U15s do themselves proud to finish national finalists
CHESHAM CC U15s put in a fine performance in the ECB National Trophy Regional Finals last Thursday – but had to be content with being a losing finalist.
Having previously won the Bucks County Board Cup, they then, as Bucks representatives, beat Aston Rowant (Oxon) and Maidenhead & Bray (Berks) to qualify for the ECB regionals at St Albans.
Missing several key players, not to mention manager Mike Anderson, due to holidays or injury, the team were under the care of Steve Ayres and Gift Kwatsha for the day.
The first game, against Mildenhall (Suffolk), proved to be a real thriller. Following an opening stand of 48 between Sid Dey (19) and skipper Dominic Goodman (48), the Chesham innings fell away until Aaron and Dom Taylor held out to complete a 20 over total of a seemingly below par 100-9.
The reply began without incident until the sixth over, when Stan Burgham struck twice to remove both openers with the score on 23. Goodman, Ollie McInley and Jack Clifford then each took a wicket to make the score 86-5.
A further wicket for Aaron Navaratnam saw panic set in among the Mildenhall lads and two run outs ensued – one due to a piece of quick thinking by Will Turner, the other a fine catch by Clifford – before Goodman and McInley cleaned up the tail to give Chesham a five-run victory.
The final, against Esher (Surrey), proved to be an anti-climax, despite Dey (33) and Goodman (17) again getting Chesham off to a good opening partnership of more than 50.
Turner and Theo Wetherall made useful contributions, but not even a huge six by Clifford could stop the run rate slowing dramatically before a final total of 122-5 was reached.
This was deemed to be just below par, but Esher’s top order proved to be too good and helped them cruise home with a bevy of powerful strokes without the loss of a wicket.
Chesham should be proud of becoming effectively equal fifth best, together with the three other losing regional finalists, in the country.