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U9s cricket presentation speech

22 Apr 2024

Best batter

Because of the varying number of games that all the boys have played, we’ve judged this on runs per innings.  Batting hasn’t necessarily been our strongest suit this year, although we did smash 149 runs in 16 overs against Didsbury in an exciting game that I was unfortunately unable to attend.

However, there have been lots of outstanding contributions during the year:

  • Gregory, who scored 195 runs in 12 matches (breaking 200 if you include the U11 match he played with the U10s)
  • Harvey, who scored 131 runs in 13 matches
  • Emmet, Miles and Huzaifah, who all averaged over 10 a match.
  • And a special mention to Emmet for a nerveless four off the last ball of the match against the Stockport Georgians, who had their best bowlers bowl third overs at the end of the innings (boo the Georgians)
  • Thomas also did really well, averaging nearly 16, but he was pipped by the winner.
  • This boy got 96 runs in just 6 matches, only getting out first (and second) time of the season in the final.  The winner of U9s best batter of 2023 is… Isaac!


Best bowler

I think it’s safe to say that bowling is the U9 team’s strength.  Time and again, we have taken wickets galore.  We took an unbelievable 17 wickets against Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge, more than one an over.  Second best was 15 wickets in the final, which was the key to our win.

For the award, again we have smoothed out the varying number of games that everyone’s played.  For best bowler, we looked at each bowler’s average, so how many wickets they have taken per runs conceded.  Special mentions go to…

  • Harvey, Gregory and George, for 20, 19 and 18 wickets respectively, all at great averages.
  • Other leading wicket takers were Huzaifah, Will and Max, with 10, 12 and 14 wickets respectively.
  • There were some amazing moments too.  Max took four wickets in an over earlier in the season, whilst George took four in the final, including an amazing hat-trick which, as Jeffers said in his report, ripped the heart out of their innings.
  • Gregory got five wickets in two overs against Stockport and would have had six but for a dropped catch by the wicket-keeper – to be fair, it was coming at some pace!  One of the opponents’ batters facing Gregory asked me what he could do to repel him – I didn’t have an answer.  I just shrugged and said “yeah it’s tough!”.
  • But the winner of the best bowler award, and someone who has really impressed me with his bowling in training as well as in matches, with great pace and accuracy from a relatively short run-up, is Harley, with 13 wickets at an unbelievable 5 runs each.


Best fielder

This is always a trickier one to give out since we don’t really keep records of all the catches, the run-outs, the backing up and the boundary stops.  But it’s safe to say that there has been lots of amazing fielding throughout the season.

Most satisfying as a coach is the way that they have really learned to field as a team, covering for each other, encouraging each other.  It’s not always easy to coordinate them, though.  For the match away at Stockport, the large pavilion had a function on and, in the second innings, party music was blasting out over the pitch.  That had many of the Mersey team in the field dancing.  I did struggle to keep them concentrated on the match!

Anyway, some highlights include:

  • Huzaifah getting three run-outs in one over against our U8s team.
  • Jake getting at least two run-outs throwing down the stumps from side on, so just one stump to aim at.
  • There have been lots of run-outs throughout, with Emmet using his rocket arm to ping down the stumps.
  • George also took an absolute worldie away at Hyde, diving forwards and scooping it up inches from the ground, before rolling over and clutching it to his chest.

But the winner for me was clear.  Anna reminded me that he took a worldie left hand mid-air in the winter nets.  I don’t remember that – it seems a long time ago now!  He has also produced some amazing catches in Last Man Standing games, which is the format that the boys – and me in particular – enjoy the most.  He also told me once that he is a specialist fielder, which is modest about his batting and bowling but does reflect his key skills.

And the thing that really stuck out for me was, when he was playing, he was everywhere in the field, even when the ball was dead.  Someone would throw the ball too hard past the bowler, I would look round and there he was, collecting the ball, preventing it from going further.  It seemed like he had cloned himself, but there was just one of him on the field.

Anyway, the winner of the best fielder award for 2023 goes to…. Alden.