Under 9s v Sway and Pylewell Park II

Mixed fortunes and a foursome of Freddies as Lymington’s Under 9s gain valuable match practice

Two matches on consecutive evenings gave Lymington manager Julie Dodd the opportunity to present many of her growing Under 9 squad with some important game time.

Against a well-drilled Sway side at Woodside Lymington fell to a 52 run defeat. Nic Simons and Inigio Brain both took a wicket, but Sway’s batting, particularly Ollie Marshall and Noah Lane-Glass, who both scored six runs, was very disciplined with some intelligent shot selection and adept running between the wickets. Lymo conceded a whopping 17 lots of wides (amounting to an extra 38 runs) as Sway totalled 258 from their 16 overs.

Henry Wood (5) and Marcus Wray (5) gave Lymington’s reply a good start, although four wickets in the first four overs meant that Sway were always well on top. Jacob Varney and Brain both preserved their wickets well to achieve the best net partnership, but again Sway’s bowling and fielding was a class above, taking seven wickets and conceding just six lots of wides. Nick Dodd added some late runs to take Lymington to 206 at the close. A heavy defeat, but as coaches a lot more important than me often say: ‘You learn more from a defeat than from a victory’.

The following night the Under 9s made the short trip over the Lymington River to face Pylewell Park II. It’s always a pleasure to go back to the ground where I first played cricket some 30-something years ago. Indeed, if anyone wants to discover what I looked like with hair, then they should go and have a laugh at some of the old team photos in Pylewell’s lovely old thatched pavilion.

Batting first this time, Lymo were given a flying start by Henry Wood and Freddie Fitzsimmons whose partnership gleaned 18 runs. Wood, in particular, was in fine form, scoring three boundaries in his 14 runs. James Collison was similarly prolific, hitting a couple of fours. Jack Stewart used his feet to good effect in order to protect his wicket while Nick Dodd’s late flurry of runs enabled Lymington to total 246. Lymington lost just three wickets, a significant improvement from the previous night. Freddie Stern was the pick of the Pylewell bowlers, taking 2-10 while Hugo James took the other wicket and conceded just a single run from his three overs.

Following sandwiches, cakes and drinks (the catering has definitely improved since my days!) Henry Wood took a wicket in the first over of the Pylewell reply, and with further breakthroughs from Jack Stewart, Aaron Coles and James Rose, Lymington were well on top. Ben McManus, Seb Helliwell, Eric Evans and little Remy Giron (playing his first ever game of cricket) all preserved their wickets with great determination but found runscoring tricky. However, if anyone thought the match might be petering towards an inevitable Lymington victory, Stern had other ideas, smashing four boundaries to narrow the lead to just a few runs at one point. Unfortunately for the home side, the excitement got the better of Stern and his fellow batsman Ranulph Raymond, and a couple of crazy run outs ensued to ultimately ensure a 17 run win for the visitors. Like their batting, Lymington’s fielding was much improved, especially the catching with Coles’ caught & bowled and wicketkeeper Dodd’s superb reaction catch the pick of the bunch. The wide count was still extremely high… something to work on in training on Monday, methinks.

As an aside, Jack Rose’s unfortunate hand injury (sustained at school, rather than during the match) gave an opportunity for six years old Freddie Phillips to fill in as an emergency fielder for Lymington. This meant that there were four Freddies taking part in the match. Having consulted my Ladybird Book of Freddie Facts, I can neither confirm or deny if this is indeed a world record, although Freddie Fitzsimmons maintains that he recently played in a rugby match with six Freddies! If only Lymington had a web forum we could start a whole new Fred on the subject. I’ll get my coat…


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