Under 12's vs Beddington. Getting there.
By Duncan Taylor
89 for 9 not quite enough
In the future, when match travel is by driverless car will we go the whole way in our own pod or will an algorithm group us together so we travel the common legs of our journey in progressively larger vehicles? The latter would give time for a team talk. And we would arrive on time, relaxed; robot waiters having catered to our every need throughout the journey. Teams of tomorrow playing in the Friday evening fixtures demanded by the North East Surrey Under 12s League (Zone A) are going to have it easy.
For now we have to rely on Dad heroes; battling through the meteorite belt that is South London rush hour. These analogue pilots use no more than experience and a Halfords satnav . No wonder we were all late.
Beddington kindly allowed us to bat first, our batting order developing as boys arrived. It did not look auspicious preparation but then for a moment it did; Will Konig drove a stellar four off the very first ball. It was a shot of such power, so middled, scampering away through the covers that Beddington immediately doubted their generosity. Will remained sculpted in perfect shape, back foot planted, bat straight, as the ball zipped past the boundary. Game on.
There were other highlights to our innings: Will Hartopp top-scored and had three fours, Finn Dearey and Jo Sim also powered the ball past the flags. Niki Konig ended up out-scoring his brother. Sam E, solid in defence, ran out of partners to record a star by his name. We ended up at 86 for 9.
Alex Weeks, playing for the 12's for the first time this season opened our attack. If only the LBW rule was more rigorously enforced at this level ; Alex had three definites. His appeals were expert, arms and legs outstretched, half way down the wicket bellowing at implacable umpires. No joy this time but plenty of hope for the future.
We took three wickets, all run-outs. That demonstrates our athleticism and quick-wittedness, It also suggests there is still much to be done to improve the effectiveness of our bowling. The number of extras being given away is on a downward trend but we now need to start to comprehend that bowling is our attack.
Beddington passed our total in the 17th over. We were beaten but not trounced. Given we were a man down ( even after Josh kindly stepped in for us) it could have been closer. We had arrived work-frazzled, traffic-stressed and left, just a couple of hours later, entertained, oxygenated and mellow. What those coddled teams of the future might miss is the cathartic effect of the game.