VIEW FROM THE MIDDLE: Karen Knott's umpires column
4:20pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Sport
AS the season draws to a close, competitions and cup matches are reaching their climax, especially where the juniors are concerned.
At the under-15s cup final on Bank Holiday Monday I witnessed the best fielding performance I have seen in a long time by both teams involved.
All nine catches were caught by Bradshaw and four batsmen run out by direct throws at the stumps.
Bradshaw and Horwich must have felt very proud of their teams.
I umpired the u11s cup final last Sunday and what a pleasure it was to see so many eager faces in anticipation of the game.
My colleague and I were met with: “Great, we have proper umpires today. Are you professional umpires?”
The excellent fielding continued by both Heaton and Greenmount with every ball chased hard and several boundaries stopped.
Three direct throws at the stumps led to run outs.
What impressed me was the encouragement all the players gave to each other.
If a batsman was out, then his partner offered encouragement to try to not let it happen again. If a ball bowled was a little wayward then team-mates offered constructive advice.
They were all very inquisitive and anxious to learn.
When I signalled leg bye, a fielder said ‘I have always wanted to do that’ and repeated the signal and then asked when do you signal a leg bye.
He was duly told and off he went quite happy.
As Heaton advanced closer to the total set by Greenmount I heard the comment of the day which was: “Remember, in a cup match a dot ball is a happy ball.”
What a good way to encourage your bowler.
The whole day was an excellent experience for all concerned.
The boys played in front of a large crowd who had turned out on not the most pleasant of days, but certainly added to creating a superb atmosphere for them.
Well done to both teams.