It's been a busy few weeks for the Hill junior teams, here is a round up of the results so far.
Under 15s v South North (a) - Sunday 17th April 2022 - Lost by 143 runs
We began the defence of the NEPL U15 trophy with a tough game at neighbours South North on Easter Sunday. Bowling first, captain Abu Siddique took 3 early wickets before the home team took control to set an imposing total of 230 for 5. In reply, Subhan Shahzad hit a rapid 28 before the innings fell away against a strong South North side and we were bowled out for 87.
Under 15s v Lanchester (h) - Sunday 24th April 2022 - Won by 2 wickets
The following Sunday, we locked horns once again with Lanchester, the team we beat in last year's final. Batting first, Lanchester scored 207 for 5 in their 40 overs against our young attack, however against the odds, the Hill knocked off the runs in the 39th over 8 wickets down in a nervy finish. Star of the show was 13 year old Subhan Shahzad who top scored with 66 but everyone else chipped in to get us over the line.
The heavy defeat to South North will make it difficult to qualify for the next round, but the way our youngsters fought back to defeat Lanchester was very impressive and very encouraging for the rest of the season.
Under 15s v Alnwick (a) - Monday 9th May 2022 - Won by 102 runs
We won at Alnwick in our first match in defence of County Cup on Monday night. Put into bat, the Hill were reduced to 20/4 due to some excellent opening bowling from Alnwick, but captain Abu Siddique with an unbeaten 50 led his team to an excellent 134/5 after 20 overs ably supported by 36 from Rory Mustard.
Jayam Patel took the big wicket with the first ball of the innings and from there the wickets were shared amongst 8 bowlers as Alnwick were bowled out for 32 in reply to set up a quarter final with Bates Cottages on 24th May.
Under 13s v Morpeth (a) - Sunday 1st May - Won by 71 runs
Despite what looks like a comfortable win, the season got off to the worst possible start as we found ourselves at 10-3, with 3 of a star batsman back in the hutch, however an excellent innings of 31 (retired out) from Fergus Wallace, ably supported by Gabriel Mellor (16) and big hitting from Ellie Fogan (11), meant we posted a respectable 98 for 8 off our 20 overs.
In reply Morpeth wickets fell regularly, with Ellie (2 wickets) and Ben Robinson (1 wicket) getting the key early wickets. Wickets were shared as Morpeth were 27 all out in the 16th over, Aaron Armstrong (with 2), Tom Hewson (1), Gabriel Mellor (1), Subhan Shahzad (1) and Fergus Wallace (1). There were also 2 excellent catches for Gabriel.
Under 13s v Bedlington (h) - Sunday 8th May - won by 122 runs
Normal service was resumed at the top of the order, with Aaron Armstrong, Ben Robinson, Rory Mustard and Subhan Shahzad all scoring 30 before having to retire. It was not until we had reached 154 before we lost out first wicket, Gabriel Mellor (22 not out) with some late hitting seeing us score an excellent 180 for 2 in 20 overs.
Despite an excellent 24 not out from Bedlington's Katie Anderson (also the pick of their bowlers), we bowled out Bedlington for 58, with wickets shared around, 2 each for Liam Hynd, Gruff Planchant, Gabriel Mellor, and 1 each for Ibrahim Ahmed and Fergus Wallace.
Under 11s v Ponteland (h) - Sunday 1st May - Cancelled
Under 11s v South North (a) - Sunday 1st May - Lost by 18 runs
Having been rained off in the first game of the season the U11s played against South North at Greenside. After choosing to field first the Hill got off to a great start taking four wickets in the first four overs with two each for Seb and Oliver. We continued to take wickets throughout the innings with Vihan taking his first for the Hill and Sukhveer getting two in two balls. South North put some pressure on the fielders with some good running and we missed a couple of run out chances and put down a couple of catches. South North ended up on 295 for 9 (net score 250).
Our batting got off to a difficult start with two run outs and some good bowling but we battled back with good partnerships between Nicholas and Sukhveer and Sai and Harsh. South North had several county players who kept up the pressure with some good straight bowling and we came up short ending on 272 for 8 (net score 232).
Despite losing it was a positive start to the season and the players are looking forward to the next game at home to Tynedale.