Rayleigh 110 all out off 17 Overs
Stock 107 all out off 19 Overs
Rayleigh won by 3 runs
Team: Christian H (Capt), Gideon H, George B, Nathan H, Max J, Josh J, Sam L, Stephen L, Matt J, Matt C and David H.
Another mixed U11-U15 Rayleigh side visited Stock on a balmy Friday evening in late July and were greeted by a wicket greener than any part of the surroundings!
Batting first on such a surface against the new ball was always going to be a tricky prospect and three ducks later we found ourselves at 8 for 3 and without a run scored off the bat! However, a solid 4th wicket partnership of 39 between Max (17) and George (17) got the scoreboard moving with a further 25 runs coming for the 5th wicket between Max and Christian. Huge praise must go to Max for the way he got into line and played straight — a lesson to some of the more senior players in the side 8 of whom were bowled.
With an 11 ball cameo from Matt C at the end (21 including a big 6) and extras contributing an incredible 39 runs we nonetheless found ourselves bowled out in 17 overs for just 110.
So could we preserve out 100% success rate against Stock? Well for long periods of the second innings it looked very unlikely as we chased leather around the ground. But several key moments saved the day: a quite brilliant stumping by Matt J off Sam L, a superb direct hit run out by Christian, a huge swinging delivery by Steven L to bowl a well set batsman and Matt C holding his nerve to dismiss the last man with only 4 runs needed to win.
This really was a classic case of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and was incredibly tough on a Stock side who had this game won for long periods. However, great credit to Rayleigh for fighting to the end and for producing some magic moments. I still haven’t stopped shaking my head with disbelief several days later!!
Next up is Rankins (A) in a 30 over a-side game on 12th August immediately followed the next morning by a trip to Southchurch Park for a 25 over match with Old Southendians. I’m sure there will also be scope for another fixture with Stock before the season ends.