For the second time in just over two weeks Witham and Copford U-14’s fought out a thrilling encounter but this time it was Witham who secured the vital win.
Having conceded 143 runs to Witham in the previous fixture, the Copford team were always worried that a total of 104-8 might not prove enough. And that total might have been even lower if not for some useful knocks from Ollie Hambleton (9), Josh Colairo (9), Josh Mowat (16) and Louis Clements (14), whilst Praneesh Kathirvel, held the tail together with a composed 7 not out, in a manner that suggests he ought to be batting higher up the order than eight. Witham off spinner Ben Tinman wreaked havoc helping himself to four wickets as all of the Copford batsmen except Josh Mowat struggled to deal with the turn he was achieving.
Defending a relatively below par score, Copford’s bowlers quickly went for the jugular hoping to blast out the top order batsmen of Witham that had caused so many problems in the earlier fixture. They had some success but unfortunately their high speed aggressive bowling was a little wayward at times enabling Witham to reach 54 off the first six overs, with too many of those runs coming from wides.
However once Copford got into their middle order Witham wickets started tumbling, with only J.Allen (27) keeping their innings together. Elliot Littlebury and Louis Clements were as economical as ever with their tight, accurate bowling, whilst Elise Marsh and Peter Read chipped in with a wicket apiece, with Peter bowling one of his best spells ever. But it was the “death bowler” Ollie Hambleton who almost wrenched the game back Copford’s way with a rapid fire 4-9, helped by some excellent wicket keeping by Praneesh.
Sadly Ollie’s night ended in agony when Witham managed to sneak the winning run in the final over and as the ball came spearing from the outfield, it struck Ollie on the side of the knee. He had to be stretchered off but hopefully as the pain subsides, he can reflect upon his excellent all-round, man of the match performance and that he was very unlucky to end up on the losing side.
Finally a big thankyou to Adwaith Vinoop who injured himself batting during the Copford innings, but played through the pain barrier by staying on the field throughout the Witham innings saving many a valuable run; this kind of attitude will stand Adwaith and all of the players in good stead in the future both on and off the cricket pitch.