Coote leads title charge

PUBLISHED: 11:43 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 14:47 12 May 2010

Matt Bowles plays and misses during Reed II’s match against Ware and hears the sound of tumbling stumps

Matt Bowles plays and misses during Reed II’s match against Ware and hears the sound of tumbling stumps

BUNTINGFORD went top of the Herts & Essex League Division with a comfortable victory at Willingale. After four promotions in five seasons, they are three games from lifting the league title. Late-morning showers had left the pitch on the wet side, but wi

BUNTINGFORD went top of the Herts & Essex League Division with a comfortable victory at Willingale.

After four promotions in five seasons, they are three games from lifting the league title.

Late-morning showers had left the pitch on the wet side, but with both teams keen to get the match played and the strong wind drying the pitch, it was agreed that, with time elapsed, a 26-over game was possible.

Willingale were put in to bat and they made 120-6 from their 26 overs. Opener Clifford top-scored with 26 and he and Read (23) were the only batsmen to come to terms with the difficult conditions.

All six wickets that fell were caught, including two by wicketkeeper Martin Coote and two difficult chances by skipper Barry Walker.

Dixon bowled his six overs for 17 runs, while Pearce (2-25), Duff (2-26) and Paola (2-31) were tight and consistant for Buntingford.

Buntingford made light work of the task, with Martin Coote hitting a quickfire 51 and Chris Chambers finishing off the job with 38 not out.

They reached their winning target after 20 overs, ending on 122-2. They are now four points clear at the top of the table and travel to Bishop's Stortford on Saturday to play strugglers Hockerill, while second-placed Takeley face another relegation-threatened side, Farnham.

There was less good news for Buntintgford II as their outside chance of promotion was ended by an eight-wicket loss against neighbours Westmill.

With rain falling on and off all morning, the chances of the game being played looked poor. However, the rain relented at about 2pm and with both teams keen to play, it was agreed that, due to time lost, the game should be reduced to 40 overs each.

Put in to bat, Buntingford made steady progress and had reached 40 from 10 overs before skipper Neil Dookheran was caught down the leg side by the keeper for 26.

Steve Baker then came in to join young colt Mike Townsend and together they shared a century stand before Baker was bowled for 41.

Townsend was then run out for a fine 62 and Chris Goldie hit a lusty 14 from eight balls to see Buntingford finish on 166-5.

In reply, Westmill had a shock, losing Monck for a duck with the score on six. However, that was to be the end of the Buntingford success for a long time.

Riggs joined Beedell and they shared a stand of 131 in just 20 overs, to put Westmill within sight of the finishing line.

With the score on 137-1, Beedell was bowled by Atkins for a splendid 63.

Adam Amos then joined Riggs and together they saw Westmill to a winning score of 167-2 in just 25 overs. Riggs finished unbeaten on 72.

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