Reed's National Village Cup hopes ended in nail-biting finale
- Credit: HARRY HUBBARD
Reed's hopes of claiming a fourth National Village Cup triumph were sunk at the first time of asking.
After receiving a bye in round one of the Beds & Herts group, they were handed an away tie at Wheathampstead.
And they were left with bitter disappointment after being bowled out on the penultimate delivery, losing by just two runs.
Having lost the toss and been put into the field, Jack Caine caused mayhem with 5-33 while Karl Ward managed two wickets.
However, 53 in 73 balls from Sam Ledger as well as healthy contributions from Wheathampstead skipper Zeeshan Sialvi (38), Ross Martin (25) and Chris Martin (24) got the visitors up to 185-9 after their 40 overs.
Reed’s top six struggled for runs in reply, Robert Lankester's 19 leading the way, but 33 from number seven Richard Wharton and 45 not out from number 10 Toby Fynn dragged Reed to the brink of victory.
But Sam Sturley's delivery was eventually turned onto the stumps by Sialvi with skipper Matt Giblin short of the crease and Wheathampstead had the win.
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Reed also suffered defeat in the Herts Cricket League Championship, going down by eight wickets at Old Owens.
Sean Tidey's 52 prevented a score less than three figures but they were still all out for 105 and it took the hosts just 15 overs to get to their target.
There was at least some joy at the Blacksmith's Lane club as their U15s picked up a seven-run win away to Welwyn Garden City in the Hertfordshire Colts League.
Reed had won the toss and elected to bat and reached a defensible score of 146-4, partly down to a fine opening partnership between Jacob Vincent (42 off 29 balls) and Ollie Cambridge (18).
George Wood and Ollie Tapsell helped kick things on further with 21 and 16 and in reply Reed held WGC to just 18 runs in the opening five overs.
Callum Ricketts got the first wicket and was joined by Tapsell, Cambridge and a run out.
It got nervy towards the end though as Welwyn crept closer to the target and they needed 26 from the last three overs.
But Vincent and Jake Garner saw Reed home to a fine victory as Welwyn finished on 139-7.