Banks and Rogers put Preston to the sword

Flamstead make it five wins on the trot

SHL Division Six

Flamstead 263–7

Preston II 180

FLAMSTEAD visited the picturesque ground at Preston on Saturday for the first time and came away with their fifth consecutive win. Having lost the opening three league matches of the season Flamstead are now on a roll and moved up to seventh in the table, 20 points behind Chorleywood II who are in the fourth promotion place.

Skipper, Andy Taylor, had no hesitation in deciding to bat first on the hottest Saturday of the summer and giving his top order a chance to forget the previous two week’s poor starts when they found themselves 44-6 and 38-6.

Flamstead soon lost their first wicket when James Clark (3) drove at a wide delivery and was caught behind with just three on the board.

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Taylor was then joined by Gordon Banks, one of the heroes from the previous week’s victory over Welwyn Garden City III. Banks got the innings moving by starting off with five 4s and with Russell bowling 13 wides in the 10th over Flamstead were on a comfortable 48-1 after 10 overs.

With Taylor also getting going the score started to build and the hundred came up after 26 overs. Both Taylor and Banks were now hitting plenty of boundaries and the next 50 runs only took 7.3 overs. Having put together an excellent stand of 159 Taylor was the first to fall, caught behind off the leg spin of Gallimore, for 70 including 11 4s.

Banks (77 including 12 fours) soon followed with the score on 180, hitting across the line at a straight ball from Gallimore. Josh Rose was promoted as usual and after his two previous week’s scores of 71* and 84 he was soon finding the boundary. Having hit two 6s and two 4s Rose (21) was caught at deep mid-off after just 2.1 overs with the score on 208.

With 11 overs still to bat Flamstead wanted another quick fifty runs so they could declare early. The middle order duly obliged and even though Flamstead lost three more wickets Matt Brown (12) and David Oswin (16*) scored quickly enabling an early declaration after 50 overs with 263 on the board.

Flamstead started with the old ball and the spin of Jack Smith and medium pace of Tim Wilkinson but after just eight overs and not a lot happening skipper, Andy Taylor, decided to switch tactics and gave the new ball to Twiggy Rogers and Josh Rose. This change soon brought the first wicket as Rogers had Burleigh (16) caught behind by Oswin with the score on 42. Fifteen runs later Rose struck having the number three caught at mid-wicket by Taylor for a duck.

Harrington-Smith (61) and Gallimore (54) got the Preston innings back on track and having got the score up to a hundred Rogers knocked Harrington-Smith’s off stump out of the ground. Two balls later Murrell was run out without facing a ball thanks to a good piece of fielding from Banks in the covers.

With Flamstead then starting to spill catches and Gallimore finding the boundary Preston were still up with the run rate. Twiggy Rogers got two wickets without the help of his fielders and bowled both the numbers six and seven leaving Preston struggling on 149-6. The off spin of Jack Smith was then brought back into the attack and he soon claimed an lbw and with Rogers removing the dangerous Gallimore, thanks to a sharp catch in the gully by Martin Lindley, the Preston innings was in trouble at 169-8. Rogers soon picked up his sixth wicket and with Rose bowling the number 11 Flamstead had won by 83 runs with seven and a half overs to spare.

With five wins on the trot skipper, Andy Taylor, was very pleased especially as the top order had batted properly not like in the previous two week’s displays. “We showed today that we can put together a decent total without having to rely on Josh Rose to get us out of trouble,” he said.

“Gordon again batted well and with Twiggy Rogers bowling fast and straight he thoroughly deserved his 6-70. The only downside today was our catching. You cannot afford to drop half a dozen chances especially against the likes of Old Cholmeleians II who we play next week. They are just 16 points above us in sixth place so it will be a really hard and interesting game.”