Fresh from Haslemere Sports award Junior team of the year, last season’s U13 Foxes took to the field in the SE Hants 9-a-side league having won the U13 league in 2016 with an unbeaten record.
So hopes were high. A day of weather watching and trusting the forecast saw Burridge make the long trip across the County for the season opener.
The rain that was promised to have gone came back just in time for the start and both Managers decided to give it a go. The wicket was hard but had a sprinkle of rain on top to give it some zip.
Burridge won the toss and were quick to decide to bat in the brighter of the conditions.
Grayshott took to the field and the game started a few minutes late. However, 25 minutes later and only 2 overs had been completed with a succession of wides and no balls as Lucas and Charlie struggled to find their line. Charlie did manage to sneak a low bouncing short ball through the defences of Damley-Jones and with a great throw from the boundary instigated a run out after a miss-field. So a decent start but the rain began to increase. A short break reduced the game to 18 overs a piece.
Whether complacency set in or the thought that the weather would curtail the game but Grayshott were clearly not in game mode as a succession of catches and poor field placing gave the hard hitting Burridge batsman several chances and countless boundaries. Well 17 in total. Eventually, the field was amended and the spinners who were struggling to hold the ball, never mind turn it were replaced with the quicker stuff.
Billy had bowled well for his 4 overs and thanks to a great high catch from Seb picked up 2-22. Ben also took a good high catch and with a run out off the last ball Grayshott had picked up a 3rd bowling bonus point as Burridge scored a competitive 110-6. All of the Grayshott players had a bowl, Guy being the pick, only going for 3 runs off his 2 overs.
A quick turnaround as the gloom surrounded the ground. The rain had by now stopped and 6 an over was not beyond the home sides range. A solid start was required and with Billy and Ali, both scored heavily all of last season, at the crease things would surely work out OK. Billy was bowled for 0 and Ali picked out mid-wicket with a pull shot for 1 and suddenly the wheels had fallen off.
Charlie and Guy, however are excellent players and the pair started to repair the damage. Guy raced to 17 off ten balls including a 5 and was looking in fine form before Charlie hit the ball straight to a fielder and ran! Guy nearly made it half way but was gone.
Seb came and went next ball to a decent swinging delivery and suddenly the hosts were 4 down. Lucas joined Charlie and the pair played brilliantly, rotating the strike without alarm and picking off the bad ball with regular boundaries. Charlie got to retire on 43 and Lucas looked in good touch but the gloom had turned to almost darkness.
The final few batsmen were always going to struggle to see the ball as the Burridge skipper continued to bowl his quicker bowlers. Hayden and Ben both hit fours to keep the score moving but when they went, Ali R and Lucas had to find 11 from 2 overs. Lucas took a single off the first ball of the penultimate over which needed to be a two and when he got the strike back was bowled trying to find a single.
A gallant attempt in terrible conditions but Grayshott should never have lost this game and if they are to have any chance of winning the league, they will almost certainly need to win their remaining games.