Reed squeezed out in nail-biter

A NAIL-BITING finish saw an unlucky Reed crash to an eight-run defeat at Saracens League rivals Totteridge. Despite losing the toss and being asked to field, Reed openers Andrew Young (15-2-61-5) and Lee Johnson (7-0-28-0) bowled with discipline and conv

A NAIL-BITING finish saw an unlucky Reed crash to an eight-run defeat at Saracens League rivals Totteridge.

Despite losing the toss and being asked to field, Reed openers Andrew Young (15-2-61-5) and Lee Johnson (7-0-28-0) bowled with discipline and conviction.

Despite some early runs from A Hussain (17) and A Martins (23), Peter Tidey (15-4-40-2) drew first blood as he had Hussain sharply caught by Chris Jackson at short midwicket.

Young then ran through the top order to reduce the hosts to 91 for 7, thanks to another sharp catch from wicket keeper Marcus Martin who displayed astonishing control of his line and length.

The momentum was truly with Reed as Young bowled with venom and accuracy in his finest spell of the season.

Teaming up with Reed veteran Peter Tidey, the pair dried Totteridge's run rate, as the pressure mounted on the hosts.

Most Read

S Bunyard (50) managed to bolster the score with a handful of lusty blows.

Bernie Morse (6.2-0-22-2) came into the attack with his left arm spinners - despite suffering some punishing shots he made a valuable breakthrough having Pyrke caught by Tidey at point.

William Clarke (3-1-10-1) then had Saddiqui caught thanks to a brilliant catch by captain James Heslam, and in the subsequent over, Morse struck again as Joe Curk caught Bunyard on the long off boundary dismissing Totteridge to 173 off 45.2 overs.

Reed set about their reply with vigour as Baz Curtis (42) and James Heslam (15) took the attack the hosts with some punishing strokes off left armed fast bowler Suttaria (12-3-48-4) and spinner W Summerville (18.5-5-55-3) to take the score to 46 for 0.

However, when Heslam, Curtis, C Jackson (6) and Joe Curk (56) were all dismissed in quick succession, notably off A Blinco (10-2-36-3).

Despite inching to 141 for 3, quick wickets re-applied pressure to Reed, in which final pair Tom Fulk (22) and Peter Tidey (9 not out) were unable to dissipate, as Reed were dismissed an agonising eight runs short of the total to award the hosts 30 points.

However, it was not a disaster for Reed as they walked away with 12 points.

Captain James Heslam said: "It was disappointing for us, that despite our bowlers working hard on a decent wicket to dismiss Totteridge, our batsmen couldn't sustain the momentum and press home our first win.

"I was delighted by Andy Young's disciplined spell and our great fielding performance that backed up all our bowlers."

REED seconds stormed to the top of Saracens League Division Seven with a superb 10-wicket victory over the high-flying Northwood Town.

Northwood won the toss and it came as no surprise as they elected to bat on another delightful deck at The Green.

The decision appeared to have backfired however, as Graham Wilson and Richard Johnson soon had them reeling at 35 for 3.

Town skipper Phil Carter then set about rectifying the damage and with Cotton, put on 70 until Emms had the latter bowled.

Carter was a thorn in the Reed side though, cashing in on an early drop to reach his 50, before King had him well caught behind by Robertson.

With plenty of overs left and the score on 170 for 5, skipper Jason Archer brought himself into the attack alongside Johnson and the pair removed Town's last five batsmen for just 11 runs.

The captain finished with 4 for 7 off six overs, with the Northwood total of 181 appearing 50 short of a challenging target.

And Reed's opening partnership of Fergus Martin and Mark King was fantastic, with the young Martin the perfect foil for the swashbuckling King.

Martin embedded himself rotating the strike as King stroked the ball delightfully to all parts of the ground.

The 50 partnership was reached in the 15th over, the 100 partnership in the 25th and the total of 182 required was reached on the last ball of the 32 over.

Reed celebrated a decisive 10-wicket victory, with Martin 42 not out, and King 130 not out, with the latter's innings an absolute delight to watch.

Skipper Jason Archer said: "What a performance against the previous league leaders. We had a sticky patch when we were looking for the fourth wicket, but we recovered and as soon as we did we took our chance. "Fergus was excellent, but Mark King's innings was full of superlatives. If we can keep up this level of performance we will definitely find ourselves in the promotion shake up."

THE newly formed Barley seconds travelled to Barrington with a mixture of youth and experience on Saturday.

With skipper Phillip George unavailable, veteran Eddie Collins captained the side and after winning the toss inserted Barrington into bat.

Accurate bowling from 15-year-old Ben Jackson (1 for 15 of 8 overs) and 62-year-old Collins (2 for 16 off 7 overs) kept the score in check early on, but useful middle order contributions from Baker 28 and Lees 29 turned things Barrington's favour.

Craig Jackson picked up three wickets for 40 runs and a terrific spell of bowling from James Hopkinson-Hughes produced 1 for 8 from 5 overs.

The other highlight of the innings was a great diving catch from young

William Heslam as Barrington closed on 156 for 8.

With the wicket becoming increasingly unpredictable, Barley's innings stuttered from the start, with only a patient 17 from Phil Hastings making an impression.

The younger players found batting difficult and with the experienced Jerry Carlisle and John Heslam both falling cheaply, Barley slumped to 60 for 7.

A spirited unbeaten 23 from Collins coming in at No 9 gave the score a little more respectability as the innings closed on 99 all out as Barrington took a deserved 20 points.

AFTER the successes of the first and junior teams, Royston seconds completed a memorable weekend with an impressive away win at Bottisham and Lode seconds.

Although Royston were made to work hard in the early stages, the combination of tenacity and talent that had come so agonisingly close to bringing victory in their first match proved more than enough to see The Crows home.

It took a lucky wicket to set the ball rolling, a full toss from 14-year-old Neil Addison, which forced an error from Bottisham opener Beardsmore (21) after he and Graham Darling had seized early control of the match. Beardsmore skewed the ball for a straight forward catch in the covers, and there after the visitors were in charge.

Royston captain Dave Isherwood removed the dangerous Darling for 39 and his typically economical spell (8-2-20-3) helped slow the run rate down.

Jon Harper (3-2-7-2) and his 13-year-old son Bonham (3-2-3-1), bowling his first overs in adult cricket helped slam the brakes on even further as Bottisham were bowled out for 141.

It was the turn of the third Harper in the team, Bonham's older brother Rory, 14, to star next and he starred in an opening partnership with Isherwood and taking the game out of Bottisham's reach.

When the captain departed for 26, Naveed Ahmad lashed a quick-fire 43, while Rory finished with 35 - his highest score in adult cricket. With Graham Darling the only Bottisham bowler to offer any real threat, the result never looked in doubt.

Another teenager, Sam Montague-Fuller (9 not out) was there at the death, as all-rounder and stand-in vice-captain Safwan Akram hit an enormous six out to seal the deserved five-wicket win.

With a number of key players unavailable or deputising for absent first teamers - Isherwood's side showed a lot of promise, with the majority of the team under 18.

CAPTAIN Evan Goldman led Royston Colts under-10s to an 18-run victory in their opening game with Thriplow.

Batting first an inexperienced Royston finished on an impressive 303 with Oscar Ayliffe and Goldman accumulating the majority of the runs as the Colts lost just two wickets.

In reply Thriplow lost five wickets, with Connor Little giving Royston some particularly tight bowling. Excellent fielding was also witnessed with James May making a brilliant catch at mid off, while wicket keeper Bradley Casling made a valuable debut.

The under-10s' winning streak continued with a superb 96-run victory against Granta B.

Again, batting first, Royston made a good start as May hit three fours before he was cruelly run out. Steady progress followed with Little amassing a well-worked 14, before Ben Seabrook came in and struck a rapid 26 that included two sixes and two fours as Royston finished on 307 for 5.

Ryan Judge, May, Goldman and Ayliffe offered more tight bowling spells, with Tim Banks taking a sparkling catch at square leg. The match was soon put beyond Granta's reach with Seabrook nabbing a well-taken hat-trick in his first over.

The under-15s also started their league season with a bang, following a confident win at Cambridge NCI.

Adam Wright (35), Neil Addison (20) and Jon Brain with an unbeaten knock of 30 all contributed to the Royston total of 135 for 4 from their 20 overs.

Some impressive bowling from the Royston team followed and as a result Cambridge never really threatened with Philip Hall's vital opening four overs for five runs playing a large part in the Colts' win.