The Jersey Cricket Board Under 12 side recently returned from a successful, if rain-affected, festival at the magnificent Bryanston College in Dorset. Our first game against Dorset was a low-scoring affair on a rain-affected wicket but the Jersey bowlers performed creditably to dismiss the powerful county side for 128 – leading contributors being Jonty Jenner with 2-7 and Will Harris with 2 wickets from the final two balls of the innings. David Martin conceded just 2 runs from his 3 overs. However it was always going to be a tricky run chase, with textbook shots from James Duckett, Solly Warner and Jonty Jenner failing to penetrate a well-set field.
At 63-9 all seemed lost when with 17 overs remaining last man Phil Maguire joined Elliot Miles at the crease. Incredibly they were able to keep out the Dorset attack for over after over and the unlikely prospect of batting out for a draw became more and more of a possibility. Dorset threw everything at the two plucky batsman who remained defiant before unluckily, with just 2 balls remaining, Miles was out caught behind after top-scoring with 22 and surviving for over an hour with sterling support from Maguire.
The rain lashed down for the next 36 hours but thanks to the incredible facilities, an 8-a-side indoor tournament was hastily arranged and the Jersey team played magnificently, everyone contributing in 3 excellent wins against Dorset, Wiltshire and old friends and rivals Guernsey. Highlights included Will Harris completing his 'hat-trick' by taking a wicket with his first ball of the day and best team score of the tournament – 118 in 12 overs, 50 from Sol Warner and some brilliant fast, full bowling by Dan Santos Costa. Jonty Jenner hit 3 straight sixes and the opposition had no answer to our powerful batting.
When the rain finally cleared we were able to take our new-found confidence into the game against Wiltshire. Asked to bat first in very tricky conditions, sensible batting led us to 59-2 with 20 overs remaining - Elliot Miles and Jenner contributing 22 runs each in a 3rd wicket stand of 40 runs. However the tail fell away and we were forced to defend a score of 97. Off-spinner Warner opened the bowling and took 4-22 off 13 overs and with great support from James Duckett (11 overs 1-11) and some quick full bowling from Dan Santos-Costa (1-10), Wiltshire were bowled out for just 74.
So a fantastic learning experience for this highly promising unit and when bonus points were calculated the JCB under 12's were able to be pronounced Festival Champions. Huge thanks to Lee Meloy for his enthusiastic support.