QF – U13/2 v Penrith

Elimination Final Match Report –Manly Warringah versus Penrith @
Village Oval, Jordan Springs

Scorecard: Match Details | NSW Youth Championships (nswyc.com.au)

Manly 2/129 [Henry Matthews 84, Aidan Kurtis 37] beat Penrith 128 [Freddie Schneidereit 3/18, Jayden Cook 2/14, Dylan Thompson 1/9, Conor Mulcahy 1/13, Henry Matthews 1/16, Archie Cooper 1/20, Arlo Thompson 1/34] Catches: Joseph Baker 2, Archie Cooper, Aidan Kurtis, Dylan Thompson, Henry Matthews 1 each

The first round of the finals series saw the Manly boys head out west to play Penrith on their home turf. An unseasonably cool and windy day greeted the boys on arrival at a fast and firm Village Oval which looked to offer value for good shots. We had to overcome a few obstacles before a ball was bowled … not least was losing our regular captain to Covid protocols one day earlier, so Aidan Kurtis assumed Captain duties, with Henry Matthews taking on a VC role. Although the regular team was depleted by injury and NSW hockey trials, we would field 11 players as we welcomed into the squad two new faces for the game… Arlo Thompson, who is no stranger to representative cricket, and Joseph Baker – making his representative debut. Manly won the toss and put Penrith in to bat, so the new ball was handed to Archie Cooper and Conor Mulcahy to open the attack. We didn’t need to wait long for the first wicket with Conor striking in the 2nd over getting the opener to spoon one up to Joseph at mid-off who took a smart catch. A few other chances were presented but not taken as Jayden Cook and Freddie Schneidereit came on in partnership to bowl from the 9th over. We were a little off the pace in the field and as a result Penrith started to build a partnership, reaching 1/34 in the 12th over. Jayden Cook then bowled one of his trademark quick and full deliveries that hit the stumps and sent the other opener on his way. Freddie Schneidereit built pressure at the other end and was rewarded with a wicket himself in the 15th over, catching the outside edge and Archie Cooper taking a great reflex catch at first slip, fast and low to his right. In the conditions we were possibly just ahead match at 3/45 after 16 overs. Arlo Thompson and Dylan Thompson took up the attack as we sought to tie the batsman down with an all-spin attack in the period until drinks. Both boys got into stride very early on in their spell making it difficult for the Penrith batsmen to score. In the over before drinks, Dylan Thompson got the breakthrough we needed when he got one to straighten down the line, hitting the Penrith batsman plum in front. The umpire raised his finger and both teams went to drinks with Penrith on 4/58, but momentum with Manly. We had missed a few chances in the field in the opening 20 overs, and aware we had no replacement fielders the boys were reminded of the need to keep their heads in the game for the second 20 overs. We were ambitiously trying to limit Penrith to 100 given the game scenario, but we talked about bowling them out…so we had a focus. Arlo Thompson and Dylan Thompson continued their spell after the break and Arlo struck in the 25th over, with a well flighted ball enticing the Penrith batsman out of his crease to try and launch the ball into the neighbouring dog park, to only watch it dip and spin under his bat and into the waiting gloves of Ollie Cassie… who had the bails off in a flash putting Penrith at 5/68. Spin was doing the trick so Henry Matthews was brought on to continue the attack with pace off the ball. Sensing that the match was starting to drift away from them, the Penrith batsman took on the bowlers. That put the pressure back on us in the field and fielding errors crept into the game. They put together a few good overs as a result and once again a small but promising partnership was beginning to build. After missing one or two rather straightforward chances, it took a beauty to break the partnership… Dylan Thompson taking a diving catch in the covers off Henry’s bowling, leaving Penrith 6/96 after 30. Reverting to pace against the new batsman, it wasn’t long until Archie Cooper was rewarded with a wicket, as Henry Matthews took a sharp catch at gully, with his usual ease. The Penrith tail was fully exposed and the Many boys lifted as they sensed the opportunity to take all 10 wickets, given we had let them pass the 100-mark already. The boys completed one of their aims as they bowled Penrith out… the final 3 wickets falling in the next 5 overs with Jayden Cook once again dismantling the stumps and Freddie Schneidereit taking 2 both off catches to our skipper, Aidan Kurtis and debutant Joseph Baker, his second catch of the day ending the inning. Penrith finished on 128 off 39.2 overs with all 7 bowlers claiming at least one wicket. The innings break gave the boys the chance to regroup, refresh and prepare for the run chase. We had a solid batting plan in place to take the game on from ball one, focussing on gap hitting and running hard. With a strong wind and clouds overhead, Dylan Thompson and Henry Matthews headed out to face the strong Penrith attack which boasted a number of the competitions leading wicket takers. It didn’t take long for the Manly boys to find out why this was the case, with Dylan Thompson (0 from 4) receiving a number of quality swinging deliveries first up and then knocked over without troubling the scorers after a peach of a delivery on ball 4. There was no panic as Aidan Kurtis joined Henry at the crease armed with a plan, and our 2 Captains got to work to execute it. Henry confidently saw off the good deliveries at one end then looked to take advantage of the opening overs at the other end with the field up, opening the shoulders on a number of occasions and taking the game to Penrith. They struggled bowling into the wind and an early free hit was dispatched by Henry and got us going. Scoring at almost a run a ball for the first 10 over the boys ran hard, hit the gaps and punished the bad balls. Henry then looked to lift another gear with some clean hitting that was finding the boundary at regular intervals. Not to be forgotten, Aidan hit the gaps, rotated the strike and kept Henry facing as many balls as possible in a much needed support role. We didn’t have it all our own way, as rain intervened to stop play and the boys ran for cover, only to have to restart again when played resumed. The positive intent in our batting had put significant pressure on their field and they had missed their chances as a result. Fair to say we’d ridden our luck a little… just a few runs shy of his 50, Henry popped a ball up that had our hearts in our mouths as it sailed straight to a fielder. Fortunately he put it down… and we saw Henry bring up his half century with a welltimed boundary in the 14th over. None of the Penrith bowlers were spared as Henry and Aidan kept the score board ticking over at a run a ball. As so often happens, it was the over before drinks that brought a wicket, when Aidan Kurtis (37 from 48 balls) top edged one that ballooned to the keeper. A superb 2nd wicket partnership of 115 meant Manly were 2/115 when drinks were called… needing 14 more runs for victory. Needless to say that Henry and Jayden Cook that joined him at the crease, were both relaxed yet focussed on getting us over the line. Jayden ran hard with his partner to keep steering us to victory yet it was fitting that the winning runs came off Henry’s bat via a boundary in the 22nd over completing a comprehensive victory for the boys in navy blue. Henry Matthews (84 from 80 balls) and
Jayden Cook (0*) walked off the ground to a fantastic applause after securing the win and
guaranteeing another week of finals cricket.
A big thank you goes out to both Arlo Thompson and Joseph Baker (at very short notice)
for stepping up and helping the team in their hour of need. Both boys made valuable
contributions to the team in their pursuit of today’s victory. We talk about Finals being a game
of pressure and all of the boys handled themselves well in the circumstances and it was a real
team-first mentality that got the job done, which was the most pleasing aspect. With continued
hard work on our fielding, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the finals, as it so often is the
biggest differentiator between the teams in pressure games.
Onwards to next week and the Semi Finals.
Go Manly