Stoke Newington well beaten in the U13 Cup semi-final
By Gerald Clark
Rivals well beaten
A cup semi-final against our toughest rivals – Stoke Newington (SN). It was supposed to be tight. It never was. NMCC were run-away winners by 67 runs.
A dominant fifty partnership in the first five overs by our outstanding opening pair of Linus (14) and Jasper (38*) seized the initiative and the boys relentlessly tightened their grip on the game from there.
The rules of the cup require batsman to retire at the end of the over in which they score 30. SN thought they were reprieved when this brought Jasper’s stunning dissection of their attack – including three 6s and four 4s - to a premature end. Instead a hurricane arrived - Sacha bludgeoning 35* in 14 balls. Again there was a danger his retirement might stem the momentum but selfless knocks by Danny (17), Theo (13) and George (11) ensured NM posted an imposing 161 for SN to chase.
SN needed a fast start. Our opening attack of Mingus (3-0-20) and Danny (3-2-10) ensured they were even further behind the run rate and two wickets down by the time the first change bowlers came on. Noah (4-1-15) and George (2-2-10) maintained the squeeze, with both producing electric deliveries that castled the batsmen’s stumps. Even on a pitch offering little assistance, Theo and Gianluca bowled economically. All the bowlers were brilliantly backed up by the fielders with Max, Danny, Noah and Sacha all flinging themselves around to prevent seemingly certain boundaries. Ed Boyd conceded a meagre 2 byes.
The denouement was quick and brutal. SN’s champion batsmen, Atticus, arrived at the crease in fading light at number 7, seemingly too late to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, as he had done in the recent league game. Ed Boyd channelled his inner Clive Lloyd and immediately summoned his most hostile bowler. Within 8 balls, Atticus had retired hurt, the number 10 had run his partner out fleeing to the other end and Gianluca produced a beauty to dismiss the number 11. SN had been dismissed for 91. NMCC marches remorselessly to the final.