Western Warriors U15s got their season off to a winning start, by defeating the Eastern Knights in a match at Linlithgow Cricket Club.
After a near 3-hour delay, the match was reduced to 29 overs per side – with both sides wanting to bowl first. Therefore, upon losing the toss, the Warriors were invited to bat first! Despite the loss of an early wicket, skipper Bahadar Esakhiel (Clydesdale CC) and Max Byers (Dumfries CC) built a very useful 2nd wicket partnership of 44. However, this was somewhat squandered as 48/1 became 90/8! The 9th wicket partnership added a crucial 34 runs, as Ritvik Maheshwari (Glasgow Accies CC) and Robbie Walsh (Ayr CC) rotated the strike well and ran hard between the wickets. This would lead the Warriors to 136/9 – with Esakhiel top scoring with 35.
In reply, Walsh picked up an early wicket – but the Knights added 22 for their 2nd wicket and 33 for their 3rd. Although well-set, at 68/3, they were behind the asking rate, in a low scoring match. Ollie Jones (Stirling County CC) took his 2nd wicket (removing dangerman Burnet, for 34), Esakhiel took a sharp catch at short cover and two other wickets quickly fell – leaving the Knights 81/7. They then countered with 34-run partnership for their 8th wicket – although the Warriors managed to keep increasing the required run rate. The partnership was broken when Esakhiel returned to the attack to claim a wicket caught and bowled – and Fizan Rashid (Clydesdale CC) showed good composure, as a run out followed quickly thereafter. Knights 123/9.
A good win, with 4 batters making solid contributions in a low scoring match, including a game-changing 9th wicket partnership – and 6 of the 7 bowlers taking wickets. The next match is in two weeks’ time (after an intra-squad training match). The Warriors will hope to see batters go ‘on’ when set and reduce the number of dismissals ‘LBW’ (five!), the bowlers will aim to bowl a little straighter and more consistently – and the fielders will hope to sustain their committed and impressive start to the innings for the full duration.
Sunday 4th April saw the 2021 Western Warriors Youth programme commence. Two training sessions, featuring 29 players, took place simultaneously at Shawholm (Poloc CC) and Titwood (Clydesdale CC) – in the first of a 4-week “pre-season” training programme.
There have been a couple of significant changes from the programmes of previous years:
– The squads now operate at Under 17 and Under 15 age groups.
– Moneeb Iqbal and Nauman Javaid have joined the coaching team, to work alongside Tim Hart and Mitchell Rao.
The hope is that both squads will have the opportunity to participate in multi-format playing programmes, as the “return to cricket” continues.
For the second weekend in a row the Western Warriors Under 14s made use of the late summer sun to record two wins in two T20s! This weekend, the Warriors were at home – with “Titwood” (Clydesdale CC) being the host venue, as the Caledonian Highlanders made the trip south. Once again, lead coach Tim Hart reports on the day’s play:
“Batting first in game one, the Warriors 123 for 4 was based around 49 (off 50 deliveries) from skipper Bahadar Eskahiel (Clydesdale CC) and 40 (48) from Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC) – the pair putting on 101 for the third wicket! The team effort was notable for only 5 boundaries being scored in the twenty overs – but also for some very impressive scampering between the wickets in the final overs! In reply, good early bowling was backed up by some athletic fielding. The pressure eventually led to the breakthrough, in the 9th over, with Nasratullah Safi (Glasgow Accies CC) holding on to a caught and bowled opportunity. From there, the bowlers and fielders squeezed the game well – with Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC) bowling a double-wicket maiden and the fielding unit contributing three run outs. Highlanders 54 all out (19.5).
The second match saw the Warriors bat first, again. This time the team posted 116 all out (19.5 overs) – with the scorecard having a slightly odd look to it! Ben Willmott (Clydesdale CC) opened and anchored the innings with 46 (54), only Ahmad 15 (11) joined him in making double figures – and batters two, three, four and five all scored 0! The Highlanders, again, got off to a good start – 35 for 0 off six overs. However, Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC) then ended the game as a contest – by bowling a triple-wicket maiden, one thanks to a really sharp catch from Esakhiel at extra cover. From there, the wickets were again spread out between the bowlers – and there were another two run outs, highlighted by a great direct hit from Rory Paterson (Glasgow Accies CC). Highlanders 75 all out (17 overs).
Overall, it was pleasing to record another two wins – and to continue the policy of utilising the batters and bowlers at different times throughout the each innings. Across the four matches, Ahmad has been the standout batter – with Esakhiel and Willmott making significant contributions too. Nine different bowlers have taken wickets, there have been some good moments in the field – but, more importantly, everyone within the squad has had the opportunity to contribute as we continue with our return to cricket. Next week sees both the Under 14s (and Under 16s) complete their summer programme, with two ‘intra-squad’ T20s.”
Sunday 30 August saw the Western Warriors Under 14s return to cricket, with two T20 matches v the Eastern Knights at “Goldenacre” (Heriot’s CC). Lead Coach Tim Hart reports:
“After nearly five and half months, it was great to see the Warriors programme resume – with the first two (of five) matches. There was, understandably, a little rustiness in all three disciplines – but the squad stuck to their collective task very well and recorded impressive back-to-back wins.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first in game one, the Warriors found themselves 23 for 2 after 7.4 overs. Batting at four, Ben Willmott (Clydesdale CC) provided some much-needed impetus to the innings, with 27 (26) as part of a fifty partnership with Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC). When Willmott was dismissed, Ahmad then upped his scoring rate – taking 12 off the final twelve deliveries he faced, to finish his innings’ anchoring role with a crucial 43* (57). Warriors 102 for 4. In reply, the Knights found run-scoring similarly tricky. Following on from their fifty partnership, Ahmad (4-0-7-1) and Willmott (4-0-11-1) combined well with the ball too. With the Knights left needing 65 off the final 8 overs, the Warriors bowlers bowled very effectively – Qasim Khan (Ferguslie CC) excelling with 4 for 21 from his four overs. Knights 85 for 8.
Warriors skipper Bahadar Esakhiel (Clydesdale CC) won a second toss – and the Warriors chose a different challenge, by fielding first. There were early successes for both Ahmad and Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC), before Willmott (2 for 19) bowled another good middle overs spell, Khan picked up his fifth wicket of the day – and the Warriors experimented by bowling eight one-over spells towards the end of the innings! Knights 92 for 7. A slightly altered top order was asked to bat with a little more energy during the early overs – but the Warriors again found themselves 23 for 2 off 7.4 overs! The rate continued to climb steadily and, despite 23 (27) from Willmott, the Warriors needed 30 off the last three overs. But Ahmad was in, batting with very positive intent – and using the depth of his crease to great effect. His 31* (30) was crucial – and Rory Paterson, 5* (6) also played a key part. Warriors 93 for 4, with two deliveries to spare!
The wins were nice, as was the overall performance of all twelve players – which was led by some very effective captaincy and highlighted by good all-round contributions from Ahmad and Willmott. Overall, the main aim of the mini fixture programme is to get as many of the squad playing as possible – and to use players in different roles in the matches whenever possible. As always, thanks must go to the parents for their continued support of the programme – and hopefully the weather will allow the Warriors to welcome the Caledonian Highlanders to “Titwood” (Clydesdale CC) this coming Sunday.”
Western Warriors Under 16 Head Coach David Hinchliffe has announced the Western Warriors Under 16 squad for 2019-20. The squad features seventeen players, from nine different clubs – and it can be viewed here.
It is expected that Under 14 Head Coach Tim Hart will announce the Under 14 squad this week too.
Women’s and Girls’ Participation Manager Rosy Ryan has announced the following information in regards to Western Warriors for girls.
Rosy said, “This year we are looking to change the girls’ structure with the regional programme having an Under 15 and Under 18 squad in 2020. The Western Warriors will be hosting two trials (from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday the 30th of November and Saturday the 14th of December) for players for our up-and-coming winter programme, starting in the new year. (The programme is open to any player between the ages of 12 and 18, i.e. born after the 1st of September 2001.) Please click the link and complete the information required to confirm your place. Western Warriors girls trial Under 15s and Under 18s
The deadline for signing up for the trials is the 22nd of November 2019.
Western Warriors Youth Under 14 Head Coach Tim Hart has released details of the upcoming Under 14 trial session, taking place on Friday 8 November 2019. There was such a high level of interest in the programme that the trial session has been split into two sessions (from 6.30pm to 8pm and 8pm to 9.30pm).
All players who have been invited to the trial should have received an email which confirms which session they should attend. A copy of the list of players who have been invited to the trial is available in the Document centre.
Tim Hart has announced details of the application process for the upcoming Western Warriors Youth Under 14 programme, 2019-20. A letter has been sent to all west region clubs’ Junior Convenors – and a copy is available here, too.