Dancing in the dark
U11's undone by the toss in the final.
Goresbrook took a squad of 7 to the Ardleigh Green Big Bash at Central Park Harold Hill on Friday evening.
The format was 6 a side soft ball,with each pair batting 2 overs.
Brook were paired with Ardleigh Green rebels and Rainham in the group stages and the 2 games could not have been more different.
Batting first against the hosts, Brook totalled a net 230-2 from their 6 overs with Vajran Sri top scoring with 16.
Liam Elsom struck early thanks to a running Callum Hind catch at mid on, then Ben Atkins followed suit with Joe Nunes holding on to a fierce pull on the square leg boundary. The hosts needed 11 from the final over but Callum, on debut, held his nerve and only 9 could be scored, leaving Brook victors by the slenderest of margins.
In the second game against Rainham, Brook didn't fare anywhere near as well with the bat and could only muster 227-3, Liam Elsom with 9 and Sriraman Sri with 10 the top scorers. However Brook struck early again, as Joe Nunes held another stunner off Ben Atkins, and then bowled with utter accuracy; Atkins completing a wicket maiden, Elsom conceding just 2 and Sri just 1 form their overs leaving Rainham a mountain to climb. The last pair looked to attack but Ben Atkins struck twice with direct hits to increase the arrears and Joe Nunes rubbed salt into the wounds with a further wicket to leave Brook victors by 27 runs.
The late arrival of one team meant Brook then had to wait over 90 minutes to start their semifinal against Shenfield but the Sri brothers soon made up for lost time with Sri hitting 16 including a huge six and Vajran 20 with 2 maximums to help Brook to a healthy 249-1 but 4 wickets and terrier like fielding restricted Shenfield to 239-4. Again the brothers were to the fore with a castling each,and a run out from Vajran. Callum Hind completed victory with a caught and bowled leaving Brook victors by 10 runs.
It was nigh on nine o clock when Liam Elsom lost his first toss of the evening. In the gathering gloom Brook took 3 wickets , a run out, a castling by Sri and a Vajran catch off Ben to restrict Hornchurch to 233-3 in the final. But the light faded even further after the turnaround and runs were very hard to come by. Liam Elsom hit a cracking off drive for 4 in his knock of 7 but the loss of 4 wickets was to prove costly as it meant an unlikely 28 were needed from the last over. Vajran managed to club two boundaries but it was all in vain as Brook ended up 17 short of victory.
Hornchurch's coach showed great sportsmanship by acknowledging that the conditions may have affected the final outcome.
On behalf of Goresbrook I would like to extend my thanks to Paul Doyle and Andy Weston and everyone else at Ardleigh Green for a great tournament.
The u11's are back to hard ball cricket this Thursday but have two more tournaments in August , one at Belhus and the other the prestigous Mini Matchplay at the County Ground in Chelmsford.
Tournaments stats: runs/ outs wickets/ runs catches runouts
Liam Elsom 30/0 1 / 27
Callum Hind 8/2 1/36 2
Ben Atkins 10/1 3/23 2
Joe Nunes 5/2 1/30 2 1
Sriraman 27/1 2/8
Vajran 45/4 1/11 1 1
Ryan Bucktrout 1/0 0/18