The new 16s team this year faced plenty of challenges, with the vast majority of the players never competing in organised outdoor cricket before. This didn't dampen their enthusiasm or commitment to each other, with lots of fun and improvement coming throughout the season. Tough matches week in and week out served as good learning experiences, with the 16s sole win coming in a nail biter near the end of the season.
Plenty of personal highlights came throughout the year, with two individual half century makers, while 11 different players took a wicket throughout the season. Additionally, L Cooper was invited out to participate in the association under 16 side too and did himself and the club proud.
Under the guidance of coach Ben Gardner and his helpers, the 16s have improved greatly while making new friends and enjoying themselves in a promising first year. Here's what coach Ben had to say:
"Our inaugural season as a team came with some challenges and a number of thumpings, but we also had some massive wins and exciting times.
With a squad of 13 and only 2 players who have played before, it was always going to be a tough initiation for the boys. Our first ever game the lads were sent into the field with thick moisture in the turf which quickly gave them a slimy ball. The boys toiled hard but were convincingly flogged by the eventual premiers Salisbury West. The following week the boys could have realistically snatched a win, but their inexperience meant that they couldn’t qualities grab the match by the scruff of the neck.
The boys kept their heads up all season and they built a really strong team culture that they will hopefully build on that in seasons to come. It was after the midpoint of the season that the boys started to reap the rewards of their hard work. A rematch with the old enemy Salisbury West saw the boys show a spark of brilliance, ultimately bowling Salisbury out for only 107, a far cry from their previous two batting innings against the boys which tallied around 1/400! This match against Salisbury seemed to give the boys the confidence and belief they needed to challenge the other teams. The boys finally broke through for their first ever win in their second to last game of the season, knocking over North Pines and winning by a solitary run.
The boys were an absolute pleasure to coach, and with very little turnover of the squad, the boys can easily win many games next year and be one of the better teams in their grade."