Stratford Under 14s’ match against Kenilworth last Thursday was very special for a group of players who have represented Stratford for some years, as it was their first ever game at Swan’s Nest Lane. Fittingly, they marked the occasion with an exciting victory.

Stratford won the toss, and chose to bat. Openers Isaam Ahmed and Billy Dingley put up a long, staunch defence of their wickets against tight and hard to play bowling from Kenilworth’s Ryan Bull and Michael Keene. When Dingley was out to a sharp catch from Keene, skipper Palenciano Middleton came in to score a sprightly 24, followed by some quick hitting from Element, Farthing and Rickett. Stratford’s 20 overs closed on 125.

Despite a spectacular flying catch from Stratford’s Beesley at Silly mid on to see off opening bat Curran, Kenilworth clearly believed they could surpass Stratford’s total. Batsman Davis was finding the boundary well until Charlie Palenciano Middleton dealt a slower ball which he hit skywards, keeper Rickett running 30 yards out of his ground to take a great catch over his shoulder. Thereafter, the story was all about Kenilworth’s Michael Keene. He took the fight to Stratford, and – while his partners fell at the other end – hit eight 4s as he amassed 45 runs, as Kenilworth battled to overtake Stratford’s total. Despite his heroic efforts, ultra-tight bowling and fielding from the home team secured a close but special win for Stratford.

stratford-kenilworth

Left to right back: Laurence Dingley (Coach), Ollie Whitby, Alex Beesley, Charlie Palenciano Middleton (Capt), Joe Element, Marcus Farthing, Isaam Ahmed
Left to right front: Ben Cook, Tom Pedley, Tom Hatch, Billy Dingley, Matthew Rickett, Kieran