Reed turn on the power

PUBLISHED: 18:56 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 11 May 2010

KEATLEY CUP CRICKET FINAL. REED CC CAPTAIN JAMES HESLAM PICKS UP THE KEATLEY CUP FROM ROYSTON CHAIRMAN SIMON SEABROOK.

KEATLEY CUP CRICKET FINAL. REED CC CAPTAIN JAMES HESLAM PICKS UP THE KEATLEY CUP FROM ROYSTON CHAIRMAN SIMON SEABROOK.

REED skipper James Heslam s dream of Lord s is still alive after the club s latest success in the npower National Village Cup. The Saracens Herts Cricket League Division One side is the toast of the county after being crowned Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire

REED skipper James Heslam's dream of Lord's is still alive after the club's latest success in the npower National Village Cup.

The Saracens Herts Cricket League Division One side is the toast of the county after being crowned Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire champions on Sunday.

A five-wicket win over Eversholt booked Heslam's men a place in the national stages of the prestigious competition, which now leaves them just four games away from the grand final at Lord's.

Heslam, who hit a brilliant 96 in the victory told The Crow: "It was quite a close game, especially after they got a good total on the board, which was tough for us to chase.

"But we responded well and got the job done. I'm absolutely delighted!"

Batting first, Eversholt set a challenging run rate, despite losing two early wickets to Richard Johnson and the evergreen Peter Tidey.

A 91-run partnership between Muzawazi and Litchfield increased the tempo, and at 177 for 3 the hosts looked well placed.

However, some excellent play in the field, added to the off-spin bowling of Chris Jackson (3 for 55) and the cunning medium pace of Jason Archer, limited the free-hitting Eversholt to 230 for 9 from their 40 overs.

Reed then shot off in express mode, with a cameo 28 from Baz Curtis getting the visitors off to a commanding start.

Heslam led by example and his 96 set the tone for a determined Reed performance.

Chris Jackson (31), Phil Frenay (21) and an unbeaten 23 from Tom Fulk saw the visitors deservedly home and through to the national knockouts with 13 balls to spare.

Reed, who reached this stage of the competition in 2006, will now face the winner of the Buckinghamshire Area Final, Bledlow Village at home on Sunday, June 29.

Heslam said: "It's an interesting one, because two years ago we were knocked out at the same stage by Bledlow Ridge.

"We're all looking forward to the game and I'm sure we will give a good account of ourselves.

"There's been a bit of talk about the final, but I think we just need to take one step at a time.

"But at this stage of the competition anything can happen."

Twenty years ago, Reed did reach the quarter-finals of the competition, the furthest in the club's history.

Heslam added: "To go that far would be unbelievable.

"It's then that you can really start dreaming about the final."

nOn Saturday Reed lost by nine wickets to St Albans, after making a modest 128 for 8.

This weekend they face a trip Dunstable, where Heslam will be hoping his team cam bounce back from the defeat.

He said: "We haven't been doing too well in the league, and the Village Cup has been a nice distraction.

"But we do need to pick up some points. And hopefully we can do that on Saturday.

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