JERSEY’S U18 cricketers’ well-deserved victory against Guernsey is another important step on their journey, head coach Neil MacRae has said.
The sport has been investing time and resources into developing the age-group game, and these players will be the first to embark on the pathway towards the International Cricket Council U19 World Cup in 2024.
Jersey secured a 46-run victory against the Sarnians with what was ultimately an U17 side on a slow, turning wicket at Farmers.
It was the same track as used in the senior game on Saturday where runs were so hard to come by.
MacRae said that they were targeting 200-plus when they opened the batting, but the 187 they reached was competitive.
Opener Stan Norman top-scored with 59, the only player across the inter-insular weekend to get a half century.
There were useful contributions from Charley Webster (25) and Charlie Best (27), who were made to work hard for their runs.
Guernsey’s run chase began well, and, having lost only one wicket by the time of the first drinks break with 75 runs on the board, they were well placed to chase Jersey down.
But Jersey’s bowling and fielding then squeezed the opposition in a 20-over spell MacRae called outstanding.
Norman picked up a couple of wickets at the top of the order with Charlie Brennan doing the damage later on with three wickets.
This team has already gained experience against senior sides in the domestic weekend league and against an MCC side last week.
They travel to Scotland to finish off their season with a game on Saturday and another on Sunday against that country’s U17s.
‘We put a lot of work in with them this summer and they have responded and worked extremely hard,’ said MacRae.
They have improved in all the basic elements of the 50-over game, he added.
‘We started with a very young side at the start of the year playing established clubs and there were some tough lessons.’
Some of the players are now pushing for places in the senior squad.