Match Report
Saint Ronan's School Boys-U13A vs  Ashdown House
On: Wednesday, 01 May 2019
Venue: Away

After a strong start against Wellesley in Tuesday’s Cup game, the Firsts were looking to improve their batting and maintain their high standards in the field at Ashdown House. Again, Tom won the toss and elected to bat and this time Arthur and Archie made a more positive start. Arthur had a close look at the first two deliveries and then played lovely and straight to score us 7 off the first over. With Archie scoring freely at the other end, particularly through the ‘V’, this became an impressive 26 after three overs. Arthur (17) then bobbed one back to the bowler and, as Ashdown tightened their bowling, our run rate dropped. A maiden was followed by the loss of two wickets; Archie bowled and Jemima caught at deep midwicket, 36/3. Henry P scored a suddenly precious 4 off the next over and there were the beginnings of a promising partnership between Henry and Tom, with each of the boys striking fine boundaries. Again, however, we lost wickets by the double: Henry bowled by the Ashdown spinner and Tom run out, and we were in the doldrums at 49/5 after ten overs. Drawing on our experience from the previous day, we knew that Will D and Hector could ensure we finished strongly and they both made solid starts. However, the Ashdown spinner accounted for them both and the wickets of Humphrey, Will H and Charlie promptly followed as we crashed to 75 all out in the 16th over. Credit to Ashdown, who made us compete fiercely for every run and bowled and fielded very well. Our team were disappointed with themselves at tea, they had niether built partnerships nor batted to their ability. So they couldn’t wait for tea to end, to make matters right with the ball.

Understanding that early wickets were key, Tom set an attacking field and was rewarded when he bowled a length that had an Ashdown opener driving on the up straight into the safe hands off Jemima at cover – game on! Tom picked up a second wicket just three balls later, clean bowling the Ashdown number 3. Then high quality fielding won a maiden for Arthur, followed by a maiden for Tom. Immense pressure had been created. Off the first ball of the next over, Arthur bowled a beautiful line and length to claim a fine edge that sailed through to our wicket-keeper, Will D, and that battle was won. Arthur kept up the pressure and claimed a second wicket to leave Ashdown reeling at 5/4 in 5 overs. Of course, being Ashdown, they continued to fight, putting their faith in their number 1 batsmen who had survived our onslaught and had earlier claimed three of our wickets with his clever spin bowling. Henry E and Charlie S took their turn to create pressure, each bowling a maiden as Ashdown battened down the hatches in an attempt to weather the storm. 20/4 after 10 become 26/4 after 12. A couple of catching opportunities fell just short. Then one off Henry E’s bowling carried to Hector at mid-on and it was the big wicket! With his next ball, Henry bowled the new batsman and we were into the tail. Henry P bowled a fine over, taking a wicket when Archie held on to a stunning catch and there were wickets too for Hector and Humphrey. Ashdown survived the 20 overs, finishing 37/9. Saint Ronan's won their second match of the season by 38 runs. Well done to the team for playing with a very competitive, yet always courteous approach. It was noted by those spectating how the Saint Ronan’s team showed care for an Ashdown batsmen who had taken a body blow and how our team acknowledged fine play by their opponents: a sure sign of mature sportsmanship. Finally, many thanks to all the parents who travelled from far and wide this week to cheer for us; your dedicated support is always appreciated by the team.