After a frustrating start to the season weather wise, our junior sides have made up for lost time with a raft of games in the last few weeks, read on for an update on our progress from each of the Team Managers.
Under 15s - Barry Pearson/Max Williamson
After an extremely wet and slow start to the season, the under 15 season finally got underway on 15th May. The season always starts with a big rush to cram in the early rounds of the Under 15 County Cup, and following a lucky win over Blyth in the preliminary round with the toss of a coin, our first game was at home to Alnmouth. The Hill scored 147/4 in 20 overs with excellent contributions from Jayam Patel with 41 and Rory Mustard with 45, but the star was Ben Robinson who cleaned out the Alnmouth top order with 4 for 2 from 4 overs. That win sent us to Newcastle City in the quarter final, the Hill scored 150/5 in 20 overs led by a superb unbeaten 50 from Warren Poxon, Rory scored 38 and Jayam 27. Spinners Aaron Armstrong and new boy Ayush Chakraborty took the bowling honours with 3 for 8 and 2 for 11 respectively. We now have a home semi final with South North to look forward to on Thursday 8th June.
The Monday night league season has been very truncated with Stocksfield away lost to the weather and Ponteland conceding on Bank Holiday Monday. In between, Tynemouth were defeated as we restricted them to 91/9 in 20 overs, 2 wickets each for new boy Ed Moody, Aaron Armstrong and the returning Ibrahim Tayyab. Warren Poxon with 45 not out and an unbeaten 40 from Subhan Shahzad knocked off the runs inside ten overs. Last Monday saw the Hill visit Newcastle, with the home team seemingly setting a challenging 108/5 in 20 overs, but once again led by an unbeaten 50 from Warren, we knocked off the runs in 12 overs to win by 8 wickets. Ayush once again impressed with 3 for 15.
Despite missing a couple of key players, the Hill put up a decent performance in losing to an extremely strong Chester le Street side in the NEPL 40 over competition on Friday 2nd June.
Batting first, CLS raced away to a fine start before spinners Ayush Chakraborty with 3 for 26 and Aaron Armstrong 2 for 30 wrestled back some control and the hosts finished on 156/7 in 40 overs.
In reply, 22/3 soon became 56/5 before Fergus Wallace with 29 and 13 year old Gabriel Mellor with 25 put on a fifty partnership to put the game in the balance before we then lost quick wickets to finish 32 runs short.
Under 13s - Jim Robinson
When the weather finally relented, and play could get under way the U13s had a tricky opening fixture in the Cup away at Benwell and Wallbottle. A close game ended in a loss for The Hill in the final over of the game. The Hill batting first managed 75/7 on a wet cold evening, notable contribution of 18 N.O. from Liam Hynd. Benwell and Wallottle managed 79/7 in the 20th over. Pick of the bowlers was Nicholas Walder with figures of 3 overs, 1 Maiden, 3 Runs and 2 Wickets.
After this initial disappointment the team have picked themselves up and managed 3 wins on the bounce.
Against Tynemouth The Hill put on 114/4, Gabriel Mellor 27 not out and Freddie Mexter 18 not out top scoring. A good bowling performance kept Tynemouth to 56/5, 2 wickets each for Gabriel Mellor and Ibrahim Ahmed.
Next up was a good win away at South North Blue. Batting first we managed 100/1, another 30 not out for Gabriel was well supported with very good 21 from Liam Hynd. In the field we restricted South North to 79/7. 2 wickets each for Seb Flether-Woods, Ramin Aatif and Ibrahim Ahmed.
This was followed by another good home win again Newcastle. Batting first The Hill put on 137/5. 30s for Ibrahim and Gabriel helping us reach our highest total of the season so far. Another good bowling performance kept Newcastle to 116/5.
Under 11s - James Walder
As with all teams we weren't able to play our first couple of matches due to weather. We eventually had our first game against Shotley Bridge in the U11 cup - this isn't the usual format of pairs and didnt get off to the best start losing a wicket on the first ball. Our fight back was led by Hector who had to retire on 26 off 13 balls. Daniel and Sukhveer kept the scoreboard ticking over before some late hitting from Vihaan took us to 96 from the 16 overs. Some tight bowling managed to keep the pressure on Shotley Bridge who ended up on 85 with Hector, Vihaan and Oliver all getting wickets.
We were back to pairs for a trip up to Alnmouth and bowling first we had a great start with Oliver getting wickets on the first 2 balls. Daniel, Rahim and Vihaan all got 2 wickets which included 4 stumpings. Hector ended up with figures of 2 over 4 for 3 with some good straight bowling and Alnmouth reached a net score of 227. Despite losing 10 wickets (including some suicidal run outs) we kept ahead of the game and ended on a net score of 247.
Our next league match was a game against Backworth. Some really tight bowling restricted them to 227 and also saw new player Charlie get his first wicket for the Hill. Emily and Matthew both taking good catches. In a tight game we kept losing wickets with some good bowling and fielding. We couldnt quite get across the line and came up 4 short with a net score of 223.
As well as the U11 cup we have entered the Barry Hicks Cup and were drawn against Gateshead Fell. We posted a good score of 254 with Rahim and Aryan putting on 28/1 and Hector and Oliver scoring 33 in our last pair. A strong opening spell from Charlie (2-8) meant that we were always on top and we picked up 3 run outs (including a direct hit from Vihaan) as they chased the game. Gateshead ended up on a net score of 230.
The final game of May was away at South North and thanks to David Walder and Michael Smalley for looking after the team at this fixture. Batting first we reached a net score of 277 and managed to restrict South North to a net score of 258 even after missing quite a few run out opportunities.
Under 9s - Mark Wright
This year sees a large increase in our numbers on a Tuesday evening, However we do seem to have lost some girls out of the group so would be fantastic for some more girls to come and give it a go! So spread the word.
We have had some fantastic new recruits who, along with last years under 7/8s, are showing great potential and will no doubt be very successful in this seasons festivals throughout the summer. We have seen many of our u9 actually start training with the u11 and getting used to a hardball which is great experience for them, We have also seen Joseph Haxon make his debut for the u11s, a debut that seen him score his first runs and get his first wicket, with such a talented u9s squad it certainly keeps the pressure on the u11s to keep doing the business, which I’m sure they will as they are also an amazing group of talented kids!
All Stars Cricket - Mark Wright
Benwell Hill All Stars is back! Once again we have a sell out, with 40 kids currently registered. Our unbelievably popular Benwell Hill All Stars kickstarted again on Friday 5th May, and of course, it rained! However, a little bit of rain couldn't stop a flurry of blue tops hitting the field, enjoying some batting, and bowling practice, with a game of heads, shoulders, knees, and ball thrown in for good measure and as soon as the session finished so did the rain!!
Thank you goes out to our long-standing coaches Mark Wright, Barry Pearson, Ellie Fogan, Warren Poxon and Andrew Jewitt and a huge welcome to this year's Team, Ben Robinson and Daniel Warkman, who are certainly having their skills put to the test with kids aging from between 5 to 8-year-olds!
With a jammed packed programme of activities planned, (including, or so we’ve heard some activities that involve parents (make sure to bring your trainers)) Benwell Hill All Stars is set to break all records of fun!
Running all ready for 5 weeks, the last 3 weeks will continue to have plenty of laughter, fun and hopefully a special guest!
Check out the action every Friday from 5 pm till 6 pm this month.