No, not the, how shall we say it….strange ones we see and hear throughout our premiership teams, but our under-9s are bringing retro nicknames back, and we love it!
As many of you will see from our Tuesday night Junior sessions, we have a lot, and we mean a lot of Juniors, and it's great!
What's more, due to the incredible talent on the field for the first time, our Benwell Hill coaches entered two under 9 teams at the latest festival held at Stocksfield Cricket Club.
Two teams, The Sixers and The Royals. And what a festival it was!
First up was The Sixers…
Facing a strong Tynedale team, The Sixers set the pace with some good bowling and fielding, which helped to limit Tynedale to a score of 216. Lola managed to get a wicket in her first over for Benwell Hill, and Thomas W took a good catch off his own bowling. A really strong batting performance from the team saw us reach 256 and only lose 2 wickets.
A great first win to start the day.
Then came The Royals…
With 7 debutants, including 5-year-old Jacob, The Royal's first game was against a very strong Backworth.
However, completely unperturbed, our team batted incredibly. Only losing two wickets, we recorded a net score of 265, with Jacob hitting his first ever 6!
Then came the bowling attack. Joseph was first up and beautifully and tactically clean bowled the first pair of batters with the first ball of their innings – of course, he celebrated like he had just won the world cup – but who wouldn't?!
The tight bowling continued throughout, and although Backworth had some big hitters, Myles, Austin, Vihaan, and Jacob all joined Joseph in taking a wicket. With Backworth needing 2 to win off the last ball…they only managed to squeeze 1 due to great fielding from the team, taking the score to a tie, and giving Benwell Hill Royals their first win on wickets lost!
The Sixer's second game soon got underway against Benwell Hill's all-time rivals South North. After losing the toss for the first time this season, we had to bat first. However, all pairs managed to find boundaries, with Aryan, Thomas F, Oliver, and Thomas W all hitting 6s as we made 269 for 3 despite 2 run-outs! We were on form again with our bowling and managed to limit South North to 217 for 5. Matthew took a great high catch on the boundary, and Emily also held a good catch off her own bowling.
We soon move on to The Royal's second game against our hosts, Stocksfield. The Royals won the toss for the second time, and we chose to bat first. Myles got us on the scoresheet immediately, hitting a fantastic six; however, Stocksfield came back strong, and their bowling and fielding saw us with 28 dot balls out of the 48 bowled! This meant we didn't run a single run throughout the game, scoring all our runs in 4s, wides, and one 6, finishing on a very respectable 240 for 3. Again, our bowling started well, with Joseph taking a great catch to give Maciella her first wicket, followed quickly by Austin's catch off Amelia's bowling. As the last pair entered the crease, Stocksfield had 234 for 2 on the board, and Abdul's first ball went for 5!! But a fantastic last ball got the wicket he deserved to reduce them to 236 in the last over. The Royals kept applying the pressure, and Jacob took a further 2 wickets, including a brilliant run-out by Amelia and Joseph, and only conceding 1 run, finishing on 227 for 5!
Then came the final game……
The one we weren't expecting……
The one we didn't want to happen….
The two unbeaten teams in the festival were to play each other!
Benwell Hill Sixers vs. Benwell Hill Royals.
And it got heated, very heated, with plenty of pre-match chat!
The Royals took to bowling and fielding first, and up against a strong and experienced Sixers team, they bowled and fielded extremely well. Maciella nearly took an amazing, very fast-paced catch; and she and Joseph were the only people who managed to take a wicket!
The Sixers reached 257 for 3 with Rahim leading the way, Matthew hitting a lovely cover drive for 4, and Oliver managing to hit a boundary despite being made to bat left-handed!
The Sixers bowled very well, bowling 29 dot balls limiting the Royals to 198 for 6, giving The Sixers their third win of the day.
Some highlights from the three games were Maciella, Joseph, Thomas F, and partner Lola not losing a wicket in their 3 innings, The Sixers hitting a total of twelve 6s with Thomas W hitting 5 of them, Aryan managing to stop a six with his head and 5 outstanding catches!
The Royals valuing their wicket and only having 1 run out in 3 games and their understanding of the format of under 9 festival cricket, for a team that had never played festival cricket before, was outstanding.