Saffron Walden youngsters start Brian Taylor Trophy in style

Saffron Walden's Barney Hoyle

Saffron Walden's Barney Hoyle - Credit: Nick Hoyle

Saffron Walden's under-12s got their Brian Taylor Trophy campaign off to a superb start with a big win over Wenden.

Thanks to the efforts of the club's groundsman, the tie went ahead at the Anglo American Playing Fields, with Walden posting an impressive 237-1 in their 25 overs.

Harry Silverwood came out firing and scored a quickfire 68 before holing out to mid-off.

Cillian Harrison then showed his exceptional technique and concentration to anchor the innings and make an unbeaten 67, as Barney Hoyle (65 not out) helped accelerate to set a formidable target.

The bowlig attack showed great control in wet conditions to dismiss Wenden for 83 in 17 overs, with seven bowlers taking wickets.

Arthur Kettley (2-21) and Bobbie Thurston (2-6) nabbed braces as Walden look to maintain their fine form in the competition.

Semi-finalists in the past two years, they were finalists in 2017 and won the title in 2018 and chairman David Barrs said: "It's the highlight of a young cricketer playing in the three county cups that Essex offer and it's great to see all players enjoy their cricket so much.

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"We've invested heavily in our emerging players programme in the past few years and I'm proud of everyone in our academy and it's great to see so many go on and do so well.

"We're now seeing those who have played in this cup progress through to our senior teams. Young Alex Pierson is now playing in the best league in East Anglia with our first XI and we can offer a pathway for any young cricketers at any level.

"And those who want to use our links to Essex and Cambridgeshire too can do so."

Saffron Walden's senior teams suffered three losses for the second week running.

The firsts set a target of 262 against Copdock & Old Ipswichians thanks to Josh Down (76), Jade De Klerk (85) and Stan Leech, who hit 30 off 13 balls late on.

But the visitors took advantage of a weakened Walden attack as their top three all made half-centuries to set up victory with three overs to spare.

The seconds saw hosts Waresley post 251-5, with Cameron Taylor (3-43) and Kush Kumar (2-46) taking the only wickets to fall.

Luke Swanston (66) made his maiden half-century in reply but was the only batter to make impact as Walden came up 84 runs short.

Ray Mordini (78) and Jonny Brace (33) were the only third-team batters to get going against Newport, who made easy work of chasing down 185 thanks to openers James Hill (62) and George Dann (52).