Lord’s showdown in sight for Reed

Chris Jackson leads Reed into semi-final of National Village Cup

Yorkshire Tea National Village Cup

Quarter Final

Plumpton & East Chiltington 103

Reed 104-6

Reed won by four wickets

AFTER a momentous week which saw Reed lift the midweek Keatley Cup last Wednesday, and stride up their league towards a promotion place with another win on Saturday, they crowned it all with a win in their UK quarter-final clash in the Yorkshire Tea National Village Cup on Sunday.

Most Read

The Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire champions took on East Sussex winners Plumpton & East Chiltington in Sussex and came away from the south coast with a fine victory with seven overs to spare.

In front of a 400-plus crowd, Reed controlled the match from the very start with a dominant display in the field after Plumpton won the toss and chose to bat first.

In the face of a hostile opening bowling spell led by Lee Johnson (3-18) and Jack Tidey (2-37), the home side were never allowed to settle or build any sizeable partnerships. A magnificent one-handed catch at slip by Chris Jackson, and a marvellous direct hit run-out by William Heslam, typified the Reed control and dynamism in the field. 16-1 became 20-2, 40-3, 50-4 and then 51-5 as Reed strangled the Plumpton innings.

At 65-5 at the 20-overs halfway point the home team’s innings was deep in trouble. It never truly recovered as Mitchell Cooper (1-22), Kallum Ward (0-14), and Tom Greaves (3-8) maintained the Reed pressure and saw Plumpton dismissed for a below-par 103 in 38.3 overs. Extras of 28 accounted for over a quarter of the Plumpton total despite keeper Sean Tidey conceding only a single bye.

Chasing 104 to win the Reed innings got off to a very hesitant start and Heslam brothers James and William were dismissed cheaply, and when the dangerous Tom Greaves went for nine with the score at 24-3, Reed were wobbling.

However, the experienced pair of Jackson and Stuart Smith stood firm and put together what proved to be the match-winning partnership for Reed. With great application the pair took the score from 24-3 to 78-3 with a fine partnership of 54 that turned the match firmly in Reed’s favour, before Smith was bowled for a vital 21. Jackson, however, stood firm determined to stay at the crease and once again see Reed over the line.

The weather was now seeking to get involved as dark heavy clouds threatened the tie. Reed moved pinch hitter Jack Tidey up the order with instructions to ensure Reed’s run-rate was above their opposition’s should the match not be able to fully conclude. Jack complied with a huge six early on but at 87-4 after 29 overs the clouds opened up and the players had to leave the field.

Reed, however, had by then achieved their objective of leading on run rate and with only 17 needed to win, with six wickets in hand and 11 overs remaining, the tie was surely theirs.

Reed moved to 99 before Tidey was bowled for 11. Brother Sean replaced Jack but he fell lbw for 1 with the score at 100-6 with Reed now needing just four to win. Though Plumpton hoped for a miracle, the ever dependable Jackson saw Reed to victory with the game’s top score of 40*.

Celebrations followed late into the evening, and on the long coach journey home to Hertfordshire as the young Reed team had achieved a best ever club Village Cup performance by making it to the last four in the competition.

Reed will travel to face Dorset & Wiltshire champions Goatacre in the semi-final on Sunday, August 12, with another win taking them through to a final appearance at the home of cricket – Lord’s – on September 9.