U14/1 Quarter Final v Camden

U14 NSW Youth Championship Moore Shield, Quarter-Finals, Mike Pawley Oval, 26 November 2023 

MWJCA 7-132 (Horstead 33, Keam 25) defeated Camden 131 (Corcoran 3/15, McCombe 3/26) by 3 wickets.

The unbeaten Manly 14/1 team produced a workmanlike performance against a competitive Camden team to complete a respectable win on a sun-baked Mike Pawley Oval. Manly now progress with confidence to play the U14/1 Youth Championship Moore Shield semi-finals the following week.

Manly captain Harvey Matheson won the toss and had no hesitation in sending Camden to bat on what looked like a dry and turning surface. Excellent line-and-length new ball bowling by Louis Corcoran produced the first breakthrough in the 9th over with the score on 28. Opening bowlers Will Graham and Corcoran were replaced in the 10th over. Tight bowling dried up the runs and Caden Rosenkowitz took the team’s 2nd wicket off a sharp catch by Harvey Matheson at short cover in the 20th over with the score on 54. Murray Moran was replaced by the teams’ second leg-spinner Noah Keam and this brought about the 3rd Camden wicket to fall in the 27th over with the score on 78 runs. Manly continued with spin with the introduction of off-spinner Mitch McCombe in the 30th over and, together with fast bowlers Matheson with his first spell and then Corcoran with his second spell, ripped through the middle and lower order Camden batsmen at regular intervals, including a fortunate deflected run out by McCombe, off his own bowling. Matheson got the important wicket of Camden’s best batman, however significant reward for excellent bowling to take the last wickets must go to both McCombe and Corcoran, who both ended with three well deserved wickets apiece to bowl out Camden for 133 runs in the 47th over.

The Manly batting innings started with openers Rohit Jayaram and Matheson making a confident start before Matheson fell in the 6th over for a quick-fire 16 runs with 26 runs on the board. Angus Pike departed soon after in the 9th over having faced 10 balls. Jayaram and Darcy Horstead steadied the innings with a 40-run partnership, before Jayaram was caught by the bowler in the 16th over for a solid 20 runs. Quick wickets fell over regular intervals for the next 15 overs without any big partnerships being formed. Darcy Holstead scored at a healthy 80% strike rate before being stumped for a good 33 runs in the 23rd over.  Rocco Rulli hit some good leg-side boundaries before departing in the 28th over with the team score on 110 runs. After hitting some lofted drives for a couple of boundaries, Keam succumbed to a catch at deep mid-on in the next over, departing for an entertaining 25 runs. The situation got worse for Manly with Graham losing his wicket with a good ball in the next over, with 7 wickets down in the 30th over and Manly still requiring 19 runs to win, but plenty of overs remaining. Rosenkowitz joined McCombe at the wicket and some confident and assured batting in the next 5 overs saw both batsmen see Manly through for a nervous three-wicket win. McCombe finished unbeaten on an impressive 18 runs.

Manly will learn from this experience playing against a competitive Camden team in finals cricket. Manly took advantage of match conditions, by introducing spin early in the 10th over on a turning wicket until the innings close, and this contributed to most of the Camden wickets to fall for a low innings score. In Manly’s batting innings, it took a team effort to overtake the Camden score, however a better batting performance is expected by the top and lower order batman in the semi-finals. They need to value their wicket more and build partnerships over more overs.

Report by Caden Rosenkowitz