Goresbrook under 11s entertained Ilford at a blustery May and Bakers Sports Ground on Sunday morning.
Expecting a stern test, coach Danny Gillham Snr had hoped to have the strongest possible squad available but due to the holiday season he was left without three regulars. However, this gave the opportunity for some of the less experienced boys to get some much needed game time.
Ilford won the toss and elected to bat. George Smith opened the bowling and a fine out-swinger found the edge and young Ben Willis took a superb catch low down at first slip. Rattled, Ilford quickly lost two further wickets. Prahatan was first to go, Nathan Durridge at point with a superb pickup and throw with the run out and then Mustafa stumped off Parnell's spin by the quick gloves of Gillham.
Ilford's middle order was not about to roll over and they began to build a score. Goresbrook's skipper decided to give everyone a bowl and Ted Ivory was much improved and earned himself a wicket by way of another fine catch from young Ben Willis. With the ball seemingly over him, Willis managed to leap backwards and catch the ball one handed to the delight of the home support.
Ivory himself took a catch later on off the much improved bowling of Owen. Durridge returned 1 for 8 assisted by another Gillham stumping before Parnell returned with a mix of spin and pace to close the innings.
Smith and Gillham opened for 'Brook and the pair put on 47 for the first wicket before Smith was bowled by the left handed Mustafa for 15. Gillham soon retired on 25 not out before Parnell came to the crease and increased the scoring tempo. Sam Wood came and went having earlier bowled superbly without reward before Owen joined Parnell.
With these two at the wicket it was always going to be exciting and a mixture of big hitting and fine running got Goresbrook back up with the scoring rate. With 28 needed from 4 overs risks needed to be taken and Owen was run out for 17 with a fantastic throw from Ilford, pushing for a 2, Owen was undone by a direct hit from fully 40 yards.
Parnell soon went for an entertaining 18, trying to hit out he was caught out deep. Mustafa continued to stifle Goresbrook and neither Kondakar nor Ivory could make any further inroads into the target.
Ilford just deserved victory and they celebrated having known they had been in a battle. Goresbrook coach Gillham spoke after the match; "We probably batted and fielded better than Ilford but they were more disciplined in their bowling". "We scored 80 off the bat to Ilford's 70". "Having said all that I couldn’t have asked for anymore from the boys". "Ben Willis was superb again, Krischan Kumar is developing nicely along with Durridge and Tyler Fredericks bowled pretty well and will benefit greatly from playing with the older lads today".
George Smith - 15
Danny Gillham - 25 no
Billy Parnell - 18
Sam Wood - 4
Callum Owen - 17
Tahmid Kondakar - 1
George Smith 3-0-7-1
Billy Parnell 3-1-11-1
Ted Ivory 2-0-12-1
Callum Owen 2-0-9-1
Nathan Durridge 1-0-8-1