First XI beat the Downside Wanderers

On Saturday 16th June Downside School’s 1st XI cricket team were delighted to host their annual fixture vs the Downside Wanderers Cricket Club.

The Wanderers, captained by Hugh Jennings (S11) had enjoyed great success in this fixture during recent years, until 2017’s memorable tied game!

Returning to face the School were Sam Harris (B12), James Hobbs (R14), Nick Morgan (C86), Jamie Pigott (S09), Ben Tatham (S09), Hugh Jennings (S11), Will Mostyn (S11), Mathew Valencia (B09), Hugh Wilkinson (S11), Zeb Baker-Smith (S14) & David Sheridan (C81).  The development of cricket and the quality of coaching at the school has improved significantly in recent years under the direction of our Head of Cricket, Mr Alfonso Thomas.

Everything was set for an enjoyable and challenging game on a day that would be repeatedly interrupted by rain showers.

The Wanderers won the toss and opted to bat first.  The visitors made 249 for the loss of 8 wickets from their 35 overs. James Hobbs top scored with an impressive 117 not out, supported by Hugh Jennings (35 runs) and Will Mostyn (28 runs).

The pick of the school bowlers was Jack White (3 for 39 from 7 overs). Jack Smith performed well behind the stumps, adding the dismissals of Mostyn and Valencia with some agile wicket keeping.

The excellent catering team prepared a splendid buffet lunch which the two sides shared together in the Pavilion before play resumed with the School chasing 250 to win.

The School got off to an impressive start, with openers Jack White and Charlie Hobbs racing to a partnership of 54 within the first 5 overs, before White was trapped lbw by the bowling of Jennings for 12 runs. Jack Smith and Charlie Hobbs then added a further 35 runs before Hobbs was also dismissed by the bowling of Jennings for 47, including one huge six and 9 further boundaries.

The 1st XI captain Hugo Morgan then established a partnership of 96 runs with Jack Smith before being caught himself by his father Nick whilst on 46 runs!  Alex Lowe and Jack Smith then set about developing their own partnership of 64 runs which saw the 1st XI reach their target of 250 to record a famous victory by 7 wickets, with Jack Smith on 93 not out and Alex Lowe on 31 not out.

The two sides then enjoyed the opportunity to socialise together at the Pavilion during a BBQ and drinks organised by the Sports Department.

Jack Smith was presented the Gordon Hemming Trophy award by the captain of the Wanderers and the Head Master in recognition of his performance.

With a side that included six U6 leavers, the progression of good cricketers from the School to the Wanderers in years to come is looking assured and both sides can look forward to the return fixture in 2019.