Winless Reed in Lever-never land!

REED are still looking for their first Herts League victory of the season despite taking 16 points from their home game against Leverstock Green on Saturday. Desperate to register their first win of the campaign, vice captain James Heslam elected to bat.

REED are still looking for their first Herts League victory of the season despite taking 16 points from their home game against Leverstock Green on Saturday.

Desperate to register their first win of the campaign, vice captain James Heslam elected to bat.

Leading Reed in his first game of the year while Simon Jackson attended a wedding, he personally saw an end to his gloomy form as he struck a useful 25 to establish a platform for Reed, after opener Baz Curtis (8) fell early in his innings to a close catch by the wicket keeper.

The Green attack toiled hard on a pitch offering little assistance, and were further frustrated by Chris Jackson's imperious stroke-play that led him to a scintillating 110.

Supported by Tom Fulk (88 not out), who in his own right batted with poise and concentration, the pair took the game away from Leverstock to register a resounding declared total of 254-4 off 51 overs.

Reed were confident, with the bowling that they had, to defend their total on a flat wicket, and this viewpoint was upheld as Chris Jackson, bucking the trend on his recent catching form, surprisingly held on to a low catch at mid-wicket from Peter Tidey's bowling (10-3-39-1) to reduce the team to 9-1.

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But this allowed M Craft (49) and D Plamenac (30) to the wicket, who forged a solid partnership that threatened to raise the run rate to a dangerous level for Reed.

It took a penetrative and accurate spell from William Clarke (11-2-43-1)) to bowl Plamenac and allow Reed an inlet into the opposition's core.

In an effective bowling partnership, Clarke and Emms(9-2-27-2) stemmed the run haemorrhage, applying pressure to Leverstock Green.

This forced some false strokes from the batsmen, allowing Emms to remove the dangerous Craft and new player Labaschana.

Once the middle order was opened, this gave a chance to Chris Jackson (4-0-11-1) to steal a late wicket, and also Andy Young (14-3-52-1) to take his first League wicket for Reed in a pacy and fiery final spell up the hill.

The visitors finally ended on 195-6 off their 49 overs.

Although both sides walked away with similar points, Reed CC with 16 and Leverstock Green with 14, it represented a gathering of momentum for Reed, who have registered two consecutive winning draws over the past two full league games.

Reed II resumed their Saracens Herts League Division Seven campaign, with a hard-fought draw away at table-topping Broxbourne on Saturday.

With the sun finally making an appearance, after two weeks of incessant rain, Reed lost the toss and were forced to field under cloudless skies.

On a wicket reminiscent of Reed's own track, it was always going to take something special to make an early breakthrough, and Matt Bowles provided it.

A rank long hop from Martin was dispatched with great power and aplomb by opener Wilkins, only for Bowles to leap and pluck the rocketing ball one handed and at full stretch out of the air.

The next wicket seemed to take an eternity to arrive. Archer relieved the opening pair of Ward and Martin, who despite their youth seemed to toil in the relative heat.

It was the introduction of Archer himself and Robertson that proved decisive.

With Robertson bowling 14 overs of tidy swing and off cutters that started to restrict the scoring, this left Archer who seemed a yard quicker than the others on show to bag 3 -7 off six overs, before Danny Champion and Richard Robertson both picked up deserved wickets, and along with a run out, restricted Broxbourne to 227-7 - a seemingly large total, but given the ideal batting conditions, not an unachievable target.

Reed started strongly, with 47 runs on the board before Ian Fulk fell for 28. Matt Bowles (21), Richard Robertson (13) and Richard Poole (44) all kept the score ticking over before each fell, looking to accelerate.

The overs were ticking down as Karl Ward (31 not out) and Archer took Reed to within site of maximum batting points and perhaps victory, before Archer was yorked by Bailey (5-54), thus ending Reed's run chase.

Champion and Ward then settled for the draw, with Reed finishing only 34 short, despite having four fewer overs than the opposition.

Captain Archer said: "We chased the total all the way, and the guys were disappointed not to win, but it was important not to let Broxbourne get too far ahead by giving them all 30 points, so I was pleased with the sensible way Karl and Danny batted towards the end."

Reed III moved up to second spot in the Herts League Division II with a 117-run victory at Bentley Heath II, thanks mainly to a superb bowling spell from Alan Ward

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Reed put on 201-9, with good contributions from Peter Baker (25), Rob Willoughby (29)and Mas Naeem (33).

Alan Ward looked comfortable at the crease until he forgot his age and went for a quick single and was run out on 38.

Kieran Ward (23 not out) and Clive Collins saw Reed through their full 53 overs, finishing on a very respectable 201.

Bentley Heath, requiring four runs an over, got off to a good start. The two young Reed opening bowlers Kieran Ward (0-33) and Marcus Baker (1-20) bowled well but made little impact on the Bentley batsman.

It was the introduction of the Clive Collins (2-9) and Ward that made the difference. Bentley found runs hard to get and started to take chances in an effort to keep the run chase alive.

This was their undoing, as they collapsed from 72-2 to 84 all out in 32.3 overs, Ward taking an unlikely 5-1 in a devastating five-over spell to wrap up the victory.