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October 29, 2012, 7:56 pm
The Under 16's 2012 Season Summary
This is a report on a highly successful 2012 season for the Under16s, also incorporating Under 15s, Under 14s and, even, an Under 13 – the talented and enthusiastic batsman Liam O’Brien. This was comfortably the most rain affected season for this great year group, skipper Dan Andrews and Angus Watson of which started playing at Nomads fully ten years ago and first started visiting the ground with their Co-Manager fathers several years before that!

As a result of the weather, the cup run extended to just one game, the final! With both opening bowlers (Dan and Angus) away, George Read, Olly Deme, Toby Glover, Matt Morrish, Michael Goatcher and Ben Graves restricted Steyning to 115. The runs were knocked off thanks to accomplished 25*s from Olly and Luke Appleton, and a cameo from Ben.

The SAYL season began with a 14 run win against Steyning (30 from Olly and two wickets apiece for Dan and George). The ‘must win’ match at Brighton & Hove looked a good contest at the way half point, after the home side had posted 125-3. Nomads made light work of the challenge, though, with Matt and Olly each retiring on 27*, Toby making 21 and Dan 21*.

Portslade looked a much improved side and, bowling with penetration on a quick Fulking strip, reduced the home side to 93 (25* from Toby). Nomads responded well to the team talk(!). A fabulous performance in the field saw Portslade dismissed for just 75 (Matt 4-9 and wickets from Toby, Dan and Angus). A comprehensive victory over Rottingdean followed – undefeated 25s from Olly, Matt, Michael, Liam and Sakib Ikram, and three wickets each for Dan, Olly and George.

With most of our Under 15s and Under 16s available, supported by our talented younger players, we went into the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival Shield competition with confidence. Steyning, for the third time this season, came off second best, this time by 10 wickets. Olly took 3-21 in Steyning’s innings of 155 all out and then (with 57*), in partnership with Matt (80*), secured the win. The next day Worthing were dismissed for 73 (Dan 3-12 and Angus 3-4). In reply, Liam’s 22* complemented Michael’s belligerent 27 and Toby’s 22*.

In the penultimate group match, Toby (he and his family being a terrific addition to the Club this season), found himself up against his former club, West Chiltington. Under some understandable pressure and with Nomads at 49-3, Toby cut and pulled powerfully and drove serenely to a maiden and unbeaten 110. His crucial partnership of 83 with Dan Andrews (32) took the game away from the visitors. Dan, though, declared early providing West Chiltington with a six over advantage. In spite of this, on an almost batting track, West Chiltington never challenged and the game petered out. Left arm seamer, Edmund Catt, bowled his heart out and thoroughly deserved more than his fine return of 2-14 from eight overs.

On one of our few glorious summer days, Nomads proved too strong for Lindfield who were shot out for just 51, spinners Ben (4-10) and Rebecca Silk (2-9) grabbing the key wickets. The eight wicket win was concluded with Luke Pennington 20* and Michael 17*.

Three wins and a draw were sufficient for a place in the final against Horley, hosted by Littlehampton CC. Nomads, as ever, were well supported by our parents, including the ever-present Goatcher and Glover families. The crucial moment of the match occurred in the second over when Horley’s captain was dropped. He went onto make an impressive 100*, as Horley finished on 202-6 from their allotted 42 overs. In reply, Nomads batting wobbled, fell behind the run rate and never recovered, though Olly again batted with assurance and maturity (later shown in his appearances for the senior sides) to top score with 52, supported by James Oliver with 21*.

This was not only a successful season, but fun and very encouraging with talented 14 year olds (Isaac Swan, George Oliver, Jamal and Sakib who kept tidily throughout) all contributing and mixing well with the 15s (eight of who will represent the Under 16s next season) and 16s. The Club is fortunate to have most of the six Under 16s (Dan, Angus, Matt, Edmund, Thomas Mohan and Tom Doughty) and 17-year old county player, Rebecca Silk, already playing for the senior sides. With these players and, the next age groups to follow, the future is bright for Preston Nomads Cricket Club.

Graham Watson --- 25th October 2012
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