Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun

Castle Hill U11s headed to Withyham for the Championship League game.

Withyham won the toss and elected to bat. Harry and Elliot opened up bowling a tight line and restricting the Withyham batsmen who are very strong players. Lapses in the field cost a few runs on a small and quick pitch but generally a tidy start saw Withyham on only 45 from 8 overs. Artie and Aadi both bowled tidy lines, Aadi picking up a wicket. Withyham then turned on the accelerators and began to score more freely, a fantastic catch from Oscar removed a key player but they moved the score on quickly. A very tidy over from JJ calmed things down and eventually they reached 106 for the loss of 4 wickets.

In reply Castle Hill lost Callum early on to a very speedie delivery from one of their players who normally plays in their A team, more on that later. However Artie and Harry came in and rapidly moved the score on with some lovely shots. Harry eventually fell trying to knock one into outer space swiftly followed by Elliot who caught in two minds spooned one back to the bowler. Ted then came in for a quick cameo and blazed 12 off 4 balls before playing on to an excellent delivery (he had at this point been told he would have to retire as the Withyham A team payer had not batted)…

It was left to Oscar, Hugo, JJ and Aadi to bring us close to our target. Progress was slow as the pressure built but the boys did well and with plenty of overs left all looked well. However, much as at Bells Yew Green the closeness of victory became a bit too much and Hugo and JJ were both run out… Luckily Artie returned to finish things off in fine style with a 4 hit off the first ball of the last over, against their county bowler!!

CHCC win by 1 wicket

Kent Super 8s Round 2 – Tenterden CC

Kent Super 8s Round 2 – Tenterden CC

Another fantastic display by the Castle Hill under 9’s at Tenterden yesterday comfortably winning all four of their matches and so qualifying for the Kent finals in August.

Joy of joys, for the second week in a row we had NO RUN OUTS ! Team spirit was excellent and the improvement in all the boys since the beginning of the season is great to see. The other pleasing thing was how few wides were bowled and some excellent fielding.
To embrace the World Cup we have borrowed from the BBC player ratings to give you a rundown of the boys performances!

Player ratings:
John –10 ; an excellent (and noisy) captain whose bowling was exemplary.
Freddie – 10 ; shared the captaincy duties with John and put in an a super all round performance.
Henry – 10 ; Some lusty blows and excellent in the field.
Claudio – 10 ; Bowled very straight and took an excellent catch.
Albi – 10 ; His bowling has a lovely natural loop and recovered bravely from a clash of heads when going for a catch (calling is something we need to work on)
Barnaby – 10 ; Batting has improved a lot and hit some useful runs.
William D – 10 ; Totally reliable , straight bowling.
Matthew – 10 ; Always fun and with an excellent eye for the ball hit the ball very well.
Charlie – 10 ; Huge improvement over the last couple of months with both bat and ball and hit the biggest shot of the day.
Theo – 10 ; Always reliable with the bat, his bowling has come on really well.
Finn – 10 ; Solid batting and enthusiastic in the field.
William B – 10 ; An excellent all round performance with bat and ball.

The finals take place at the Kent County Ground in Beckenham on 19th August.

Monday, 25 June 2018

A Great Team Performance by the U11 Championship Team in the Sun at Cranbrook

Cranbrook won the toss and elected to bat on a dry wicket with a fast
outfield. Harry immediately stepped up bowling brisk away-swingers
with a really good line and length. Our fielding was generally strong
with direct hits from Callum and Sam, both of which could have been
run-outs and indeed Sam’s was! JJ was electric on the boundary and
saved a good many runs, while Hugo kept calmly and has developed a
lovely chirpy keeper’s banter from behind the sticks. Ben A then
bowled two overs of really good line and length and Oliver was on hand
to keep it tight at cover and not give away runs. Eventually, 112 was
a good score but would it be enough as our fielding had been good and
it was clearly a high scoring ground?

Ryan and Callum opened like proper openers, watching the good ball and
hitting the wide one. Then Harry arrived to play a beautiful innings
using the speed of the ball and showing great timing for a rapid 28
before retiring. Ben P then batted calmly to consolidate the innings
and Hugo played a solid innings including some lovely shots through
the leg side. JJ “got a good one” before Oliver chipped in for a few
quick middle-order runs to keep the pace of scoring going. Then Ben A
returned...ball one swept to the square-leg boundary, ball two as well
and then a push to mid-wicket for the victory.

Result - Castle Hill won by 3 wickets

This was a proper cricket game and all the team played well and will
have something to remember at the end of the day. For sure there are
improvements that can be made but Paul, James and I were delighted
with the way people played.Off to Withyham tomorrow....

CHCC U11A going up in the world

Everyone says that CHCC U11As are a 'hit'; however yesterday they became a 'direct hit' after they dismissed Holmesdale batsmen not just once but twice from direct hits in the space of two overs.  The first was from Ollie who only had a single stump to aim at from cover point, the second was from Harrison and came from one of his power throws from mid off.  

Running someone out from a direct hit is one of the greatest pleasures in life (the author has only managed it once in his entire career) and they put a stranglehold on the Holmesdale innings from which they never recovered having elected to bat first.

This was by far the best bowling performance this season from the home side and accurate tight bowling and fielding meant the Holmesdale batsmen had to resort to taking risky singles.  The run outs also seemed to inject some confidence and a swagger in the home side who never felt in any danger of losing from this point.

All the bowlers excelled with the most accurate being Ewan 2 overs for 3 runs, Henry 2 overs for 4 runs and Bear 2 overs for 8 runs.  Aside from the runs outs wickets were taken by Harrison, Bear, Tom and Artie.

In reply to Holmesdale's 83-7 Castle Hill were always up with the required rate.  Ted played a more sedate anchor role this time ending up on 27 not out as his partners Bear (7), Harrison (10) and then Ewan (19) plundered the rather dispirited bowlers.  A comfortable win was achieved with nearly 6 overs to spare and made up for the disappointing last over loss to the visitors earlier this summer.

Result: Castle Hill win by 4 wickets.  Ricky Gervais nowhere to be seen.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

CHCC U11 Championship League - 4 seasons in one game!

CHCC welcomed Tunbridge Wells Girls Under 12s to a rather damp and drizzly Castle Hill. Fortunately the rain stopped and we were able to get underway without too much delay with CHCC winning the toss and deciding to bat. Our openers Ben A and Lucas started brightly running plenty of byes as T Wells struggled with the slippery conditions. The bowling was still accurate however and runs were tough to come by, both boys played sensible and thoughtful innings which was great to see. Unfortunately Lucas fell to a very good delivery and Callum also received a good one shortly after which dented our progress. In order to give as many players a chance we retired Ben A after 8 overs and in came Harry and Elliot. The boys played some great shots and moved the scoreboard along rapidly with both retiring on 25 within a few balls of each other, a 50 partnership in just 6 overs. With two overs to go Charlotte and Ben P came in and moved the score along to 106 for the loss of just 2 wickets.

In the first match of the season against the same opposition we had posted a score of 108 but had lost on the final ball, would the result be the same or different??
The CHCC bowling was much improved on the whole with only a couple of overs where the bowlers struggled for line and length. The T Wells batting is strong and in the middle section of the match they really sped up the run rate so that with 6 overs left they only needed 20 runs to win having lost just one wicket (an excellent delivery from Harry which bowled one of their openers). It is testament to CHCC that the game ended up coming down to the final over. In the previous 5 overs Sam, Callum and Elliot had put in a superb spell taking 3 wickets and conceding only 17 runs.
Unfortunately the grandstand finish was not possible, a very nice shot from one of the girls winning the match with 3 balls to spare.

I has been normal in the match reports so far this season to bemoan our lack of discipline with the bat or ball, or some vaguely calamitous fielding… however not this time. The concentration, application and execution was excellent all round. There were some terrific stops in the field (I fear Charlotte may have a large bruise this morning), more energy and support than we have seen previously (well done to Harry and Elliot as joint captains for keeping the team spirit up) and great enthusiasm all round. Sometimes you come up against a team that just has more on the day and given the age differential and the quality of the T Wells team it was likely to be a tough task, a great performance to run them so close.

U11A's - Premiership - Ricky Gervais - Come to Castle Hill!

Message to Ricky - if you are planning to make a new series of Extras, look no further than Castle Hill U11As!  Yesterday a whopping 59 extras were conceded in what should have been a straightforward win at King's Hill. 

Batting first on a fast bouncy track, Ted and Cameron got the visitors off to a flier both hitting some beautiful cover drives. Ted reached his 25 after only 4 overs however Cameron fell shortly afterwards.  Bear and Ewan then kept the score moving along nicely, Bear stylish as ever quick to pounce on any single.  After Bear was bowled and Harrison was unluckily caught behind down the leg side, Ollie took full advantage hitting the team's first maximum of the summer.  Ewan anchored the innings playing very sensibly hitting 4 fours to retire on 25 and, with Ryan, Tom and Artie playing useful cameos, the innings eventually closed on an imposing 127-6.

This was always going to be a high scoring match given the pace in the wicket and the fast outfield.  However confident the visitors were, they did not expect King's Hill to challenge their total.  Scott the opener batted well and although he lost partners the score kept ticking along thanks to the dreaded E word.  The exceptions to this were Tom and Artie whose 2 overs both went for a total 4 runs.  Wickets were taken by Bear, Artie, Ollie, Ryan and Harrison with a trademark Harrison run out.  Other stand out fielding was an astonishing one handed catch by Bear leaping high into the air and a good low catch by Artie, ones which are often dropped at this age group.  Otherwise the fielding was a mixed bag.

Tension rose as King's Hill got closer but Castle Hill kept their nerve as the sun dipped and the home team ended up on 120-6.  

Result: Castle Hill win by 7 runs

Monday, 11 June 2018

U9 : Kent Super 8s 2018 – Round 1

A great morning out at the Cranbrook tournament where the boys came out as winners on the day having won three and narrowly lost one.
Team spirit was excellent and the chatter in the field so lively that one of the other coaches even felt it was necessary (which it wasn’t….) to tell them to quieten down!

Far and away the most pleasing thing as a team is that we didn’t have a single run out, the kids having being told they would meet a slow and painful death if they embarked on suicidal runs. Fear clearly works at this age! It is hard to express the joy in this statistic and the temptation to hit and run has proved beyond most of our U9s for several seasons..

Looking at the team performances we saw some excellent fast and straight bowling from John Campbell who also proved to be a very effective and noisy Captain. Matthew Hollands hit some fine shots and his running between the wickets was excellent. Noticeable knocks also came from Theo and Claudio scoring vital runs with big hits at key times in the games. Barnaby and William B gave all-round excellent displays, Will B effecting a vital run out. William D, Will C and Albie all bowled very accurately and continue to impress with their line and length. Alexander kept wicket very well and was a lively presence in the field as was Max whose bowling is also coming on at pace.

In two weeks’ time we go to Tenterden for round 2 and a chance to book our place in the finals in August, go CHCC! An excellent start to the competitive season.

Sunday 10th June – CHCC U11s entertain Invicta development squad

An overcast Sunday morning saw CHCC U11s welcome the Invicta U11 Development Squad to Castle Hill. The Invicta Development squad is a combined team of Northern Warriors and Western Rhinos, strong players on the fringe of area representation, as such having 11 boys of this ability from yr 6 was always going to be a challenge for CHCCs team.

Invicta won the toss and elected to bowl. CHCCs top order batsmen had mixed success, Harrison played like a man possessed racking up 25 in less than 3 overs and having to be retired, Henry too batted well for a hard fought 15 against some tight bowling. Unfortunately Cameron and Bear both received peaches from the opposition bowlers and so CHCC found itself with its middle order batting quite early on. Ryan, Elliot and Lucas all batted nicely for their runs and were duly retired after 4 overs to ensure everyone got a bat. The run rate had slipped however so in trying to up the anti we lost Ben A, Ben P and Hobbsy in quick succession. This allowed Harrison to return to the crease and hit a massive 6 before being bowled attempting another, Aadi finished the match having played nicely and coping very well against boys 2 school years above him.

CHCC finished on 91 from 20 overs.

It was now Invicta’s turn to bat. CHCC bowled well but just like other games everyone seemed to have one lapse per over and pop in a wide or a no ball which hurt us. The Invicta openers knowing that the run rate was not high took their time and did not force the pace, only latching on to the loose ones, a lesson there for our boys. Eventually CHCC made a breakthrough and dismissed one of their openers through a sharp catch from Lucas. Sadly other opportunities went begging and the reprieved batsmen made use of their 9 lives, with 6 overs to go and 20 runs needed the Invicta team pressed the accelerator and began to hit out.
Invicta won by 6 wickets.

This was a good game to give our boys experience against a decent side all in the older catchment for U11. The boys should take note of how the Invicta players were vocal and supportive in the field which has been a missing factor for CHCC this year and one we need to work on.

Friday, 8 June 2018

CHCC Premiership - Down to earth with a bang

CHCC U11A's final game of the first half of the season ended in defeat to a well drilled Withyham side. 

Withyham has a lovely cricket ground tucked away somewhere near nowhere.  However while the wicket itself is level, at one end the bowlers have to run down the hill before reaching the wicket and vice versa the other end.  A number of CHCC bowlers seemed to struggle with this and too many wides were bowled.  Wickets were shared (Tom 2, Bear, Harrison and Ollie 1) and a run out from an Ollie direct hit.  Special mention should also go to Cameron for only conceding 3 runs from his 2 overs as Withyham reached 92 in their allotted 16 overs.

The visitors had a strong belief that this total was eminently gettable but came up against a very disciplined bowling attack.  Only 1 wide was bowled by the hosts in the whole innings.

After Cameron and Bear fell early, Ted and Ewan steadied the ship for a while.  But once Ewan departed and Ted was forced to retire on 25 (yet again), wickets fell quickly with only Ollie showing some resistance just making double figures.  

Result: Withyham win by 41 runs

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

CHCC U11 Premiership Match - Back to winning ways

After two setbacks away in Sevenoaks, CHCC U11As showed great bouncebackability by overcoming Tunbridge Wells in a tense encounter at the Nevill.

Once again Cameron and Ted set the perfect tempo despite a slow wicket and outfield following the recent monsoon.  Both ended up retiring on 25 not out.  Whilst no other batsman made a major contribution, all played an important role in keeping the scoreboard moving along resulting in the village team setting their local urban counterparts a challenging score of exactly 100.

In reply, Harrison clean bowled the dangerous Z Webb first ball, although his opening partner B Dawkins batted extremely well in making his 25 and looks a rather special talent.  After his retirement it was a game of cat and mouse as the home side kept up or at least close to the required run rate.  Wickets fell steadily including a cool and calm run out effected by Ewan.  With 13 required off 2 overs Henry bowled an immaculate maiden which left Tunbridge Wells too much to do in the final over.

Result:  Castle Hill win by 5 runs.  Not a perfect performance by any means but the number of wides and no balls conceded was much improved.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

CHCC U11 Championship - A breezy evening at BYG

CHCC visited a breezy Bells Yew Green on an interesting wicket with a few lumps and bumps. CHCC Captain Lucas won the toss and elected to field. Harry and Lucas opened the bowling with good line and length, Harry dismissed one of the BYG openers and generally things were quite tight for a few overs. Elliot and Jack then came on to bowl, Elliot took two wickets with some aggressive bowling and Jack got one with his first ball! However the CHCC fielding was not at its best and the team continued to give away too many extras which moved BYG on to a healthy total. The end of the BYG innings saw some much improved fielding and a great bowling effort by Aadi starting his first hard ball game. BYG finished on a good total of 98, 40 of which were extras! Plaudits to Hugo who kept very well on a difficult pitch.

The CHCC reply started shakily with Harry and JJ both falling cheaply, albeit to good deliveries. However a great stand between Lucas (24) and Elliot (32) put CHCC firmly in the driving seat only needing 20 runs from the final 8 overs. Unfortunately as the pressure mounted the CHCC boys were unable to keep their heads and some tricky deliveries which kept low saw the end of Jack, Hugo and 
Sam before Aadi picked out one of the opposing fielders who took a good catch. This meant that CHCC needed 8 runs when Elliot returned to bat with Oscar. With 4 overs remaining a rush of blood saw the boys attempt a crazy single and therefore the match was lost.

BYG win by 3 runs.

This was hugely disappointing as CHCC had put themselves in a winning position. BYG showed the value of bowling line and length on a tricky wicket and the CHCC boys need to learn when to play their shots and when to defend. However still plenty of games left to learn from our mistakes and we move forward as a team.