Our Taunton Deane U15s made the final of the Vitality U15 National Cup on Monday against the impressive 2017 U13 National Cup Champions, Shenley Village CC (Herts).
Skipper Ben Chaffey asked Shenley Village to bat first, but this time there was no early wicket as the pitch dried out and batting proved rather easier. Orchard (28) & Beesley (22) put on 50 runs in 8 overs to give Shenley a very good start. It was Taylor Flitton (4-0-24-1) who made the first breakthrough when he had Orchard caught at point by Freddie Stevens. Josh Thomas (4-0-28-1) then dismissed Beesley thanks to a catch by Harry Love. This brought the aggressive paring of White (40) & Elliott (49 not out) to the wicket and they produced a flurry of boundary shots to dominate the Deane bowling. They put on 64 runs in 8 overs before White was caught & bowled by Freddy Steven (3-0-23-1). With the help of Lavin (12 not out) Elliott then punished the flagging Deane bowling for a crucial 40 runs off the last three overs to see Shenley set a formidable 160 run target.
Taunton Deane started well with 20 runs off the first three overs, but a poorly judged second run by Aman Rao (8) saw him well short of his crease and he departed rather prematurely. Josh Thomas (2) could not produce his form of previous rounds as he was bowled pulling spinner White across the line. Max Johnson (2) then repeated his semi-final dismissal as he ran himself out to see Taunton Deane reeling at 34-3. Rufus Wiiliams-Pritchard (0) chipped to deepish mid-on to give Shenley a fourth wicket. The next two wickets gave Shenley some cause to start to celebrate, First, Ben Chaffey (23) was bowled by White and then Orchard lept high to pluck a powerful on drive from Freddy Stevens (15) out of the air as it looked to be going over his head. This gave White impressive figures of 4-0-15-4. Harry Love (0) was run out by a direct hit from Tobias Elliott and then the very unlucky Rowan Keyte (0) was also run out as a straight drive from his partner was deflected onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end by the bowler. Harrison Hambly (14) bravely took on the bowlers with two big sixes, but he too was well caught, this time on the deep mid-wicket boundary to leave Taunton Deane out on the ropes at 78-9. Taylor Flitton (15 not out) & the entertaining Josh Nelson (6) then put together a 22 run partnership for the last wicket, before Nelson skewed a drive and was caught at cover. The Deane dream was over as they were dismissed for exactly 100 runs.
Well done to Shenley Village CC on a very fine performance in the final. You were worthy winners.
It has been a fantastic cup odyssey and one we can all cherish and be proud of. We came up short in the final, but on a better day we may have gone all the way. Nevertheless, there are so many positives to be remembered from Rugby School and all the previous rounds of the National Cup. It was a tremendous way for Ben, Aman, Josh T, Rowan, Max, Freddy, as well as Will & Charlie to graduate from their youth cricket at our club. It will also provide real inspiration for those who remain ... Rufus, Taylor, Harry, Harrison, Josh N together with the other U14/U13s to look to return to Rugby School next year .... and win it!
Grateful thanks must go to Dave Smith for his wise counsel and coaching input; Steve Nelson for his tireless work to provide kit and sponsorship support; all the parents for the many miles they have travelled and the nervous moments in games they have followed. We must not forget our sponsors who have once again supported all our youth cricket .... Taunton School, A & M Motors, Broomhead & Saul, Somerset County Sports & Delivery Direct Logistics.
Great team, great achievement, great memories .... thank you one and all.
Youth Cricket Manager
Taunton Deane CC