Battling qualities please Lamb

Harpenden skipper pleased with his own form as well

HARPENDEN captain Nick Lamb believes the battling qualities his side showed in securing a draw at local rivals Welwyn GC on Saturday displays how far the team has improved over the winter.

Faced with a daunting target of 307 for victory Lamb’s side came close to an unlikely triumph before a flurry of late wickets meant they had to dig in for a draw a result Lamb admitted the team probably wouldn’t have got 12 months ago.

“I think last year with the youth in the side we would have probably struggled a bit and probably been bowled out,” Lamb told the Herts Advertiser.

“It was nice to see the guys at the top dig and it was great to have Jon Ryan sticking with me at the end, really showing some strength of character and hopefully we can build on that.”

The 25-year-old admitted his team hadn’t produced their best in the field but said he was pleased with the effort they gave in trying to force a positive outcome.

“We possibly didn’t bowl and field as well as we wanted to having won the toss,” he said.

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“You’ve got to give it to them, James Hewitt and Nick Walker, two ex-first class players batted really, really well and showed their class.

“It was good the boys stuck to it at the end and unfortunately we fell short at the end but I thought we gave it a good go.

“We weren’t really focussing on the target as a whole, we just broke it down, get to 100 get to 200, obviously it’s quite a big target when you think of it in that sort of sense but we were on to it really well when Fraze (Ben Frazer) and I were going at one point we only needed 150 and when you look at it at that we were on for a win. Unfortunately we lost a few wickets at the end and we had no other option but to block out for the draw.”

That Harpenden were successful in avoiding defeat was thanks to an excellent captain’s innings of 119 from Lamb, maintaining his good early season form and the captain believes moving to number three has helped him in his quest for runs.

“I’m really enjoying it and it’s good to be scoring some runs,” said Lamb.

“I didn’t score as many as I would have liked to last year and this year, as captain, I’m trying to take that responsibility in trying to score as many as possible.

I’m hitting them quite nicely and all the boys at the top of the order are.”

Speaking about his move from opening to number three Lamb added: “It just gives me that extra bit of time having bowled and going straight out and opening you don’t get the chance to stop and think. The move to three has been a good one and I just hope it stays that way.”

Early season pacesetters Banbury are the visitors to The Common this Saturday and after two draws from their opening fixtures Lamb is targeting his first league win as captain.

He said: “We’ve had two draws in the league and good draws because I think we’ve played quite well and it’s just important when we play Banbury next week that we try and push for the win and do that little bit extra to try and get the result.”