disciplined and patient knock, Liam stayed calm as wickets continued to regularly tumble around him.  He was temporarily supported by Nick Raymond who played a few cracking pull shots, but it was Liam who stayed around to record an invaluable half century before being dismissed in the 48th over trying to boost the total.  Unfortunately, Manly had failed to bat out the 50 overs and had amassed only 144 runs – something to bowl at, but unlikely to be enough.
The Newcastle innings got off to a solid start and our opening bowlers, Callum McKay and Liam Dinan, were unable to make a breakthrough.  At drinks Callum realized it was time for spin and Luka Vajdic was introduced into the attack with immediate effect.  Luka claimed wickets in his first and third overs, and when Liam came back on for his second spell and claimed 2 wickets in 2 overs, Newcastle was beginning to look a little shaky at 4/70.  Ben Cook and Luka claimed the 5th and 6th wickets respectively, but Newcastle’s big-hitting number 6 steered them home.
What was most pleasing about the match was the fight the boys showed to keep themselves in the game to the very end – a fantastic sign for the rest of the season.  Had a couple of difficult chances stuck in the field the result may have been different, but at the end of the day 144 runs was just not enough to defend, even with the Newcastle batsmen distracted by the air force fighter jet flying overhead.  Some said the fighter jet was connected to the V8 Supercars, but I thought it only a fitting recognition that the boys from Manly were in town.
Thanks to Kate Waddington and Francis Raymond for scoring and to all the parents for driving up to Newcastle and providing great support to the boys as they toiled away in the field.
The boys will be better for the run.  Bring on round 2.

Last updated: Thursday November 30, 2017 6:52AM