Under 15s XI Report
Cowbridge Under 15 Coach
I have always thought that captaining a cricket team is the hardest of all sports. There is no rest for that individual whether the team is batting or fielding. To compound all that, Matthew Keating lost the services of two regular key players to other sports and had to rely on the services of five players from the Under13 squad, plus three boys from his year group that had never played cricket before.
In all my years of coaching the Under 15’s, I have never experienced the fact that not a single player was forthcoming from a whole year group of secondary education. This was the case last year where no individual came to play from year 9 (U. 14’s). Usually the U. 15’s squad is a mixture of Year 10 pupils at the top end of the age group and developing players from the year below. In order to fulfil fixtures we had to depend on the U.13’s players and the three newcomers. This was a step too far.
We had to forgo the Welsh Clubs U.15’s Cup due to unavailability and exams. Coupled with the lack of players the weather yet again disrupted the season. In the five games that were played we had the regular core of players in Matt. Keating, Laurie Thomas, Owen Leyshon, Owen Tuckwell, Tom Hawksworth, Alex Gardner and Sam John (wicket keeper for the first time ever) and a mixture of U.13’s players in regular Sam Russell and Will Tuckwell, with others Quinlan Silk, Sam Duncombe and Ed Thomas. During the latter part of the season the captain sprang a surprise on the coach by bringing to nets three year 10 boys who had never played cricket before. George Boole, Leo Kelly and Dylan Kenneth learned very quickly and seemed to enjoy the game even though the red object came very quickly to them whether batting or fielding.
On the playing front there were few highlights. In the first match on a slow pitch the team did well to restrict Radyr to 78 for 3 – Laurie Thomas taking 2 for 9.Cowbridge in reply were all out for 44 with only Owen Tuckwell scoring double figures. Our worst display came in the next fixture where we restricted Creigiau to 123 for 3 Matthew Keating 1 for 16 in 4 overs. In reply the batting was abysmal with the side all out for 22 runs.
Against the always strong St. Fagan’s outfit who scored 162 for 5, only Tom Hawksworth 2 for 12 and Owen Tuckwell 1 for 7 bowled well. The accurate attack of the visitors meant slow progress for the home team in reaching 67 for 7 with Matt. scoring 17 runs and Sam John 12 It got no better against Cardiff who reached 133 for 4 with Keating and Tuckwell sharing the wickets. Again no batsmen reached double figures and the team finished on 59 for 9. Our last fixture of the season saw Sully reach 145 for 2 and a highlight of the match for us was to see Owen Leyshon reach 26 not out. in a reply of 63 for 2.
I suppose that playing 5 and losing 5 is not a good season but as the cliché goes –“some positives came out of the season”. Laurie Thomas has been included in the Welsh U. 19’s Ladies squad. Matthew Keating played a full season for the firsts and all the older U. 15’s players have committed themselves to playing for the club next season. From my point of view a lot of hard work has not gone wasted.
I would like to thank all the players for their efforts and hard work and dedication in what has been a difficult season. They never dropped their heads (except when walking from the wicket after being out!!), and were a happy bunch of players throughout. My sincere thanks to all the parents that helped with transport and the dedicated few that helped to score, umpire and manage the team in my absence.