With a lot to live up to after the U10s season last year as U9s, this year’s U9s proved themselves very much up to the task with a number of impressive performances despite still being in a development stage. And there was notable improvement as the season went on as the boys got lots of match experience and honed their skills.
Cheshire league: Under 9 Zone 1 – 2ND IN GROUP
Played 10, won 5, lost 4, won conceded 1
It was an exciting season in the tougher Cheshire league as it went down to the wire. If we had won the final match against Hyde then it looks like we would have finished top of the league on net run rate and made it to the semi-final. Unfortunately, Hyde put on one of the strongest performances of the season that we had seen to beat us at home by 40 runs, with us having fairly comfortably beaten them away from home. We lost twice to the winners of the group, North East Cheshire (who lost in the semi-final play-off), and we had a 1-run defeat against Cheadle Hulme (although we benefited from some favourable opposition umpiring to get that close). It was still a strong season and we could easily have qualified.
High Peak league: Stockport Division – WON
Played 10, won 7, lost 1, won conceded 2, position 1st
Although it doesn’t look like it, the High Peak league finale was equally dramatic, as our poor net run rate (based on gross runs scored, whereas our wins were often based on taking more wickets, so we were effectively penalised for that way of winning) meant that finishing joint top would have led to us losing out. A location mix-up (not our fault) meant that the Offerton game could not be played, and the Stockport Georgians match went down to the last ball, but we secured the win and then got awarded a concession for the Offerton match to put us 8 points clear. This was an impressive performance given we only won one match in the High Peak league last season.
That put us into the semi-final against Prestbury, and another dramatic, see-sawing match saw us sneak home by 11 runs, by taking wickets in the last four overs. With bad weather all around, the other semi-final couldn’t be played on the Friday and the Sunday final was postponed to September, in the end being played on the second Sunday.
High Peak summer competition: Group A – 4TH IN GROUP
Played 4, won 0, lost 2, abandoned 2
The High Peak summer competition was perhaps a competition too far, although it gave us a look at Bollington before we played them in the final. We didn’t manage to win either of the matches played, but ultimately weather was the main winner during a wet August.