U15/1 Quarter Final v Penrith

15 NSW Youth Championship Weblin Shield, Frank Gray Oval, 26th November 2023

Bowling innings by Stewart Hurt

Once Manly arrived at the ground they found that due to the rain the previous day, the runups were soaked. This prevented us from getting on at the normal start time. Lachie did the toss and we chose to bowl.

Our openers started well, tying up both openers for the first 7 overs before we finally got the breakthrough through Thomas Walker trapping their opener in front. A couple more tight overs before the spinners came on and it only took Lucas Gleeson 2 balls to get the better of their other opener. Then just 2 overs later Gleeso got another one after the dot ball pressure caused the number 4 to spoon it to Aidan Kurtis who took a simple catch running back. This had Penrith 3/60 after 20 overs. After that a mid order collapse occurred with steady flow of wickets falling with both spinners being very economical and taking key wickets with stew taking 3fa and Gleeso taking 2fa. Then Aidan Boulton and Freddie Schneidereit attempted to dry up things with Aidan Boulton taking a key wicket of the lower order batter. Then for the last 10 we brought back the openers Oscar Hansen and Tom Walker who at this stage were bowling to their set number three batsmen who took over the game and brought them to a respectable total of 8/231. Overall good bowling from spinners and a good opening spell from the openers but we let them get back into it but hopefully we can chase it down on a good pitch for batting.

Batting Innings by Aidan Kurtis

After enjoying our burgers, Paddy and Aidan K strode out to the middle to begin what was going to be a monumental chase of Penrith’s 231. Batting with early confidence, the openers put on 13 when Paddy (3 off 16) departed in the 5th over, bringing Aidan B to the crease. The Aidans went to work looking for singles and taking advantage of any loose deliveries they got. The boys got to the first drinks break and, in the 18th over with the score on 73, Aidan K (44 off 62) was caught at square leg. Lachie joined Aidan B to keep the chase going. Facing a barrage of spin and a tight ring field, Penrith looked to suffocate the Manly boys and dry up the runs. Aidan B and Lachie soaked up the pressure and put on an excellent 50 run partnership before Aidan B (41 off 74) was stumped in the 33rd over. After celebrating taking Aidan B’s wicket, the Penrith boys looked up to see Miles striding confidently out to join Lachie.

The crowd didn’t have long to wait with Miles defending the first few balls before getting off the mark with a signature maximum back over the bowler’s head. With the score on 141 in the 36th over, Lachie (28 off 56) departed after playing a pivotal role in the middle overs. With 91 still to chase off the last 14 overs, Will joined Miles in the pressure cooker out in the centre square. Batting with maturity and skill, these two managed to score off the quality deliveries and hit boundaries off the inferior balls but importantly never let the run rate required get out of reach. With the Penrith boys starting to fray at the edges, the wicket of Miles (50 off 43) in the 47th over gave them a small glimmer of hope. Stew joined Will still requiring 22 runs off about as many balls.

Staying composed and still scoring off the good balls, the game turned in Manlys favour when Will hit a towering 6 in the 48th over, much to the delight of the boys and spectators in the Manly tents. With the equation now under a run a ball and the pressure piled on Penrith, Stew cut one to the boundary bringing the scores tied at 231. Unluckily Stew (8 off 9) was caught off the next ball, giving Harry the opportunity to seal the game. With the field tight around the bat, Harry (4* off 2) sent his second delivery to the boundary right in front of the Manly tents unleashing the

boys onto the field to celebrate a terrific victory. They cheered Will (36* off 44) off the field for steering the boy’s home with a remarkable innings and ensuring that Penrith did not repeat their victory of the previous year.

Manly now move onto the semi finals where they will face North Shore next week for a chance to play in the grand final.