Odiham 1st XI v Hursley Park 2nd XI
Played at Odiham
Hampshire Division 1
Won by 5 runs
All was going well for our 2s in the 2013 season, with five straight wins seeing us sitting at the top of the table by mid-season. On the last Sunday in June we had one of those days (that thankfully do not happen often now) when availability was poor, and we travelled to Odiham with just nine players, eight of which were juniors.
Runs did not flow easily when we batted first on a worn track – but young openers Sarah Attrill and Sian Edwards battled away to put on 31 in 13 overs, before skipper EmmaBane joined Sarah to add another 39. 70-1 seemed a promising position but after the fall of the second wicket pair the run-rate slowed and when our eighth (and final) wicket fell we had only 103 on the board, and needed a massive effort after tea. Attrill (23), Bane (19) and Edwards (15) were the only players to reach double figures.
The rallying call from the captain, who really did not want our winning run to end, motivated not only the young team but inspired two of the watching mums, Sarah Windsor and Gemma Harper to volunteer to plug the gaps in the field, although neither had ever played in a cricket match.
And the response was immediate as Ellie Musson bowled Kerry Hartnett, the leading home batter, in the first over. The next pair added 37 and were steering Odiham into a good position before Edwards took a good catch off Emily Windsor to dismiss Becky, the other Hartnett twin. Emma and her team sensed a chance and they battled to save every run, including several good stops by the mums. At 77-3 the match seemed to be safely in the grasp of the home side, but Gemma Harper won an LBW decision against obdurate opener Jo Greenfield and quickly followed up with another wicket. Vociferously encouraged from the sidelines by the supporting parents (those that weren’t on the field!) the Hursley team continued their determination to maintain the unbeaten record. Despite our best efforts the home side edged their way to 93-6 before two quick wickets for Sian helped the cause, and at 98-9 with six required and the main bowlers bowled out captain Emma threw the ball to Sarah Attrill for her first bowl of the game, and she struck with her third delivery to complete one of the most exciting victories that many had witnessed.
Four of the youngsters who played key roles at Odiham - Sian Edwards, Sarah Attrill, Emily Windsor and Ellie Musson – have gone on to become regular first team players over the years, and it is matches like this one that helped shape their success. The two mums never played again (not yet anyway) but their contribution cannot be overlooked.
An Emma Bane inspired 2nd X1 remained unbeaten for the remainder of the summer to lift the Hampshire League title. Some of the victories were by large margins, but June 30th is the one that will be long remembered by all who were there.