Thriplow’s promotion hopes take a tumble

THRIPLOW found their promotion hopes dented by a 32 run loss at Balsham on Saturday. The home side started strongly, and it took only nine overs for them to reach the 50 mark, but they were eventually limited to 234-8. Dickon Turner led the visitors bow

THRIPLOW found their promotion hopes dented by a 32 run loss at Balsham on Saturday.

The home side started strongly, and it took only nine overs for them to reach the 50 mark, but they were eventually limited to 234-8.

Dickon Turner led the visitors' bowling with 4-71 off 12 overs, and was well supported by Matt Ayre (8-1-33-2), Nathan Sugden (7-0-56-1) and Chris Neild (12-3-37-0).

Chasing a total that was about 50 more than they had ideally wanted to, Thriplow were still confident that with a fast outfield, a good start would see them through.

Martin Craze began confidently with an early boundary, but Walker fell early and Chris Viner laboured uncharacteristically for 10 overs to reach four runs and it was not until the 20th over that the 50 came up.

Craze fell for 33 and. Matt Ayre then launched himself down the pitch too soon to leg spinner Daniels to be stumped for two and at 72-4 things looked bleak.

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Over the next few overs all went to plan as the ball began to disappear to all corners before Smith fell for 34.

Veteran opener Turner then joined Martin Craze, and the pair hit enough boundaries to give Balsham skipper De'ath nagging concerns.

The look he got from his team when he dropped Craze at long off showed he had a lot to learn from his Thriplow counterpart, who had directed affairs from the safety of short fine leg for much of the earlier innings.

But at 178, Turner (21) missed a flick to leg and was bowled and in the next over Craze (67) missed Stanley's penultimate delivery.

Neild and Andy Morris swished a few to keep the dream alive but they soon perished and Thriplow's only consolation was that they reached 202 and gained maximum batting points.

Thriplow II made it five wins on the spin with a comprehensive victory over Cambridge Granta V Visitors Thriplow won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bat first. All was not plain sailing however, and Thriplow found themselves in trouble early on in the face of a tight opening spell from Granta's Waring and Brookman.

John Deed got off the mark with a four through mid-wicket but was then caught plumb in front of his stumps next ball to be judged lbw.

Ali King was bowled for a duck as Thirplow slumped to 13-2, but Cameron Selkirk joined Jon Goodacre in the middle, and this pairing set about rebuilding the innings.

Runs were beginning to flow at more than six an over when Selkirk was unfortunately injured, jarring his shoulder while recovering his ground following an attempted quick single, and was forced to retire on 53.

Ken Ayre joined Goodacre and quick singles dried up, the scoring slowed for a while and the home team must have felt that they were back in the match when they dismissed Goodacre for 28 in the 28th over with the score on 118.

An injection of aggression was called for and it came in the guise of Jeremy Tuck who blasted a rapid 38. Ayre upped the tempo at the other end and remained unbeaten on a splendid 46 at the close of the innings to allow Thriplow to set a target of 215 for victory.

Granta's openers needed a good start but it was the opening bowlers who instead, effectively took the match away from the home team.

King bowled a splendid, miserly 10 overs for only 16 runs while removing two batsmen. Dabnor, at the other end, maintained the pressure without taking a deserved wicket and, at the half way stage, Granta were pegged back at 46-2 and in need of a small miracle.

With more than eight-an-over required, Granta had to push on but they found the task beyond them thanks to an excellent bowling performance by Thriplow's change bowlers.

Tuck (2-16) bowled his best spell in a long time, wily Ayre and Richie Turner shared identical figures of 2-23 and Dave Osborne (2-12) all proved to be too much for the batsmen and Thriplow finished winners by 94 runs.

Logan Newman's 30 in his last Saturday game for Baldock was not enough to prevent them slipping to a six wicket defeat against Hatfield Hyde.

A disappointing batting performance saw only Alistair Jones (22) and Adam Taylor (28) join Newman in gaining dcent scores as Baldock were skittled out for 109 in the 42nd over. Tim Dean finished with 3-27, but Hyde wrapped up victory in the 39th over.

The following day saw Nick Blenkin hit 49 as Baldock gained a vital North Herts League win againt Breachwood Green at Avenue Park.

The home side reached 164-6 off their 40 overs, with Ranjit Rayat adding a stylish 33, and 4-16 from Alistair Jones helped dismiss for the visitors for 81 in just 20.5 overs.

Baldock II moved up to third place in division ten with a thrilling victory against Boxmoor II, winning by four wickets with three overs to spare after restricting their opponents to 233-7 on a superb batting track.

Baldock were always up with the run-rate, and Duncan Lewis (25) batted well with Pete Tily to ensure they still had a chance.

Tily was eventually dismissed for an outstanding 59, leaving Baldock on 178-5 from 39 overs, but an unbeaten 36 from Lewis gave the Avenue Park side victory.