U11B vs Ardvreck

The U11B squad left St Mary’s at 11am on a dull Wednesday morning in Melrose, embarking on a 2 hour drive up to Ardvreck. Mrs Rhodes and Mr Williams were in convoy with Mr Mill who led the way. The forecast looked good and as we crossed the forth road bridge we were greeted by clear blue skies on the other side and for the rest of the journey. We made a quick stop in Methven on the way to have our packed lunches in the sun. Mr Mill’s parents live just outside Methven and he nearly took us to their house but in the end we settled for the park.
After another 25 minutes or so we had arrived at Ardvreck School, perched on the side of a steep hill and bathed in sunlight. The teams assembled and we started the downhill journey to the cricket pitches. The U11As were based on one of the bottom pitches and the U11Bs had to trek through a lovely wood, over a stream and across a road to find their venue.

As soon as we reached the pitch all of the boys were overwhelmed by the size of the boundaries and, to be honest, I was too. I’m not sure I would have been able to hit a boundary on that pitch but it made for an interesting game which I thought would be low scoring. We hadn’t caught the opposition by surprise this time but we did have another one of our classic tactics hidden up our sleeve which we quickly deployed. We had only brought 9 men and needed to ‘borrow’ one of the opposition to make our team to 10. The adopted Ardvreck player was given a great welcome with the whole team introducing themselves. With sun cream dished out to the lads generously, the toss was carried out and we had elected to bat first.
I have forgotten to say that we were playing kwick cricket which is the U11B team’s speciality. The game was a 20/20 with batting pairs getting 4 overs each.

We started the batting slowly with our batsmen realising they would need to run a lot as the ball was not going to reach the boundary, ever. The score quickly started to rise, helped on by a few wide balls from the opposition which are 2 runs each. By the 12th over we were on 68 runs and through the first 3 of our batting pairs. It was now time for our hybrid batting pair which included the adopted Ardvreck player. He turned out to be an absolute weapon and, with some great batting from our man too, the pair added on 42 runs in their 4 overs with an average of over 10 an over and a total score of 110 on the board. We had another pair to bat which increased our score to 126 for the St. Mary’s innings.
We headed back over the road, stream and through the woods to the U11A team pitch and had a nice afternoon tea with some great cakes and sandwiches. The A team were going into bat after the break and we were going to field and a great idea from the B’s captain allowed the B’s to take the A’s cricket hats to keep us fresh in the field. The sun was relentless and the temperatures were on or over 20 degrees so they were definitely needed!
On arrival back to the pitch we had attracted a crowd of cows who watched very politely from over the wall as the Ardvreck innings got underway. The first ball went for Four! No one could believe it, a sweetly timed pull shot which bounced 3 times before just stopping over the boundary. I thought it could be a downhill slide for the lads after that unbelievable shot but the first boundary of the game also happened to be the last, so it wasn’t too bad. To make it better there was a wicket which cancelled out the boundaries and got us back on level terms.
Some quality bowling from the St. Mary’s boys meant the opposition couldn’t score well and soon we were ahead by a nice margin. I then chose the adopted player to bowl a couple of overs and it was apparent that his batting was a lot better than his bowling. He got his side back into the game with 22 runs off two overs, slightly repairing his reputation with his classmates. At this point the game was close and we only lead by 6 runs after the 13th over. More quality bowling from the lads enabled St. Mary’s to get into a strong position, with the opposition needing 13 runs from the final over. Ardvreck could only manage 7 and the game was won by 6 runs!
A great result which continues the U11B’S status as unbeaten at kwick cricket this season! The boys made the long, strenuous journey back up to the bus and rolled down the windows for the victory ride home. The tunes were on and the lads were singing, pumped up after a great win and the only away team to win. I’m not sure if there is another match this season but hopefully there will be. A great result and a great day!

Mr R Williams, 03/06/2016