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April 30, 2011

Nick: tennis and cricket successes on May Day Bank Holiday weekend 2010

by huw15

May Day Bank Holiday saw Huw achieve two major sporting milestones a year ago.  He won a tennis competition at Thongsbridge and got his first retirement (scoring over 30) in a cricket match.

The Bank Holiday 12 months ago was Monday 3rd May.  During the afternoon there was an open day at Thongsbridge Tennis Club, similar to the one that is being held this year on the same day.  Huw was developing his interest and ability in tennis and entered a competition, for those young players who played in the box leagues.  Huw’s worked his way up to the top box league during 2010 and early 2011 and May Day Bank Holiday saw him proudly add a tennis winner’s trophy to his array of football and cricket awards.  Huw competed successfully in the box leagues for around 2 years, with some fantastic and close games against sporting and capable opponents such as Grace and Josh with more than his share of wins, as well as some losses.  He lost to Josh in a box league game the day before, but beat him in the final on 3rd May.  Josh was both a graceful winner and loser and was born on the same day as Huw.  Jenny texted Nick that day to say “Huw won the tennis tournament.  He beat the player in the final who he lost to yesterday and came home with cup, medal and big smile on his face!”

Later that day Huw played cricket for Upperthong Under 15s against Holmbridge.  He had started his cricket playing 3 years previously performing steadily rather than spectacularly.  All that changed on 3rd May 2010.  David Clowes the under 15 coach texted Nick the day after the match to say “Congratulate Huw from me on his batting last night.  Some fantastic shots.  Very clean hitting.  That bat was clearly a good investment.”  That text from Dave meant a lot and is typical of the support that Rob Oakley, Dave, and Russ Briggs continually provide to both the players and their parents. 

The match against Holmbridge was already won when Huw went out to bat on 3rd May, but his innings provided a spring board for him to go on and have a fantastic season with the bat – along with a few wickets and some excellent catches – he had very safe hands and rarely missed a catching chance.  Bearing in mind Huw’s physique and his natural ability we always felt it was a matter of time before he succeeded in a sport that didn’t come as naturally to him at first as football had done.  But last season he went on to score lots of runs at under 17 as well as under 15 level.  The game of cricket provides a different sporting experience to football and rugby and while Huw usually scored quickly, he also added patience and determination to his batting.  One innings at Scholes in the middle of last season stands out, where he built an impressive innings patiently, against good bowlers and on a wicket that was very difficult to score on. 

In contrast to the innings at Scholes Huw often came in at the middle of an innings and scored twenty something in quick time with plenty of boundaries – including a few sixes.  I can remember with pride a number of occassions at Upperthong where Huw was hitting the ball around with his team mates enthusiastically cheering from the boundary and often clapping him off at the end with big pats on the back.  There are some good young cricketers at Upperthong and I am glad Huw made his mark among them.  Huw got a lot of satisfaction from playing cricket for the Club and the School – there was always a sense of anticipation when he went to the wicket to bat.

Thank you to the coaches at Thongsbridge Tennis Club and Upperthong Junior Cricket Club; and we have great memories of May Day Bank Holiday 2010.

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