Exeter’s men’s cricket team (EUMCC) completed a stellar indoor season, by claiming BUCS gold at Edgbaston, whilst their female counterparts (EULCC) completed a medal haul for the Green Army bringing home bronze.
A virtuoso display all day from the men led to two emphatic wins against quality opposition and gave Exeter their first indoor title since 2007. Their performance on finals day rounded off an exceptional season, which has seen them win all twelve of their matches, making them extremely worthy winners.
Indoor cricket is a ten over game played by teams of six players. It requires greater levels of finesse and tactical nouse than the more belligerent outdoor game. Exeter’s semi-final pitted them against a strong Leeds University, who won the toss and asked Exeter to bat first.
Exeter’s openers Matthew Laidman and Tom Abell got them off to perfect start with 35 put on for the first wicket, until Laidman was unfortunately run out. This brought fresher Ollie Mills to the crease, who was able to form a sensational partnership with Abell. The two scored at a healthy rate, reaching 63-1 until Abell had to retire unbeaten on 25.
Neil Prowse continued the Exeter onslaught until he was caught behind with the score on 72-2, with three overs left. Captain Joe Barrs joined Mills and the pair began to move the score towards three figures before Mills reached his 25. Some late hitting from Bradley Lane took Exeter to a very competitive score of 103.
In reply Leeds began well, keeping up with the rate in their first two overs. However, the metronomic and brisk Barrs bowled superbly restricting the run rate and picking up the first wicket. As the run rate began to climb Neil Prowse entered the attack for a pivotal spell. The all-rounder held his nerve to deliver a fantastic set picking up three wickets, which eventually led to Leeds being bowled out for 70, 33 runs short of Exeter’s total.
Kent were waiting for Exeter in the final and once again Barrs lost the toss and Exeter were asked to bowl first. Kent got off to a flyer, scoring 45 in their first four overs. However, Prowse continued to impress with ball in hand and alongside Lane dragged Exeter back into the game. Supported by some high class fielding, they were able to restrict Kent to a respectable yet reachable total of 93.
Laidman and Abell began the response in fine style. Laidman raced to 20 before being run out for the second time in the day. Ollie Mills fell cheaply and the game appeared in the balance. As Abell reached a well-made 26 and Barrs was bowled behind his legs, it was left to Prowse and Lane to see the Green Army home. They did so with real aplomb, reaching the target with two overs to spare.
Afterwards, a chuffed Joe Barrs said: “It was an incredible day and ends an unbelievable unbeaten winter of indoor cricket. We completely dominated both our oppositions on the day. This isn’t to speak any less of the quality of the opposition. Leeds were always going to be a strong outfit and Kent were semi-finalists last year. However, our ability to perform well under pressure meant that we completely outplayed both opponents.”
— Joe Barrs (@joebarrs14) March 30, 2014
Meanwhile the women’s side were extremely unfortunate to end up on the wrong side of a keenly contested semi-final, against Cardiff Met (the team that beat them in last year’s final.) The defeat came despite a standout batting effort by Lorna Brown, who hit 22 runs of seven balls. This magnificent effort got Exeter within touching distance of their 97 run target but unfortunately they fell agonizingly short, ending on 95. They were able to put this narrow defeat behind them and put in a superb performance against Durham in the third place playoff to secure a bronze medal. A disciplined fielding display restricted Durham to their 67 run target, which was never enough and Exeter raced to victory with three wickets to spare.
— EULCC (@EULCC) March 30, 2014
Director of Cricket Julian Wyatt expressed his delight at his sides’ performances. He said: “It’s fantastic. To have both teams at finals day is a brilliant achievement in itself, but to come away with two medals is outstanding. It was always going to be a tough semi-final for the girls but they played well and really took the challenge to Cardiff Met, in the end it was the narrowest of defeats. They bounced back superbly against Durham for a deserved bronze.”
He continued, “I’m really proud of the lads. They’ve worked so hard and this is a massive justification for putting in so much effort. They have thoroughly deserved this win and have every right to feel very proud of their achievement. This is just what we needed going into the start of the outdoor season. As a team we have lost in a few semi-finals and one final in recent years, so that weight has been lifted off our shoulders. We know we can win now and that confidence will make a big difference outside – knowing that we can perform under pressure”
With the indoor season now complete, the outdoor season begins almost immediately. The men are now preparing for their first pre-season friendly on April 4th, before the BUCS season fully kicks off on April 11th. Follow their season with Exeposé both in print and online.
Freddie Turner- Online Sports Editorbookmark me