All players who attended a trial session have been sent individual feedback – and any Club Junior Convenors wishing further information, or feedback, are invited to contact the Western Warriors Youth Coaching Team (Tim Hart, Nauman Javaid and Mitchell Rao) by e-mail.
Western Warriors under 17s are in the process of finalising their plans, and squad, for the upcoming winter programme. The hope is that communication will be sent to players, and clubs, as soon as is practical – with the aim being that the programme will begin in mid/late November.
Following the indoor and outdoor trial matches, Western Warriors Youth are now hosting two under 15 indoor trial sessions. These will take place on Friday 29th October and Friday 5th November – with the winter training programme scheduled to commence on Friday 17th November.
All players who participated in the trial matches have been contacted – and they have either been provided with some feedback or have been offered the opportunity to attend a trial session. A copy of the letter inviting players to attend a trial has been sent to all Junior Convenors. Anyone wishing further information should contact the Warriors Coaching Team directly.
The weekend of 25 & 26 September saw the second activity which is part of the Western Warriors U15s trial process for season 2022 take place at Hutchesons’ Grammar School. 44 players took part in six indoor matches – allowing the coaches to observe match-play skills in the typically fast-paced indoor environment.
More details about any follow-up trial sessions will be shared with players, and their clubs, once they are known.
The first in a series of activities which will act as a trial for the Western Warriors Under 15 Squad 2022 took place yesterday, at Titwood (Clydesdale CC). A match, which generally saw the bowlers enjoy more success than the batters, managed to bring together 24 players – representing only half of those who were nominated by their club Junior Convenor! The hope is that another one or two match-play opportunities can be created over the next few weeks – before more traditional indoor trial sessions take place, at some point in October or November.
If any Junior Convenor still wishes to nominate players, they should contact Tim Hart immediately.
Sunday saw the eagerly anticipated Inter-Regional T20 Day take place – with the under 15 tournament being held at Livingston CC. Unfortunately, both matches resulted in losses – with the squad struggling to re-adjust to the shorter format, made even shorter as matches were reduced to 16 overs per side.
In the first match, the Eastern Knights openers started with very positive intent – bringing up their 50 in the 7th over. This allowed them to accelerate their scoring – including both openers scoring 50s, in a 112 run partnership. Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC) took three late wickets, Robbie Walsh (Ayr CC) two and Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC) one – but Knights scored 147/6 (16). In reply, despite an impressive 46 (34) including 6 fours and 1 six from Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC), the Warriors were never in a position to challenge for a win.
Game 2 saw the Warriors bat first. Again, only 3 batters would reach double figures – and a good bowling attack managed to starve the Warriors of crucial boundaries, while adding ‘dot ball’ pressure. The result was 77 all out (15.3). Then, in reply, the Highlanders did find the boundary regularly in the early overs. Off spinners Qasim Khan (Ferguslie CC) and Nasratullah Safi (Glasgow Accies CC) both picked up one wicket and Thaker bowled 2 overs for just 3 runs – but the low target was easily reached.
Although a disappointing effort on the day, the squad can still look back on a positive season which saw them win the 50-over championship – a victory based around a significant number of the squad making contributions to the team success.
Friday evening saw a hastily arranged match take place at New Williamfield (Stirling County CC) – one which was a great opportunity, as the Warriors faced the Scotland Women’s squad. The match acted as a warm-up for both sides – the Warriors in advance of their Inter-Regional T20 Day and for Scotland as they prepare for the World Cup qualifying tournament.
Batting first, the Warriors posted 132/5 off their 20 overs. The top six all reached double figures – but no one could go on to convert into a bigger innings. While there was busy intent, as 79 of the 121 deliveries bowled were scored off of, the Warriors struggled to find the boundary (only 8 fours) against a disciplined bowling line-up which was well-backed in the field. In contrast, Scotland struck 6 boundaries (fours) during their 6-over powerplay, as they raced to 55/1 – as compared to Warriors who had been 24/1 at the comparable stage. Another key difference was extras – Scotland conceded just 12, whereas the Warriors gifted 24 (including 22 in wides…and 21 different wide deliveries!). Given this, and being up against a well-balanced opposition, it was unsurprising that Scotland chased their target with 15 deliveries to spare.
However, there were some real positives for the Warriors: Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC) scored 26, with Rory Paterson and Nasratullah Safi (both Glasgow Accies CC) both scoring 23 and Ali Khan (Clydesdale CC) finishing 20*, Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC) struck with the new ball, Robbie Walsh (Ayr CC), Ollie Jones (Stirling County CC) and Ahmad all picked up wickets in the middle overs – and Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC) and Safi took very good catches.
While the ultimate result was a loss, the fixture presented a valuable chance to get some match-play prior to the Inter-Regional competition. This Sunday will also provide another great opportunity as two ‘intra-squad’ T20s, featuring 24 players from 11 different clubs, will take place at Titwood (Clydesdale CC).
Sunday 13th June saw the Western Warriors under 15s travel to Doo’cot Park, Perth to play the Caledonian Highlanders in the deciding fixture in the U15 50-over Inter-Regional Championships.
Batting first, Max Byers (Dumfries CC) was the main feature of Warriors early innings efforts. His 59 (including 5 of the Warriors 7 boundaries – in a match where there were only 12!) saw him form two good partnerships with Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC) and Ollie Jones (Stirling County CC). However, 110/1 quickly became 119/4 as the Highlanders spinners stifled the Warriors batters – with only 30 runs being added between overs 31 and 40. Ritvik Maheshwari (Glasgow Accies CC) scored 28 and Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC) added 20*, as the Warriors added some much-needed busyness towards the end of the innings. Warriors 187/7 (50).
Arguably the defining moment of the second innings came off the very first delivery, as Thaker induced dangerman Hegde to chip one towards midwicket where Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC) took an excellent diving catch. Although a 50-run partnership formed of the 2nd wicket, good bowling meant this took almost 20 overs – as the required run rate rose. Four quick wickets, including two to Jones, left the Highlanders 65/5 at the halfway mark – before Thaker returned to pick up wickets in both his second and third spells, finishing with outstanding figures of 10-4-21-4. A 26-run partnership for the ninth wicket threatened to make things interesting – but Qasim Khan (Ferguslie CC) returned to take his second wicket, before Ahmad followed suit. Highlanders 159 all out (49.1).
In such a crucial match, and missing two of the top five the batting order, it was great to see Byers build on his good starts and go on and make a significant contribution, with Ahmad, Jones and Maheshwari providing good support – before Thaker’s simple but busy approach at the end of innings allowed the team to carry real momentum into the second innings. This was momentum which never looked like being relinquished – with Thaker’s ‘4-for’ being key and all the bowlers offering good support.
As always, huge thanks must go to the parents of all the players for their support during our 50-over campaign. There will now be a few weeks off – before we start to build towards the T20 day later in the season.
The Western Warriors under 15s bounced back from last week’s defeat, to record a good win over the Eastern Knights. Things got off to an inauspicious start when skipper-for-day Robbie Walsh (Ayr CC) lost the toss and the Knights chose to bat first at a sun-drenched Titwood (Clydesdale CC).
However, Walsh struck in the 5th over, with fellow opening bowler Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC) picking up a wicket in the 6th over too. Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC), bowling first change, then added a third – leaving the Knights 35/3. The Knights biggest partnership of the innings followed – until Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC) induced an outside edge which was spectacularly caught by a diving Ben Willmott (Clydesdale CC) at slip. Then the spinners enjoyed big success – Ahmad finished with 4 wickets, Qasim Khan (Ferguslie CC) took 2 and Nasratullah Safi (Glasgow Accies CC) took 1. From 67/3, the Knights were 106 all out.
In reply, Max Byers (Dumfries CC) started with real intent. However, despite both he and Ahmad making starts, the Warriors were 77/5 at one point – the Knights being aided by a mix up resulting in a run out and two outstanding catches by William Hodgson. However, Rory Paterson (Glasgow Accies CC) batted superbly for 38* (off 40 deliveries) to steer the side home – even if it was Thaker who hit the winning run!
The second intra-squad match next week should provide a good warm-up for the 50-over championship finale – when the Warriors travel to Perth in two weeks’ time.
Following a very useful ‘intra-squad’ match on last Sunday, today saw the Western Warriors U15s host the Caledonian Highlanders at Titwood (Clydesdale CC).
Having lost the toss, and been invited to bat first, Max Byers (Dumfries CC) and Bahadar Esakhiel (Clydesdale CC) started very confidently – putting on 66 for the first wicket. Despite Byers being dismissed for 23, the score progressed to 97/2 at the midpoint of the innings. However, a steady flow of wickets and too many dots balls (205 in total!) meant that the Warriors couldn’t add any acceleration to their innings – and, despite a true ‘captain’s innings’ of 83 from Esakhiel and 22* from Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC), the Warriors could only post 187/7 off their 50 overs.
In reply, Esakhiel picked up an early wicket – with the score on 6. However, a match-winning partnership would see the Warriors have to wait another 171 runs before picking up a second wicket. Thanks to a splendid 94 from Dunk, supported by 51* from Hegde, the Highlanders cruised to an 8-wicket win, with nearly 20 overs to spare.
Despite a few mitigating factors, the Warriors will feel that they could have batted with a little more intent to score, the bowlers will reflect on not being able to build any real pressure by bowling in partnerships and the fielders will have learned the importance of maintaining full concentration while the opposition are building a big partnership.
However, the advantage of the competition format is that the squad gets an immediate opportunity to ‘bounce back’, as the Eastern Knights are welcomed to the west this coming Sunday. The series is also well-poised with all three teams having a record of P2, W1, L1!
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