Bushy Park Girls Under 11s showed application, teamwork and some strong individual performances to overcome Ealing U11s by a narrow seven-run margin in their final match in June.
Ealing won the toss and put BPG in to bat. Expecting the Ealing attack to be decent, BPG saved their most experienced batsmen to the end. Openers Mae Bush and Matilda Baker batted valiantly but lost two wickets each in the opening 5 overs to accurate Ealing bowling to leave the net score at 195, five less than our starting score.
The innings needed some impetus, which arrived in the form of Jess Jordan (JJ) who smashed a couple of lusty boundaries and top scored with 12. In one profitable over Jess took 5 runs and three wides for 11 runs, although she lost her wicket too. Annie Stirling protected her wicket and struck a sweet boundary. Bea Sheridan then contributed with six runs and Lola deftly guided a single off the face of the bat to get off the mark. But runs in the middle order were sparse – 243 after 15.
Last pair Claudie Dexter and Jess Spencer took to the crease and scored a welcome 8 and 9 runs respectively, including some badly needed boundaries to the joy of their increasingly vocal BPG team mates. Crucially they protected their wickets – BPG lost six wickets in total but had amassed an under-par 268 net. The managers converged to brief the girls, partially distracted by handstands and singing, on tactics for the next innings. Defending 268 against the mighty Ealing did not look good.
What stood out in BPG’s bowling innings was discipline and support for each other. They fielded well, and always encouraged each other when a shot slipped through. Claudie and Matilda took a wicket each in the opening pairing, Matilda using her high flight to deceive the batsman. Ealing dug in as Jess and JJ kept it tight. Mae and Bea took a wicket each in the next pairing and kept the runs to singles, restricting Ealing to 233 after 12 overs. Annie, Lola and JJ were more expensive, and despite Annie’s wicket, well taken by Claudie in the deep, Ealing put on 30 extra runs in 4 overs. BPG were facing defeat. All BPG players fielded with gusto and back each other up.
Time to roll out the big guns. Claudie, JJ and Jess shared the final 4 overs and took four wickets, JJ bowling two batsmen in one over, and conceded just one boundary, meaning Ealing’s score fell by 2 runs in the final 24 balls to finish on 261. BPG won by 7 runs, an unlikely but deserving result. Credit to all the girls where every player made a contribution and to Ealing for notably vigorous batting and bowling from Scout and Luna, and for the team’s sportsmanship.
It was a game that showed BPG U11s have improved and can be a really good team when they play as a team and concentrate. We look forward to playing Ealing again possibly in a final?