Reed bounce back from defeat to see off Flitwick

Richard Wharton faces a delivery

Richard Wharton faces a delivery - Credit: Archant

Reed returned to winning ways in the Saracens Herts League Championship with a 68-run victory at third-placed Flitwick on Saturday.

Following last week’s Totteridge Millhillians defeat, the visitors were again in trouble early in their innings, but no.5 Chris Jackson’s eventual unbeaten 62 helped Reed to just shy of the 200 mark.

Flitwick never got going and despite Mark Umlauf’s middle order 32*, they barely got near to Reed’s end total as Hertfordshire prevailed over Bedfordshire.

Flitwick won an important toss and took advantage of the lively wicket and new ball, reducing Reed to 47-3 after 12 overs despite Rich Wharton’s 21.

The situation didn’t get much better for Reed when this became 73-5, with Australian quick bowler Jordan Leiman and Edward Sharpe each picking up two wickets for the home side.

Reed did recover to 112-5 before Tom Greaves fell for 21 just as he was starting to break free.

All this time Reed stalwart Jackson was superbly holding his side’s innings together, with the help of the lower order, for the second time this season with their total giving them slight hope.

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Reed needed early wickets and that is exactly what they got from the destructive Jack Tidey (10-2-26) who bowled with pace and accuracy.

Greaves was brought into the attack early by skipper James Heslam with the hope of removing danger man George Thurstance and when he duly obliged with a beautiful delivery well stumped by Wharton, Flitwick were in trouble at 34-3.

Although Reed had taken early wickets on what was now a decent batting surface and quickening outfield, the hosts probably remained favourites, particularly with the likes of minor counties player Jake Higginbotham at the crease.

However, Tidey had other ideas, removing the Beds batsman for just one.

At this point Flitwick tried to consolidate, but with accurate bowling from Greaves (10-1-31) and recent Village Cup hero Alex Mutucumarana (9-3-34), Reed put the squeeze on the home side and wickets fell gradually.

However, one more good spell with the ball from New Zealander Phil Lill (7-3-15) helped to finish off their high-flying opponents.

The tests of the Herts Championship continue for Reed on Saturday as they host 2nd placed Hoddesdon fresh from a busy winter of signings and then Langleybury in the area final of the National Village Cup on Sunday.