ANYONE who has followed cricket over the years will have noticed a decline in the average age of players.
In years gone by it would not be out of place to see grey hair and to hear jibes along the lines of “better slow it down, his eyes ain’t what they used to be”. Youthful exuberance has trumped experience and cunning wile.
In Manderston’s crushing win this was certainly the case. Against a somewhat depleted Galashiels side the youngsters scored the runs and took the wickets.
A win of the toss and an election to bat was the right thing to do on a flat batting track. It didn’t take long for the youngsters to flex their muscle.
An outstanding partnership between Sam Culham and Ian Sim combined brute strength and graceful timing. Each recorded half centuries in what seemed to be mere moments. With the bowlers toiling it was only lapses in concentration that did for the batsmen.
A mini-collapse followed the loss the young-guns but this was but a minor annoyance. The runs they scored ensured a tough target that would require some beating.
In a total of 215 the dominant duo put on 145 all but ensuring a certain victory. As Galashiels attempted to chase down the target it became apparent very early on that it was simply too much.
The Manderston bowlers found swing where their opponents had not and Galashiels were simply unable to feel bat on ball. No bowler went for more than three runs an over and it was again the youngsters who picked up the wickets ensuring a Manderston victory.
Young Jack McDonald and Sam Conington picked up three wickets in a spell of bowling that capitalised on the stranglehold built beforehand.
After some late resistance the inevitable came to pass. Ironically it was experience that sealed the win.
Whilst the youngsters laid the groundwork for victory they found the resistance difficult to overcome. The wile and experience of George Farr took the final wicket and completed a crushing win that will almost certainly not be surpassed this season.
It can be concluded that in order for youth to flourish it requires the guiding hand of experience. The two play off well against one another. Whilst the desire and determination to win will get the young so far, the experienced know how to complete it.