Gallery: Reed Lord's dream lives on

THE last 16 of the npower National Village Cup awaits Reed with their march on Lord s firmly on track. On Sunday Buckinghamshire champions Bledlow Ridge were Reed s latest victims, as club captain James Heslam set the tone by blasting a brilliant 99 on

THE last 16 of the npower National Village Cup awaits Reed with their march on Lord's firmly on track.

On Sunday Buckinghamshire champions Bledlow Ridge were Reed's latest victims, as club captain James Heslam set the tone by blasting a brilliant 99 on the way to a 178-run victory.

It was a determined performance by the hosts, who have saved some of their best performances for the Village Cup.

Heslam told The Crow: "It was a fantastic win, and all round we played very well. It was as comfortable as these games can be, but after getting off to such a good start, we never really let them get going."


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Having lost the toss, Heslam's side were asked to bat, and that proved a costly decision as Reed advanced to 280 for 6 off their 40 overs, marked by a thumping 49 from Baz Curtis, a near century from Heslam, and a well-taken 70 from Chris Jackson, who alongside his skipper shared a partnership of 126.

Heslam was the star performer, and when he eventually fell, Phil Frenay (2), Richard Johnson (16) and Karl Ward (20 not out) all entered the fray, and in turn supported Jackson.

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When the impressive Chris Jackson was dismissed, Simon Jackson (10) and Marcus Martin (5 not out) came in and added a valuable late stand.

With a challenging score to chase, the pressure was on for Bledlow, and the probing bowling of Peter Tidey and Andy Young certainly made life uncomfortable. Between them they removed the top six visiting batsmen and Bledlow were faltering on 58 for 6.

William Clarke then injected some added pace and he quickly removed Sherly who was caught at mid-on by Heslam, who then followed up with a sharp run out with a direct hit, as Bledlow were reduced to 88 for 9. Richard Johnson then ended proceedings with a clever delivery and the visitors were all out for 102 off 25.4 overs.

Heslam said: "It was certainly one of our best performances. Bledlow were quite a good side, so we'll take a lot of confidence from this result. We batted superbly, bowled with control, and fielded flawlessly."

Reed will now visit Essex champions High Roding, on Sunday, July 13.

Heslam said: "It feels good to get this far and hopefully we can keep our momentum going. In getting this far every game is going to be a challenge."

If successful, Reed will equal the furthest they have ever reached in the competition, having reached the quarter finals in 1998.

And they are now just three games away from a prestigious Lord's final.

But Heslam added: "Perhaps if we reach the quarter final we can then start thinking about it a bit more. Until then we have to remain focussed.

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