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Under 15s XI Report

Hugh Williams

Cowbridge Under 15 Coach

In all my years of coaching the Club’s U15’s age group, it was the first time ever for me to experience the situation of not having any player from the year 10 age group. When Ellis Bird finished his term at Monmouth School he became the only one. He along with Ed Lewis, boarding at Harrow School, strengthened the team towards the end of the season. Thus in reality we played most of our matches as an U14’s team. I would like to thank the following players from the younger age groups for their contributions during the season: George Glynn, Heath Webb and Sian Russell, from the U13’s and Harry Treharne, Robbie Brown and Ellis Murphy from the U11’s.

First game up was an away match to Dinas Powys on the Common. Batting first we scored a lowly 76 for 9 with batsmen out to poor shot selection which occurred too many times during the course of the season. Only our captain, Sam Russell, 33 runs and Sam Duncombe, 19 runs had any meaningful contribution to our total. Quinn Silk, Sam and young Ellis Murphy gained 2 wickets each in bowling out the opposition for 53 runs. Having not experienced many wins in the previous years, this was a good confidence building victory for the season ahead.

Our first home match was against Lisvane Dragons. Captain Sam was the only player to reach double figures in a score of 67 for 8. In a tight and exciting finish, Lisvane reached the total with 3 balls to spare. Again Ellis Murphy was amongst the wickets gaining 2 and left arm Matthew Pursey getting 3.

Another home fixture saw us entertain Creigau and we scored 91 for 3 thanks mainly to Sam 31 and Robbie Brown 19 not out. Again the game went to the final over with Creigau’s last batsmen at the crease. Unfortunately they got the winning run to win by 1 wicket. Again two more youngsters were among the wicket takers: Harry Treharne 2 for 10 and George Glynn 1 for 3, with the help of Sam 3 for 11 making the game exciting to the end.

Llantwit Fardre came into our league for the first time and proved to be too strong and mature in a one-sided game. The visitors looked comfortable at the crease in reaching 112 for 2. Accurate bowling saw Cowbridge struggle for runs and were all out for 39, our heaviest defeat of the season.

The loss was quickly forgotten in the next fixture when the team overwhelmed a young Llantwit Major side. Poor batting yet again restricted us to 53 for 8 with George Glynn the only batsman to reach double figures. Llantwit had no answer to the pace of Ellis Bird 2 for1, Quinn Silk 2 for 0 and Sam 3 for 2 in a total that failed to reach double figures.

Near neighbours, The Vale were our next opponents in a close encounter. Alex Upham made 24 runs in the opponent’s total of 84 for 4. Quinn Silk, Alex Bent and Evan Pryce got wickets. Another youngster Heath Webb put up a good fight with 19 not out but we fell 7 runs short of the target for the loss of 7 wickets.

Playing away at the delightful ground of Lisvane and with the home team confident of a double, Cowbridge produced their best result of the season. We only scored 68 for 4 with Sam making 24 and Matthew Pursey 19 not out. However, excellent bowling by Sam 3 for 7 and Robbie Brown 2 for 5 laid the foundation for victory and the Dragons were all out for 45.

A home game against Dinas was a much closer affair this time round. Sam and Robbie Brown retired each on 30 and with Sam Duncombe getting 12 not out, a good total of 99 for 3 was achieved. Wickets for Sian Russell, Matthew Pursey, George Glynn and Sam resulted in the opposition being all out for 59 and the double over the opponents achieved.

From heroes to zeros, in the next game at Corntown against the Vale, Sam, Evan Pryce and Alex Bent gained 2 wickets each in a Vale total of 124 for 6. Iestyn Fenn, 33 retired and Angus James, 22 not out were the Vale’s main scorers. With Ed Lewis scoring a powerful 31 (retired) it looked as though victory was possible. Idris May put a stop to that though taking 3 for 12 and the remaining batsmen failed badly at the crease to score quickly and ended on 57 for 8.

Our last match was against The Welsh Asians on a poorly prepared wicket and with long grass in the outfield at Heath Park. Cowbridge batted first against some pacey bowling with variable bounce. Only Sam gained a decent score of 25 runs in a total of 61 for 7. A combination of poor bowling and accomplished batting by the Asians especially by Hamed 24 not out and Khan 22 sealed victory for the loss of 3 wickets.

Our stats for the season showed that we played 10 games, won 4 and lost 6. Sam Russell was our outstanding player with both bat and ball and showed great maturity with the captaincy. He went on to play a full season for the first XI. The squad of players were a happy bunch during fixtures and training and a joy to coach, even though it was frustrating at times to see their dismissals with the bat.

They will have learnt a lot this season and will be stronger and more mature for the season that lies ahead. We lose only one player from the squad, in Ellis Bird and feel more confident of success in 2016.

I wish to thank all the parents for their support of their children and help with transporting to various away fixtures. Thanks also to Max Brown for helping with umpiring and to Sara Russell for scoring. A big thank you to Chef Paul Davies for the delights of his "barbecued hot dogs" and the revenue it brought to the Club.