Last Sunday saw another victory for the Stratford Under 15s, away against Handsworth Cricket Club. At the end of a slow game on a cool but sunny morning, in the idyllic setting of Handsworth Park, its Pavilion filled with reminiscences of the riches of West Indian cricket, to a soundtrack of pleasing leisureliness, Stratford won.

Once again, a sustained innings from Matthew Rickett formed the hub of the Stratford innings. He had a number of useful partners along the way – Charlie Palenciano Middleton scoring a quick 22, falling to Handsworth leggie Johnson (who finished 31 for 3), and Harry Sunderland, who put on a nippy 28, before being bowled. Rickett was eventually run out for 41. With a handsome helping of extras, Stratford finished 182 for 6, offering Handsworth 183 to win.

It was clear from the start that Handsworth were never going to surpass Stratford’s total. Thanks to fine, mean, accurate bowling from Stratford attack pair Middleton and Whitby, Handsworth were stalled on 28-0 after 10 overs, chasing 182 in 25.  Gradually Handsworth sought to open their shoulders, but their recovery was not to be, as two wickets fell to Alex Beesley, one to Billy Dingley, and another to Harry Sunderland. It was yet another fine team performance by Stratford U15s, which they won by 89 runs. Handsworth opener Dylan Johnson carried his bat (32 no) after a very determined and focused display.