Reed join Foxton in national rounds of the 2016 Village Cup

James Heslam bats for Reed

James Heslam bats for Reed - Credit: Archant

Reed and Foxton are just three respective National Village Cup victories from a potential semi-final showdown after the former defeated Long Marston in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire regional final on Sunday.

With last year’s finalists Foxton having secured their place in the national rounds with victory over Fordham seven days prior it was the turn of Reed to confirm their spot in the last 32 of the competition which culminates at Lord’s on September 4.

Having won the toss, Marston skipper Lee Beesley chose to bat on what looked like a belter of a wicket.

With the score at 22, Karl Ward made the breakthrough, dismissing Matthew Wareham for 11.

Beesley walked to the crease and settled down quickly, putting bad balls to the boundary and ticking the scoreboard along with opener Simon Butler at the other end supporting.

Marston continued to dominate and at the halfway stage they had made it to 80-1.

After drinks a double bowling change was made with Sean Tidey (9-2-45-4) and Reece Fitzgerald (8-0-23-3) bowling beautifully in tandem.

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It was Fitzgerald who broke the partnership, with Butler (48) smartly caught at mid-wicket by Greaves.

That wicket proved to be a turning point as Long Marston went from 108-1 to 132-6 with Tidey delivering several meaty blows.

Meanwhile Beesley had passed 50 and was now looking to farm the strike.

In the 36th over Beesley’s resistance gave up on 61 as he hit Greaves (8.2-0-24-1) down to Tidey at long-on who held the catch.

Another wicket for Fitzgerald and a run-out followed and Marston were all out for 153 in 39 overs.

Reed knew a run-rate of less than four an over would be enough to see them progress.

Brothers James and Will Heslam opened the batting, with Will in particular looked in fine form, hitting two huge sixes, before he was given out LBW for 24.

With the score on 37, Richard Wharton appeared and began to fire.

James meanwhile knuckled down and ground his way to 35 when he started to really open his shoulders.

Both batsman stuck the ball beautifully to the boundary and there was little Marston could do but watch.

It took Reed just 29 overs to knock off the 153. James Heslam finishing 75 not out and Wharton 51 not out.

This Sunday, Reed host former finalists Findon, from West Sussex, while Foxton travel to Mayfield.