|Richard White – NCU PRO / Andy McCrea|
Andy McCrea (Lead Coach) reports on The NCU Under 11’s (sponsored by PWC) recent fixtures against their Leinster counterparts.
Day 1 – Ringcommons Cricket Club
In a weather affected 30 over game, Leinster made a commendable 225 for 3 wickets in the allotted 30 overs. The mainstay of their innings were two excellent knocks off 100 not out and 51 by Ethan Marshall and Robert O’Brien respectively. The pick of the NCU bowlers was Seb Yeates who bowled his 5 overs for 15 runs, while the wicket takers were Luka Bates, James West and James Nelson
In return the NCU batsmen could only muster 122 for 6 in their 30 overs, with Seb Yeates compiling an elegant 41 as opener, and Austin Adair, the only other batsman to reach double figures scoring 14 runs. Brian Dunphy’s leg spin saw him pick up 2 wickets for 10 runs, for Leinster.
Day 2 – Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast
Leinster batted first, in fine weather conditions in Belfast. Excellent bowling by Luka Bates, 2 wickets for 22 runs, Seb Yeates (0 for 13), and James West six for 37, had Leinster 37 for 4 at one point. However an important middle order partnership from Robert O’Brien (69) rebuilt the Leinster innings well. Alex McMeekin bowled an excellent spell to restrict the Leinster batting at the back end of the innings, conceding only 16 runs off his 5 overs and picking up a wicket. James Nelson bowled a tidy ‘death’ spell of 4 overs, 1 wicket for 11, meaning leinster finished on 178 for 8 after 35 overs.
NCU opening batsmen Marko Bates (24) and Seb Yeates (16) had an excellent 40 run partnership at the required run rate, however both departed in quick succession, followed quickly by three more wickets.
Jack Smyth did a good rebuilding job in the middle order, but boundaries where hard to come by and the required rate was starting to climb. Towards the end James Nelson (15), and Luka Bates (14) started to accelerate and compiled 35 runs in the last four overs, however the NCU finished 24 runs short.
Definitely the NCU will be disappointed in the final result aided by six dropped catches during their fielding display.
Day 3 – Ringcommons Cricket Club
Alex McMeekin made the first breakthrough, for the NCU, bowling his 4 overs, taking one wicket for just 12 runs. James West bowled 4 overs, one wicket for 21 runs, Frank Hollway picked up two wickets in his three over spell for 13 runs, while Austin Adair took two wickets in his 5 overs for just 12 runs, including a stunning one handed low catch of his own bowling. Three other bowlers; Jack Smyth, Aadi Maini and James Nelson all picked up one wicket each, as 11 bowlers were used in the Leinster innings of 167 all out, from their allotted 35 overs.
The NCU began their pursuit of the Leinster total positively as Seb Yeates (22) and Marko Bates (16) laid good foundations with an opening stand of 42, but sustained tight bowling and fielding from Leinster made runs hard to come by, and as the NCU batsmen tried to keep up with the run rate, wickets started to fall. James West got 18 but no other batsmen were able to get into double figures as the innings petered out at 106.
Day 4 – Shaw’s Bridge
Heavy overnight rain meant play was not possible and an early call was made to avoid Leinster travelling unnecessarily.
The Northern Cricket Union thanks both Ringcommons CC and Instonians CC for hosting the matches so well.
There is definitely talent on display in both squads and great to see all players getting the opportunity to showcase their talent. This was a very worthwhile week, with plenty of learning opportunities for all those involved, and congratulations to the Leinster Cricket Union, fully deserving their three wins.