Thornbury's U17's have played exceptionally well this season even with exams, holidays and players being on county duty. This has been especially true in the DFCA trophy. Playing Stoke Bishop in the quarter final winning by 10 wickets after bowling them out for 65, then facing a strong Downend team in the semi final and putting 210 on in 20 overs then putting the pressure on with the ball and bowling them out for 95. Moving into the final after these games gave us great confidence that we could bat or bowl first and still be very competitive against a very strong Bedminster side.
S. Kenche took the helm as captain for the final and won the toss and chose to bat on a green top. Opening with himself and E. Slade, the pair got off to a good start with E. Slade racing away to 15 from 9 balls before being caught well by C. Carter with Thornbury 32/1 from 4. P. Banks came to the crease at 3 and straight away started to dominate the bowling hitting 8 from his first 4 balls. A partnership of 24 for these 2 then saw S. Kenche caught and bowled for 12 by B. Britton in the change bowler's second over. Scores now 56/2 from 8.
Batters then unfortunately came and went for Thornbury with I. Price, J. Parcell, T. Sherrod, N. Choughule and T. Littlejohn collectively only troubling the scorers for a combined 11 for their 5 wickets due to some excellent keeping from C. Pullin (Stumped J. Parcell) and some sharp fielding from Bedminster with 3 run outs.
Despite this P. Banks continued to score runs around the wickets and quickly got to 47 off 38 balls. Thornbury just needed to make sure they had a total to defend. N. Jones joined P. Banks at the crease to finish the innings off nicely with P. Banks getting to 50 off 39 balls. Their partnership for the last 2 overs saw Thornbury reach 123/7 from 20 overs with 20 extras. P. Banks carried his bat for a very impressive 64 from 48 balls, and N. Jones ran well to push the score up finishing on 1 not out from 3 balls.
Following a team talk from M. Mosses the keys to winning was going to be bowling at or outside off stump, holding our catches (Bedminster dropped 7) and not conceding extras as these were being played as 2 runs and no extra ball as the umpires were worried about the light getting too bad later in the evening.
Bedminster openers G. Pierce and B. Britton came to the crease requiring 124 to win. E. Slade opened with a quick and fiery over followed by P. Banks from the other end after his stellar batting performance. The openers started well reaching a slow 16 off the first 3 overs then with B. Britton facing P. Banks the first ball of the over saw the bails flying and Thornbury celebrating. This brought O. Sullivan to the crease and together with G. Pierce a strong partnership was developing. Now after 6 overs the score was 39/1 and the 2 batters were looking set. R. Surman took the ball from the Road end - his first over going for 14 with 3 fours and 2 singles.
T. Sherrod took over from P. Banks at the forest end and with the batters looking to push on bowled an excellent over of flight and guile leg spin to frustrate the 2 set batters and restrict them to just 4 from his over. Scores as a comparison were Thornbury 56/2 from 8 and Bedminster 57/1 from 8. R. Surman continued with his second over going for 4 runs but crucially taking the wicket of O. Sullivan with a masterful piece of keeping from J. Parcell taking a snick from the under edge on the second ball of the over. This was followed by his last ball cutting through the dangerous S. Holland-Smith and the stumps were flying dismissing the number 4 for only 3.
Bedminster then couldn't get the partnership they needed to put the pressure back on to Thornbury and with R. Surman taking another 2 wickets in his final over, the forth being the wicket of opener G. Pierce (31), to finish with figures of 4-0-23-4 it was all going to hinge on whether Bedminster had the batting to compete.
With R. Surman and T. Sherrod bowled out for a combined 36/4 from their 8 overs it was down to captain S. Kenche to keep the pressure on. The score now 75/5 from 14 overs Bedminster needed only 6 an over to claim the title. N. Phillips who had batted well in resistance to the wickets falling around him now facing his first delivery from one of only 2 U17's in Thornbury's side - Out - caught J. Parcell taking his second snick of the match! S. Kenche made an immediate impact and then taking the wicket of C. Carter caught I. Price in the deep at mid off. 7 down from 15 overs, N. Choughule from the forest end - a solid over going for just 5 from one of Thornbury's exceptional U13's playing in his first U17's final.
Back to S.Kenche for what would be his final over of the day 4.W.Wide.2.dot.W - incredible - another 2 wicket over for Kenche and this just about wrapped up the victory with H. Barnes (n10) and G. Derrick (n11) at the crease! With Bedminster needing this pair to score at 11+ an over they chose to take on the arm of P. Banks tried to scrabble a 2 but T. Littlejohn took it in cleanly and calmly removed the bails at the forest end finishing the innings brilliantly.
Thornbury took 6 catches in total with 0 drops. 3 bowled and 1 run out. An excellent fielding display followed the first innings and a well deserved DFCA Plate Trophy victory!
Thornbury U17's played this game with 10 players, 2 U17's - 7 U15's and 1 U13's. An incredible victory! Well done to everyone involved and the future looks very bright for this group of players!
U17 Team Manager