Match Report
Saint Ronan's School Boys-U13A vs  Sevenoaks Preparatory School
On: Wednesday, 03 Jul 2019
Venue: Away

What a wonderful afternoon the Firsts had at Sevenoaks Prep, in a game that had it all. In the first over alone, there was a dropped catch, a four, a no-ball, a wicket, a wide and four byes! In the second over, there were two singles backward of point, and the Battle of Cannae, as Hannibal won an incredible tactical victory over the surrounded Romans! In the third over, there was a fire just beyond long on but we managed to keep the game going through the smoke! Jemima and William D built a superb partnership, taking us from 4/1 to 97/2, when Will, on 39, was finally caught, looking to accelerate the scoring. Archie joined Jemima and we pressed on to 136/2 after 20 overs. Archie had scored a quick unbeaten 16 and Jemima had batted through the innings to finish unbeaten on fifty, our first of the season! In reply, the Sevenoaks openers looked very impressive and when our line strayed too straight, we were smashed through the leg side. The boys worked out they mustn’t bowl straight into the hitting arc but rather bowl wider, outside the off stump and make the batsman move towards the ball and try drive to our sweeper, and catchers, in the covers. This tactic worked and dot balls followed, allowing us to build pressure. Arthur E made the breakthrough, as a fine edge, after a frustrated flash outside off, flew straight into the safe gloves of our keeper William D. There was immediately a distinct gap in the quality of the next batsmen and the fielders worked hard to adapt their positions to the two different batsmen, one dominant, skillful, set and confident, the other new and nervous. By staying alert in the field, and bowling full and with more thoughtful lines, we wrestled control of the match. In our 16 overs, we only gave away one extra – a phenomenal achievement at U13 level, and one of which the team is quite correctly proud. After 8 overs, Sevenoaks were 26/1, at the same point we had been 64/1. Humphrey then trumped their star batsman, who tried to glance a leg side delivery towards fine leg but simply ended up nicking it through for William D to take a stunning catch! At 46/2 we had them, and only another six runs would come off the bat as our fired up bowlers got stuck in! Charlie S was the pick of the bowlers, going for 9 in his three overs and taking 4 wickets – an awesome effort and a great way for him to finish two years of stunning service with the ball for his team. Humphrey took two more wickets, one was pure class, his slower ball coming good – so skillfully done! Archie W and Max B, both on debut for the Firsts, each took a wicket; Max’s wicket was the first ball of his over, and the last wicket, as Sevenoaks were bowled out for 52 runs. Saint Ronan’s won by 84 runs. Sevenoaks were delightful hosts and one of their boys fielded for us throughout our innings, even taking the final catch off Max’s bowling! It was fun and friendly and a fitting end to a super season. This team may not have reached the heights that last season’s team reached but they were certainly at least as good, with comfortable victories over Wellesley House, Ashdown House, Dulwich, Marlborough House and Sevenoaks Prep, and just the one nail-biting loss away at Great Walstead. With just the one home match in the season, a massive thanks must go to our very loyal and well behaved travelling fans – thank you for all your positive encouragement and quiet, keen support. For us, the greatest sign of success is the enthusiasm with which these children play cricket and that has made it a pleasure to be with them. They don’t like cricket – they love it! DB