Champion Blues Over The Moon
And that was that. Hugs, high fives and beaming smiles shone as brightly as a Sydney summer afternoon as a group of young men soaked in a fitting reward for a season of hard work.The final ball of a grand final had just been bowled. The Gordon Blues victorious over a valiant opponent. As three cheers rang out, a season of promise that started last September was now over. And what a season it was.
The game in a moment but first the boys must be congratulated for the dedication they’ve shown all season and, importantly, the spirit in which they played. This was a season of maturing and maturity, of growing and growth. Respect for both the opposition and for the game of cricket itself were the hallmarks of every player in this team. Such good sportsmanship in an uncertain era deserves recognition.
To the grand final. After 13 rounds and a semi final, it was appropriate the teams finishing first and second should meet in the grand final.
As both teams started to warm up, the toss was won by Kieran Dean
who elected to bat on a field in desperate need of a good mow. The Blues openers James Dow
and Dougie Oxenham
strode out the the middle. The contest between two very good teams was underway.
The pair calmly got the innings off to solid start, nullifying the threat of the new ball, frustrating the bowlers and keeping the runs ticking over.
The score had reached an excellent 69 before the first wicket fell. Oxenham was run out for 21. It was a job well done. He was replaced by a very focused captain Dean.
At the other end Dow decided it was time to shift into overdrive, hitting a 6 and several 4s as he accelerated the second half of his innings for a fine 36 not out.
As Dow went out, in came Raymond Su
who moved quickly through the gears in his inimitable style. But on 22, Su managed to find a fielder and was caught for a well-made 22. The team score was 2 for 104.
By now the Blues batsmen were scoring strongly. Thirty runs later Dean picked out a different lone fielder and was caught for 28. The score was 3 for 134 and a solid total was already in the book.
From there, Andrew Earlam
, Charlie Bibb
, Reeve Cocks
and Daniel Hall
all had a go as the Blues finished with a very good 5 for 143 from their maximum 32 overs.
The equation was now simple. Stop Ryde Hunters Hill scoring 144 and win the title.
From the first ball, the Blues bowlers were right on song and the fielders right on their toes. The bowling was bang on a good length and at the stumps. The fielding as tight as a drum. So accurate, the RHH opening batsmen struggled to get a shot away in anger. The positive encouragement from the fielders was inspiring. As the pressure from a lack of runs built, RHH lost their first wicket with the score on just eight. Tom Hampson
bowled, Oliver Cameron
caught. It was reward for good bowling and enthusiastic fielding. Then it was Cameron's turn to claim a wicket dismissing the other opener with the score on 14. The Blues had their tails up. The batsmen were struggling. Nic Moore was in form and would end with the figures of 0 for 5 from three overs.
At the halfway drinks break, RHH had just 34 runs in the book from 16 overs. At the same mark, the Blues were 0 for 56. However, coach Mark warned the batsmen would come out with all guns blazing after the break. It meant runs would come - and the chance of wickets - in a rapid run chase.
And the prophecy came true.
With the score on 62, a delivery from Hall struck the middle stump and took the third wicket. The RHH batsmen were trying to swing out of trouble but the run rate was always a problem. They could barely land a glove on Oliver Clarke, who would end with 0 for 7 from four overs. Those figures included two maidens in a grand final.
The scorebook pressure then told on 86. In attempt to push the scoring, a quick single ended in disaster for RHH when Oxenham pounced. A run out. It was now 4 for 86 and the overs were running out.
Four runs later, Bibb struck with his leg breaks convincing the batsman to lob a catch to Su at deep square leg.
Wickets then fell on 105 to Cameron and another run out on 115.
In the final over, RHH needed an improbable 32 to win. It was not to be. Hampson claimed the 8th wicket when a good length ball found the edge and landed in the safe hands of wicketkeeper, Earlam.
Then it was over. The Blues victorious. Three cheers for the opposition and time to celebrate.
The Blues would like to thank Ryde Hunters Hill for a great game and wish them all the best next season.
Coach Mark described the performance in the field as perfection - and it was. It was a great team performance as it has been all season.
The U13 Blues, in alphabetical order: are:
Charlie Bibb, Oliver Cameron, Angus Chitty, Oliver Clarke, Reeve Cocks, Kieran Dean, James Dow, Andrew Earlam, Daniel Hall, Tom Hampson, Nathan James, Nic Moore, Doug Oxenham and Raymond Su
The Blues wold like to acknowledge the players who helped out this season: Jake O'Donnell, Charlie Wallace, Will Hampson
and Ben Pollack.
The team would also like to thank coach Mark Oxenham
and manager Bryan Dean
. The season wouldn't happen without the umpires Craig, John, Tim, Bryan, Jamie, Brian
or the scorers Clare, Neil, Di
And very importantly, thanks to every mum and dad, sibling, grandparent and other relative who made it to a game during the season to support the boys. Cricket teams are micro communities and this one was a ripper.
It's been a heap of fun. See you all next season.
V For Victory: The U13 Blues and chief mascot Clifford celebrate at the Gordon Juniors’ Presentation Day