After a long summer break, the Merstham Falcons turned out on a
beautiful early September morning at Quality Street to face
Banstead in the U14 ESCL cup final. Banstead captain Adam Foreshaw
won the toss and elected to field and Merstham’s openers,
Aditya Chougule and Ed Cecil took to the crease.
Initial progress was slow, continuing in the batting pattern the
team has followed all season and the first wicket of Cecil fell for
13 runs with the score on 21-1, bowled by Samuel Stracey. The new
batsman Matt Retter, who’s had a fantastic season with both
bat and ball arrived to partner Chougule.
After a further nine runs, Chougule was caught for 12 runs by
Foreshaw, off the bowling of Stracey’s twin brother Reuben.
Retter’s wicket was next to fall without any addition to the
score, and new batsman Matthew Greaves was also out a few runs
later. Merstham were 37-4 and starting to feel the pressure when
Luca Retter (twin brother of Matt) joined Jude McRobbie.
The score began to move along before McRobbie was out for five
runs. With the score now 48-5, Luca Retter began to steady the
ship, building a partnership of 15 until captain Noah Young
departed. Retter’s next partnership was with James Cripps and
a further 10 was added to the score until Cripps fell with the
A total of the magical 100 was looking unlikely and before
Retter could run out of partners, he was caught out having joint
top scored with 13. The three tail enders added one more run
to the total with the loss of another wicket before Banstead
completed their 20 overs. Merstham reached 78-9 and the target
of 79 seemed woefully low.
Banstead made a steady start and openers Adam Foreshaw and
Frankie Thompson worked well together, reaching 31 when Thompson
was run out by Noah Young, having reached 17. With only a further
two runs added to the total, Matt Retter claimed the wicket of new
batsman Thomas Glanfield for a duck, caught in the field by Ed
Cecil and shortly after, Matt Greaves claimed the wicket of the
other opening batsman, Foreshaw.
The score was 37-3 and despite some tight bowling from Merstham,
they failed to capitalise on the quick wickets taken with the score
in the 30s. Another successful partnership between Reuben Stracey
and Oscar Luker saw 23 runs added to the total and was broken when
Jude McRobbie bowled Luker for 17, in an innings that saw him smack
Twin brother Samuel joined Reuben at the crease until he was
bowled by Noah Young. The score was 71-5 and with both wickets and
overs in hand, Banstead reached 79 in the 15th over, winning by
The break between the end of the cricket season and the date of
the final meant Merstham struggled to recapture their earlier
form, with regular wicketkeeper Theo Elliott unavailable to play.
If the team had managed another 20 runs, the pressure would have
been on and the outcome might have been different. However it was
not to be and the team should take great pride in reaching their
first cup final under the guidance of first time coach Jack
Merstham U14 Falcons: Liam Barry, Ed Cecil, Aditya Chougule,
James Cripps, Ben Clements, Matt Greaves, Jude McRobbie, Luca
Retter, Matt Retter, Harry Younan (w), Noah Young (c)