After an amazing season as the U9s, losing just one game (a semi-final) to non-Heaton Mersey opposition in 35 matches, the U10s have gone from strength to strength this year, despite playing in the U11s group.
Cheshire league: Under 11 Zone 2: SEMI-FINALISTS
Played 7, won 5, lost 1, abandoned 1, position 1st
This was best illustrated by their performance in the (generally viewed as tougher) Cheshire league (which involves 10-a-side pairs cricket), with 22 teams across three “Zones”. In this league, they amazingly finished top, losing only one game (against NECCC, who finished second).
Winning the group qualified them for the quarter-final play-offs, in which they beat Timperley Thunder by 8 runs in a tense match. However, they met their match in the semi-final, losing to Davenham by 29 runs, repeating their performance in the U9s competition the previous year by getting to the semi-finals. Maybe next year they can go at least one better?
High Peak league: Under 11s West Division: WON
Played 8, won 5, lost 2, abandoned 1, position 2nd
In the High Peak league (which involves 8-a-side pairs cricket), with 27 teams across three divisions (West, East and South), they fared similarly well. They ultimately finished a strong second and therefore qualified for the quarter-final play-offs. Interestingly, they beat the other three sides in the top four, losing only to 5th placed Ladybridge and 8th placed Cheadle Hulme.
In the play-offs, the quarter-final fixture away to Alderley Edge was rained off (although the U9 and Girls U15 teams still managed to play at home) and rearranged as both teams were keen to avoid a coin toss. However, the rain fell once more and the pitch was too wet and therefore dangerous for the players. That resulted in a coin toss. The local reporters covered the momentous occasion thusly:
“And all was hush in the High Peak Long Room, a place reserved for the cricketing elite, as the coin was brought in on an ornate golden tray. There was a murmur of anticipation, and an appreciation that tens of residents in the Heatons and Alderley Edge would be watching their WhatsApp feed nervously, mildly irritated at the frivolous few who make only facetious remarks as a distraction from the main event.”
Thankfully, the coin came down favourably for Heaton Mersey (we didn’t see it; we were just told), and we advanced to the semi-final to play Marple, who we beat in mid-July. There was then a long, long wait until after the summer holidays before the final could be played, in the end falling on the first Sunday of September. A dramatic match saw Heaton Mersey clinch the win, taking the High Peak trophy.
South Manchester Under 11 Cup: Group D – 2ND IN GROUP
Played 6, won 3, lost 1, conceded 1, abandoned 1
The South Manchester cup featured 16 teams across 4 groups and involved 11-a-side matches with 20 overs-a-side and “if you’re out, you’re out” rules (i.e. not pairs as they are used to), which changed the nature of the match play. However, Heaton Mersey adapted well, winning 3 of their 4 completed matches, a loss to Lindow and a concession to the winners, Timperley, ultimately costing them the chance to get through to the semi-finals of the cup. However, the team did themselves proud.
High Peak Under 11s summer competition: Group C – 2ND IN GROUP
Played 5, won 2, lost 1, cancelled 2
The High Peak summer competition featured 18 teams across 3 groups and was played with a more familiar 8-a-side pairs format. Heaton Mersey again won more than they lost and finished 2nd, but were comfortably behind the group winners Bramhall (in fact, a Bramhall team won all three groups). Unfortunately, we narrowly missed out on getting through to the semi-finals (on net run rate).