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Day 10 report from the NCU Development tour to South Africa
In the final match of the NCU under 15's tour of South Africa they came up against a strong District North side in Durbanville. On one of the largest cricket fields any of us had seen, in perfect conditions the NCU innings was held together by a superb 76 by Jonathan Waite which contained only 6 boundaries.
He had good support from Ben Rose and James McClean. The innings closed on 156 for 8 after 40 overs.
It was clear from the start of the District North innings that they were a quality batting side. Despite an early wicket from Charlie Shannon, the NCU could not contain Higgs (83) and Telo (52) who powered District North to a nine wicket victory.
Easily the best batting performance of the trip from the under 18's in their match against District North saw them score 253 for 4 in their allocated 50 overs. There were major contributions from Paddy Beverland (44), a blistering 45 from only 30 balls from Aaron Johnston and 26 from John Matchett, but the highlight of the day was a quite brilliant 98 not out from Sam Gordon.
Photo right shows Thomas Magowan leading his team from the field after taking 4 for 43 to seal victory (© Ian Johnston).
The young opener batted right through the innings and just missed out on a well deserved century but this trip will give him huge confidence as he looks forward to opening the batting for Muckamore in Section 1 this season. The best performance of the trip was completed by a brilliant bowling and fielding display when, like the under 15's, the clear spirit and bond that has been fostered, and reaction of the players as each wicket fell, showed how determined they were to finish with a win.
Tom Magowan returned his best figures of the trip with a 4 wicket haul, and John Matchett also bowled superbly with his 9 overs only going for 34.
The under 15's can be very pleased with how they have performed on this trip. They were a young and inexperienced group containing 4 of the under 13's and a number still in there first year of under 15 cricket. They became a very tight knit group both on and off the field and did not seem to go anywhere unless they were all together.
We had half centuries and from all the main batsmen, the spinners generally bowled excellently and the seamers all gained valuable experience bowling on good wickets against quality batsmen.
They won 4 games out of six – an excellent return. Three of those games could have gone the other way but the spirit they built up during the trip definitely contributed to them winning these games.
The under 18's started off with a very heavy defeat against Wynberg, one of the top cricket schools in Cape Town. However they bounced back with a series of real fighting performances. A number of players really enhanced their reputation as future NCU Premiership or hopefully Northern Knights players of the future.
Overall it was a great effort from everyone involved.
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