MOJACAR JUNIORS MAKE HISTORIC DEBUT
On Saturday the 29th of September the Mojacar Junior cricket team made history by becoming the first junior team in Almeria to play competitive cricket.
The team was established in May 2007 and since then there has been a steady influx of members. Now six months on there are nearly twenty members and this number seems set to rise as the word is spread throughout the area.
Their first encounter was against La Manga Juniors who have been established for over a year now. Head coach of La Manga, Neil Brook kindly invited Mojacar to play their first game last Saturday, which was accepted with great anticipation by all the Mojacar players.
A twenty five over game was agreed and Corry Sweet the Mojacar captain won the toss and decided to field first.
After a team huddle the Mojacar skipper quickly organised his field placings and threw the ball to Sam Milward and Tom Finch to open the bowling. On a particularly blustery day all bowlers had to deal with a cross wind. Sam and Tom quickly adjusted to the conditions and produced a tight opening spell culminating in the first wicket for Mojacar. Fittingly this was a run out, as all the team put in endless work on their fielding skills. The Mojacar team all ran to congratulate each other for creating a wicket from good pressure in the field.
The first bowling change saw Ben Milward and Louie Morris continue to put pressure on the La Manga batsmen. Ben with out swing and Louie with his clever use of flight. Again with batsmen looking to up the run rate La Manga opening batsmen Adam Alger was dismissed also run out.
Peter Cambell and Chelsey Maytey (the first of the three girls in the team) bowled next. Bowling with good rhythm they both kept the run rate down. Only Dan Carr (on lone for the day from Mojacar) and Kieron managed to reach double figures for La Manga.
Sam Owers and Jamie Cooke then bowled together; with Sam clean bowling Kieron, and Jamie only conceding one run from his over.
Rhys Morris, Corry Sweet, Poppy Finch Luke and Adam all bowled well with Luke and Rhys picking up a wicket each while Poppy, Corry and Adam kept it tight from the other end.
At the end of the La Manga innings they had reached 67 for 5.
Chasing this total against a more experienced team was always going to be tough.
The chase began with Sam Milward and Louie Morris opening the batting. Scoring runs was difficult against accurate bowling, but not panicking and being patient helped see off the opening bowlers for the loss of no wickets.
This allowed the middle order batsmen to come in and get the score board ticking over.
Contributions from Corry Sweet, Pete Cambell, Luke, Rhys and top scorer Ben Milward helped nudge the score closer to the 67 required. Wickets fell regularly and steady batting was needed from Abigail, Tom, Chelsey, Sam Owers, Adam and Georgie to put Mojacar in touching distance of victory.
With three overs to go, two runs from Poppy Finch and a fine shot to midwicket by Jamie Cooke left Pete Cambell and Sam Milward needing five runs from the final over.
The atmosphere was electric as all the Mojacar team and travelling supporters gathered at the boundary rope, some cheering some not daring to look.
With some excellent quick clear calling and even quicker running the batsmen managed to take four runs from the first five balls. The scores were now level and one run needed for the win. Sam Milward facing the last delivery settled himself; the bowler ran in and delivered a very good ball which even a competent batsmen like Sam could not get his bat on. The ball went into the keepers gloves. No run was scored and the match was dramatically drawn.
All the Mojacar players rushed onto the pitch to congratulate the two batsmen who had made a valiant effort to bring the game home. Immediately Mojacar gave three cheers to La Manga and lined up to shake hands with them.
A special mention needs to go to Georgie Addis who kept wicket for Mojacar. With hardly any mistakes and continually supporting his team mates, he made a tough job look easy.
Also to Dan Carr and Sam Beal for kindly playing for La Manga to make up the numbers. Both of these regularly play for the senior side and were great club representatives the whole day. Thanks go to Neil Brook, from La Manga C.C for providing us with a great day. Also to Pete Finch for sharing the umpiring duties with me.
None of this would have happened without the practice facility at Cortijo Grande, and the help of senior members who help coach the juniors.
These are Dave (“Hubcap”) Redpath, Neil (“Kippers”) Skelton, Pedro (“the Daddy”) Mundon and of course, as the kids call him, “Big Sam” Lewis. A big thank you goes to all of these, and also to my wife, Melissa, for not only helping at practice, but also helping with various jobs behind the scenes.
As Head Coach my biggest thanks must go to the juniors of both teams as their behaviour and sportsmanship the whole day was exemplary, and has set the standard for others to follow. I hope by the smiles on their faces after the game that they enjoyed the day as much as I did.
I look forward to writing the next match report, as I feel this was the first of many to come.