Edinburgh Triumph In U14 Triangular Festival
Following a disappointing 2014 where the weather was the winner, the U14 Triangular Festival between Belfast, Edinburgh and Western Warriors was completed in early August 2015. Prestwick CC hosted the three-team, 30 overs per side competition.
The game on Monday morning saw the Edinburgh team take on the hosts, the Warriors. Batting first, the Warriors never recovered from being reduced to 30/5 off of 10 overs. The first four Edinburgh bowlers (skipper Blumski, Paterson, McIntyre and Young) had picked up wickets – and there was a run out thrown in too! Although Greene (14) and Siddiqui (13) did build a 32-run partnership for the 6th wicket, it was never likely to be enough to post a decent total. Any hopes were then completed extinguished as Ali (4/17, with all 4 clean bowled!) simply demolished the tail. Warriors 78 all out.
Openers Brian and Simpson then put on 36 for the first Edinburgh wicket and effectively ended the match as any sort of contest. 36/0 did become 51/4, as Greene took two wickets – but Anderson and Blumski quickly finished the job and Edinburgh cruised home with almost 10 overs to spare.
The Monday afternoon game saw Edinburgh play a Belfast side who has travelled across the sea that morning. Belfast won the toss, elected to bowl and immediately had Edinburgh in some trouble, at 13/3. Although Blumski and wicket-keeper D’Luisse added 43 for the 5th wicket, Belfast always looked to be in control. Blumski was caught for 25 and, although D’Luisse batted through for a creditable 32 not out, Edinburgh were dismissed for 107, with 5 overs to spare. For Belfast, there were five different wicket-takers – with Hunter, Humphries and Gibbons all claiming two each.
Similarly to the earlier game, a good opening partnership then effectively ended the contest. Openers Doak and Malone put on 56 for that first wicket, in just over 13 overs. There was a small collapse from 74/2 to 86/6 but a huge six from Hunter calmed any Belfast nerves as they went on to complete a 3 wicket win, with 3 overs to spare – despite Blumski continuing a good day’s work with 3/19.
Going into the Tuesday, all three sides could still have mathematically won the festival. However, the Warriors required a big win. Reducing Belfast to 8/4 was a good start – with Khan and Bhandari causing all sorts of problems by swinging the new ball. However, Doak and Glass and then Glass and Gibbons countered well. Two solid partnerships were built, with the change bowlers not quite being able to keep the pressure on. Khan returned to bowl an excellent death spell and finish with 6-2-17-3 and Heginbottom picked up two wickets in a good death spell too. Belfast 138/9, Glass 33, Gibbons 25.
Guy and Sajjad put on 39 for the first wicket, Sajjad and Cairns then added 31 for the 4th and Greene and Bhandari 30 for the 6th. These partnerships meant that the chase was always on, with 5 of the top 7 batters scoring 15 or more. Gibbons did pick up two wickets – but the Warriors comfortably reached the total.
Then the calculations began! Each team finished on 2 points. However, it was the comprehensive nature of Edinburgh’s win over the Warriors which made the big difference. Unfortunately, Edinburgh played both their matches on the Monday so they could not receive the trophy during the festival. Bill Polson, and wicket-keeper Ben D’Luisse, had that honour on Thursday 13th August at the Western Warriors v Eastern Knights U15 Inter-Regional match.
Thanks must go to Navid Hussain for umpiring every over of the festival and to Prestwick CC, and their fantastically enthusiastic groundstaff, for hosting the festival – and congratulations must go to all the players who took part but particularly to Edinburgh for their success.