Sale have entered two junior teams in indoor leagues this winter. The u13’s have been playing at Cheadle in a Friday night league and the u11’s have been in action on Sundays at Poynton. After a quiet start, the u11’s have started to make real progress, winning a few games against strong opposition from the likes of Poynton, Woodley and Trinity. The have been playing three consecutive six a side games in a leisure centre. The hall has been split by a net curtain which has made life interesting for both batters and fielders.
The u13’s games have been very exciting and played to a high standard. With 8 a side teams and games consisting of 12 overs per team the players have adapted well to the requirements of the scoring system. From a batting perspective hitting the balls into gaps and a careful judgement of runs is absolutely essential. From a bowling and fielding perspective a couple of dot balls and stopping the ball from hitting the walls can make the difference between winning and losing the game. With four teams competing, all teams were scheduled to face each other twice before the top two teams qualified for the final.
Sale began with a victory against Lindow by a comfortable margin, following up with a close win against Hale Barns where two tight overs from James Newhill and Dylan Parekh secured an unlikely victory for Sale u13’s. The third game was won by default when Hale Barns failed to show for the match. After a mix up over dates was established and Sale were awarded the points, the parents decided to challenge the u13 to an extremely competitive game of indoor cricket. Bragging rights within families were achieved during the evening, one player was even caught by Dad off Mum’s bowling (we think that was the correct way round).
Back to the league action, an exciting match against Lindow followed, and in a match with high quality bowling on both sides, Sale needed 10 off the last over to match Lindow’s 178-5 (78-5 in reality) off 12 overs. Ben Cleary and Herbie Brodbeck scampered their way through five balls, and then ran a tight single to secure a tie. Scores identical at 178-5, points shared but alas there was no Super Over!!
Sale u13’s qualified for the final to be played on 6th December after winning a closely fought match against Trinity. Back to back games were played, Sale winning once and Trinity winning once. This nicely set up a final spot….against Trinity.
During the final on 6th December, Sale batted first and managed a net score of 55 off 12 overs. The Trinity bowling was excellent, and Sale needed to rebuild after losing a wicket off the first ball of the final. As each wicket most a penalty of 5 runs, Sale lost only 3 more wickets in the final. Trinity were then restricted to a net score of 46 in their 12 overs. Sale claimed 6 wickets, which proved to be the difference between 2 very capable teams. Special credit is due to Trinity, a great club who always play cricket the right way and with some very talented cricketers for the future.
This victory represents a fantastic achievement by Mark, the coaches, all the players and parents. The Club is proud of this series of performances, the commitment, spirit of cricket and all-round ability of all players involved, and the togetherness of the squad.
The standard of cricket on display in the u13’s matches has been very high with some superb bowling on show, and the batting has been excellent in a format that is fast and frenetic. Further thanks are extended to the competition organisers for providing access to cricket which is both enjoyable and educational.