Reed face relegation battle

PUBLISHED: 18:36 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:50 11 May 2010

REED slipped into the relegation battle on Saturday as they fell to a disappointing 74-run defeat at St Margaretsbury. Electing to bat first, the hosts started strongly, before Will Clarke (1 for 30) made an encouraging breakthrough by taking the wicket

REED slipped into the relegation battle on Saturday as they fell to a disappointing 74-run defeat at St Margaretsbury.

Electing to bat first, the hosts started strongly, before Will Clarke (1 for 30) made an encouraging breakthrough by taking the wicket of Scarborough.

And when Livermore soon followed, as the first of Andy Young's five wicket, the visitors looked well placed, with two further wickets falling in the next five overs to leave the hosts on 69 for 4.

An enforced rain break resulted in the loss of 10 overs, and following the re-start St Margaretsbury began to find their feet once more with Simon and Giles Tilbury building a 71-run partnership.

When they were dismissed by Young and Bernie Morrs respectively, the pressure began to tell and the hosts ended their 48 overs on 157 for 9.

However, Reed's reply began poorly, as Will Dobson was run out for a first ball duck as Giles and Oliver Tilbury quickly reduced the visitors to 24 for 4.

An injury to Giles Tilbury brought the lively left-arm medium pace of Joe Anthony into the attack, and as a result Chris Jackson fell for 17, as Reed quickly slumped to 42 for 8.

Simon Jackson then set anchor and with both Bernie Morrs and Andy Young nearly managed to dig Reed out of trouble. However, Anstead ended Morrs' resistance for 6 and Anthony returned to claim his fifth wicket bowling Jackson for a dogged 23.

In the end Reed were just 27 balls away from an unlikely draw, but they ended proceedings on 83 all out.

Despite a disappointing league placing, Reed will take much confidence from the thought they now face four consecutive home games, with mid-table Berkhampsted at The Green on Saturday.

Reed captain James Heslam: "It wasn't a good result, that's for sure. To be honest, I thought we bowled and fielded well enough, but our batting just fell apart.

"It was probably the worst total in a long time, as we've batted consistently well for the past two seasons. But it happens.

"However, we've got a chance to turn things around with four straight home games.

"The home advantage seems to serve us fairly well, and with five games to go there is still plenty to play for.

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