On Thursday 5th of May the year 10 rounders team travelled to Thomas Hardye School to play in an U15 rounders tournament against different schools in the local area. When we arrived we were told that some schools had dropped out, this was disappointing but we still had 5 strong teams to play against. So with that in mind we all went off to practise before it started.
Our first game was against Colfox School who had in previous years beaten us, but this was a great opportunity to show our improvements. We won the toss and decided fielding would be a good idea to start with so we could get our bearings. Colfox had some good batters but nothing that All Saints couldn’t handle! Once we got into our stride with fielding, a lot of good decisions were made by all. As it neared the time for us to bat, Colfox hit the ball almost straight into the bowler’s hands (Molly Kington) and with no hesitation it was a speedy throw straight to first base (Beth Fry) and they were out immediately! With high spirits all around we changed so we were batting and had a good idea of the score we had to beat. Everyone’s first hits were brilliant and Colfox realised that they would really have to up their game to beat us. Sadly one of our best batters (Molly Kington) was stumped out on second post, first time round, as the typical British weather of rain got the better of her and made the ground extremely slippery. We all knew we were really going to have to pull something big out the bag and with this in mind a lot of good hits and rounders were had by all. After a very close game the end score was 6 – 4 ½ to us. We were all extremely happy and couldn’t wait for our next game.
Our second game was against the Thomas Hardye B team. We were all elated from our previous game and couldn’t wait to start. We knew the two Thomas Hardye teams were going to be strong competition but it didn’t affect our determination to go in with lots of energy. Luckily we won the toss and decided to field again first. There was some good batting by the Thomas Hardye team, however, due to our communication and effort we made it hard for them to put points on the board. One of the batters hit the ball very far and Olivia Bailey and I (the deep fielders) ran out to where it landed. Despite a great sprint by Olivia with a lot of power, the slippery terrain sadly got the better of her too and we missed getting them out at fourth base by a very small margin. We were unaware of the amount of rounders that Thomas Hardye had scored but went in with high hopes of winning again. Everyone’s batting got off to a great start but we wanted to be safe and not take too many risks as we knew this would be a very close game. We were edging near the end of the game and started taking some more risks and quite a lot paid off. Another one of our great batters (Olivia Bailey) scored her second rounder in that game. Still with high hopes for a win there were three balls left and it was up to me, Eden Malik and Molly Kington to make it count. I knew I needed to really hit the ball far so I could get a rounder so as the bowler threw the ball I stepped to the side and hit the ball backhanded. To my surprise it went a lot further than expected and the back stop had to get the ball to get it to fourth base. Luckily I made it there in time and that got us another rounder. Eden had a great hit then it was our last ball and Molly was up. She swung for the ball and ended up hitting it quite far behind so had to wait at first base. The backstop had to run to get it, come to the line and throw it straight to second. Nearly all of the Thomas Hardye team stood around second as back up but the pressure had clearly got too much for the backstop and the ball only managed to get to the bowler’s box. Molly ran as fast as she could and ended the game very well. The end result was 5 ½ – 4 and a great win by All Saints!
Our third game was against Budmouth who we had always had very close games with. With the luck paying on our side we won the toss again! As we had done so well in our other games we again opted to field first. They had a wide range of batting abilities to keep the fielders on their toes! Anna Hopps (deep fielder) made some great passes to Connie Hollings who was on third base and we got a good amount out. One of the batters hit the ball high in the air and behind them, luckily Eden Malik (backstop) had her eye on the ball and caught them out straight away. A lot of good passes were made from the fielders and backstop to Elizabeth Bowers who was on second post. As she is a great catcher we did very well there. Budmouth had scored a relatively good amount of rounders and now it was our turn to bat. We decided to risk it pretty much from the start and it definitely paid off. Rhiannon Carter who is left-handed did a massive hit miles over first post and got us a great rounder to start with. After a great hit sadly Elizabeth Bowers just got out at fourth post, but we were all very happy with the effort everyone was putting in. Molly Kington and Olivia Bailey both did some great hits but sadly they were both behind. Each time the Budmouth fielder on second post missed the catches from their backstop so that was another two rounders under our belt. We all felt very confident after a great game and in the end we all deserved to as we won 7 ½ – 2.
Our fourth game was against the Thomas Hardye A team. As we had such a good game against the other Thomas Hardye team we had high hopes. Sadly that time we lost the toss and the Thomas Hardye team decided to field first so we were batting. We started well but it became apparent that they were a very strong fielding team which made us all not take as many risks. We didn’t manage to get as many rounders but we did pretty well getting half rounders and a lot of effort did go into all of our batting. We realised quickly that this was going to be a much tougher game than our others. However we put up a good fight and then swapped over so it was our turn to field. One of the first people to bat was left handed so as Molly bowled to them I ran round to the other side past second base and caught the ball whilst I was running. We were all very upbeat but couldn’t celebrate too much as we knew the rest of the team were going to be very strong after that. There were a lot of strong batters in their team and they were really testing us to our limits. Bethany Morrison (on fourth post) was a great catcher and many times was very close to getting people out but just missed by a tiny margin. The game was very challenging but we all tried our best and knew it was going to be a tough game. At the end of it we sadly lost 4 ½ rounders to 7. But remembering our first three games we went into the last game with high hopes.
Our fifth and final game was against Lytchett. The Lytchett team all walked over carrying their own balls and very professional looking orange bats and at that point everyone looked over at me but we needed to stay positive as we hadn’t even started yet. Unfortunately we lost the toss again and Lytchett wanted to field first so we were batting. I was batting first and it suddenly became apparent to everyone that they had an extremely experienced and fast bowler who made it very hard for us to hit the ball. With this in mind our aim turned to just hitting the ball rather than taking risks or using too many tactics. However, their team did get a bit over themselves and relaxed too much as there was a mistake at second post and Olivia managed to get us a good rounder. The Lytchett team were very impressive fielders so we had a lot to live up to! Luckily with a lot determination we were up for the challenge. Everyone knew they were going to be hard to beat so we just tried our best and ended up giving them a good run for their money. Rhiannon Carter (deep fielder) made a lot of great passes to Connie Hollings and Bethany Morrison on third and fourth post who narrowly missed getting someone out. Eden Malik (backstop) improved her throwing a lot during the matches and this was very evident in our last game where she made some excellent passes to Elizabeth Bowers on second post. After a very challenging game Lytchett ended up beating us 5 rounders to 4, but we all played so well it didn’t matter.
After an excellent afternoon of matches we ended up 3rd out of the 6 teams which was very pleasing.
I would like to say thank you to Miss Pearson who went to Thomas Hardye with us, coached us and refereed us throughout the tournament. Also thank you to Rhiannon Carter (who is a year 9) who stepped in and enabled us to have a full team.
Well done to everyone and I hope we do this well in matches to come!
Team – Emma Bishop, Molly Kington, Anna Hopps, Lizzie Bowers, Eden Malik, Olivia Bailey, Bethany Morrison, Bethany Fry, Rhiannon Carter.
Report by Emma Bishop, Digital Ambassador for PE.