NHSG Norfolk U13 Girls Season Summary

9th September 2021

In a season dominated by What’s App discussions around weather and Covid, 28 girls have had the opportunity to represent their county at U13 level. The new structure allowed all of the girls to play their part and develop and has been deemed by the coaches, managers, players and parents, a success.

The Jets team played 15 matches (including tour matches and some double-headers), winning 9, drawing 1 and losing 5.

The Blaze team played 14 matches (including many double-headers) winning exactly half of them.

The Jets team lost 2 fixtures to the weather as well as a day’s play on tour, the Blaze team just 1.

Jets Season Summary

The Jets team, captained by India Fox with Grace Hanworth-Knights/Niamh Rushton as vice-captains started the season strongly. They convincingly beat the U10 Boys at in their first warm-up game at Great Melton and then went on to win their first competitive game against Lincolnshire by 48 runs. India Fox top scored on this day with 62 runs, the highest score by any of the girls all season. We were extremely grateful on this occasion for Downham Stow stepping in to host the game at their Downham ground when Lincolnshire were unable to.

The next game was a tougher test with Kent travelling up to Gresham’s for a T20 double-header on a glorious bank holiday Monday. The girls struggled against the accurate bowling and strong batting attack and lost the first game by 7 wickets and the second game by 77 runs. There was definitely plenty to work on including the difference between the longer 35 over format and the shorter T20 game. However, notable performances were 21 runs by Evie Smith in the first game and a further 20 from India Fox in the second game.

Our next opposition was Cambridgeshire and this was again hosted by Downham Stow at their Stow ground. Fresh from their T20 experience earlier in the week, the girls did not manage to bat out their 35 overs, and were bowled out for 95 in 30 overs. Cambridgeshire reached the total in the 29th over and the coaches and girls were left wondering whether the outcome may have been different if they had batted out the remaining overs. Runs were shared around with only Olivia Marjoram (16) ad Evie (13) reaching double figures. Niamh took 2-19.

After a cancelled match away to Suffolk, the Jets team faced Suffolk as their next opposition home at Great Ellingham. After winning the toss, Suffolk put themselves into bat but Boo Harrod’s first 5 wicket haul of the season (5-1-5-9) was the undoing of the visitors and they found themselves bowled out for 66 in the 23rd over with India taking a further 2 wickets. The Jets reached the target in the 17th over with Olivia (17), Hetty Holden (10) and Ivy Hodds (16) the main contributors.

Our first away trip was to Cambridgeshire with the weather looking less than ideal for cricket. Amazingly, we managed to play 2 x T20 matches with only 2 breaks for the rain and won them both convincingly. In the first match, the Jets set a score of 139 with Grace  (48*), Amelie Horsley (29) and Niamh Rushton (17) the top scorers. In the field, Boo struck again with her second 5 wicket-haul of the season leaving the visitors all out for 65 with a further 2 wickets for Amelie. Norfolk managed to score 130 runs in the second game with Boo (26), Grace (18) and Niamh (14*) top scoring. They were unable to bowl the hosts out but 4 wickets for Amelie and 3 for Esther Broad brought them to within 1 wicket of doing so. The girls learnt quickly, in this game, that before they ran for shelter they needed to cover the wicket and not to leave their bags undone in the rain!

Rain then affected our proposed trip to Kent which meant our next fixture was a friendly against the Blaze team. The teams were mixed up and the girls used the opportunity to practice some of the points raised by the coaches from the first half of the season. 50* from Imogen Dolding, 37 from Olivia and 30 from Grace were the top batting scores of the day with Olivia also taking 2 wickets.

This left 1 final match before the tour. They had definitely saved the best until last. Rain and grey skies dominated the drive to Corby, Northants, and parents arrived looking less than impressed at their early start and little prospect of the match going ahead when we found that no covers were on the pitch. Amazingly, however the rain cleared and the pitch dried enough to allow the game to go ahead and the girls made sure the trip and wait had been worthwhile. Having lost the toss, Norfolk were asked to field first and bowled out Northants for 185 in the 34th over. The girls witnessed a fine batting display from Eve Joseph who finished on 94*. The pick of the bowlers were Ivy with 3 wickets and a further 2 for India. The runs were shared around with Amelie (32), Olivia (27), Ivy (16) and India/Niamh (15) however wickets fell regularly and the team found themselves 161/9 needing 26 to win. The last wicket partnership of Esther and Alice Hood batted maturely to see them over the line in the 33rd over – a fanstastic victory for the team.

It was then off to Malvern. Sadly the rain that had dominated so much of the season meant that they lost a whole day of cricket but the girls still managed to play 4 matches, winning 2, losing 1 and drawing 1. Notable batting performances included 51 from Olivia and 34 for Evie against Suffolk and 38 for Imogen against Berkshire. Boo continued to bowl well taking 7 wickets across the tour with 3-a-piece for Chloe Kydd, Imogen and India. However, it was the final match that kept the crowd on the edge of their seat. Chasing a score of 105, the Jets were 80-4 and looking to cruise home. However, having agreed to allow 13 players to bat the Jets found themselves 11 wickets down still needing 4 runs to win. 2 wides and a bye in the final 2 balls, saw the match drawn and the spectators scratching their heads before a long drive home.

Blaze Season Summary

The Blaze team captained by Alice Hood and Rebecca Davey, started their season with a win against the U11 girls in a friendly match. In their first competitive fixture, they hosted Kent’s development team at Greshams. Having been bowled out for just 60 in the first of 2 x T20 games, the girls showed how quickly they could learn and beat the visitors by 5 wickets in the second game of the day. Restricting the visitors to 106/4 with 2 wickets from Isobel Coutanche, the home team batted steadily and sensibly to win from the final ball. Millie Harris retired on 30* and 21 from Hetty, 19 from Rebecca Davey and 13 from Alice Hood gave the team the stability they needed and Lacey Newell (2*) and Isobel (3*) were able to see the team over the line. It was a great end to a fantastic day of cricket with over 40 girls in action across the 4 teams showing that junior girls’ cricket can be as exciting as any international game.

The Blaze team then suffered 6 defeats on the bounce against Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire Schools and Suffolk Development however during this period the girls never lost their enthusiasm or their ability to develop. They continually took wickets and bowled sides out but found runs more difficult to come by. Isobel continued to look dangerous with her pace and took 3 wickets against Cambridgeshire with Lacey, Georgia and Alice all taking 2 as they bowled the visitors out for 111. In reply only Alice (17) and Georgia (14) scored double figures as Norfolk found themselves bowled out for 69.

The next visitors were Cambridgeshire Schools who had many members of the full Cambridgeshire team in their squad. Norfolk were put into bat by the visitors and Georgia continued to impress with the bat scoring 47*. However, only Imogen Cook (11) was able to support her and score double figures and the team only managed to score 80 from their 20 overs. They made the visitors work for their runs with wickets falling to Sophia Betts, Tara Tillie, Lacey and Millie but they won in the 19th over. In the second game the Blaze team found themselves chasing 125. Again Georgia top scored with 32 but wickets fell quickly at the other end and the team were bowled out for 66 with only Millie (11) reaching double figures.

Against Suffolk, the match was much closer. The bowlers did their job and bowled the visitors out for 150 in the 29th over with 3 wickets for Imogen and 2-a-piece for Alice and Ella Creasy. The batters took on board learning from the previous matches and batted with a much calmer and dogged approach. 34 runs from Alice, 29 from Rebecca, 19 from Evie and 11 from Imogen helped the team towards the target. A late partnership between Hope Buxton (10*) and Lacey (8*) was almost enough but the team fell short of the target by just 2 runs.

In the return match, the calm and dogged batting left them and the team again found themselves bowled out for 95 in the 19th over with only Georgia (43) and Hope (11) making double figures. Although the team managed to take 5 wickets (2 for Lacey and 1 for Isobel, Alice and Ellie Rowley) Suffolk reached the target in the 16th over.

However, it was the final 3 matches of the season that everything seemed to click for the team and they won 3 games on the bounce defeating Cambs Schools and Lincolnshire. Cambridgeshire Schools visited Saham Toney for the second time in the season for a longer format game which seemed to suit the Blaze with their best batting performance of the season and composure in the field. They won the toss and put the visitors into bat. 3 wickets from Lacey and 2 for Imogen helped the home team restrict the visitors to 137 in 30 overs. In reply, it was Rebecca Davey who played a captain’s innings and batted superbly to score her maiden 50 before being run out pushing for the team’s victory. She was well supported by Niamh (33) and Alice (15) before Georgia (11*) and Imogen (12*) took the team over the line in the 29th over.

The final match of the season for Blaze was a T20 double-header away to Lincolnshire. In the first match, Norfolk were put into bat by the home side and scored 126 runs with Georgia (49) and Millie (39) the main contributors. In reply, Lincolnshire fell 13 runs short of the total with 2 wickets for Lacey. After lunch, play resumed with a second T20 game and this time Norfolk found themselves fielding first. 3 wickets for Isobel and 4 run-outs left Lincs all out for 106. In reply, Rebecca (34) and Niamh (43) opened the batting and took the score to within touching distance of the total before Sophia (3) and Imogen (5*) ensured the team ended their season with a victory in the 19th over.

All in all, a very positive season and a great bunch of girls to work with… now it is time for some hard work over the winter and more regular club cricket next summer to help them progress to the next level. Thank you to our coaches Neil and Sarah for all of their hard work this season and to the parents for their support, help scoring, and for the coffee supplies for the scorer! Thank you also to our sponsor, Norwich High School for Girls and the Norfolk Cricket Board for their support.

Top 3 batters

  1. Georgia Demetriou (Blaze) scored 236 runs across 10 innings with an average of 29.5 and a top score of 49
  2. Niamh Rushton (Jets), scoring 222 runs across 16 innings with an average of 15.86 and a top score of 43
  3. Olivia Marjoram (Jets), scoring 212 runs across 14 innings at an average of 16.31 including her maiden 50 against Suffolk on tour at Malvern

Half centuries

  1. India Fox – 62 v Lincolnshire
  2. Olivia Marjoram – 51 v Suffolk
  3. Imogen Dolding – 50* in Jets v Blaze friendly
  4. Rebecca Davey – 50 v Cambs Schools

Top 3 bowlers

  1. Boo Harrod (Jets) took 21 wickets in her 48 overs with an economy rate of 3.65. This included 2 x 5 wicket hauls against Suffolk and Cambs
  2. Amelie Horsley (Jets) took 13 wickets in 38.5 overs with her best figures of 4/18 and an economy rate of 4.09
  3. Lacey Newell (Blaze) took 13 wickets in her 44 overs with best figures of 3/18 and an economy rate of 4.91

Top 3 fielders

  1. Grace Hanworth-Knights (Jets) with a total of 8 victims (7 catches and 1 run out)
  2. Evie Smith (Jets WK) with a total of 7 victims  (3 catches, 3 stumpings and 1 run out)
  3. Imogen Dolding (Jets) and Niamh Rushton (Jets) both with a total of 6 victims (4 catches and 2 run outs each)