Chris the He-Roe for Harpenden

Home Counties Premier League Division Two (East) Harpenden 102-1 beat Bishop s Stortford 100 by nine wickets FOR the past few weeks Harpenden firsts have been happily watching the progress of their new signings as they settle in at the club and start to f

Home Counties Premier League Division Two (East)

Harpenden 102-1 beat Bishop's Stortford 100 by nine wickets

FOR the past few weeks Harpenden firsts have been happily watching the progress of their new signings as they settle in at the club and start to form the nucleus of what looks to be a powerful side.

Ben Frazer, Nick Lamb and Brad Moses have all been tuning up nicely in the opening two league fixtures but in making it three wins out of three away to Bishop's Stortford it was an unsung hero that made the difference. Chris Roe (12-6-26-5) had been threatening a match winning performance with the ball since the season began and he was showered with praise as he cleaned up the opposition after finding a pitch that gave him just a little assistance.

David Doyle, the Harpenden director of cricket couldn't speak highly enough of strike bowler Roe who is usually happiest when staying out of the spotlight. "Roe was superb. He bowled up the hill and hit the Stortford ridge in an unbelievable effort of sustained pace and control. I've never seen him bowl better. Chris did a lot of work over the winter and now he's really fit and playing in a very good side and it's done a huge amount for his confidence". Stortford's innings of 100 all out in 33.2 overs was wrecked by Roe who was assisted with the usual excellent fielding display from his team-mates. David Keenleyside took two catches behind the stumps deputising for the absent Chris Bennett-Baggs whilst Frazer (5-2-8-2) and Moses (9.2-0-28-2) did the rest. Doyle enthused: "You have to come out and see how brilliant these guys are in the field. The next time we're at home on The Common I'd recommend that anyone comes down and watches us when we're fielding".

In the Harpenden reply Nick Lamb (five) fell at 32-1 but Brad Moses (70* in 80 balls) and Gregg Cooper (26* in 60) saw the team home in 27 overs and Doyle was quick to note the development in the strokeplay of the South African Moses in particular. Doyle said: "Brad is now getting used to the pace of the wickets over here and the quality of the bowling that he's up against. I'm looking forward to watching him bat for a long time this year".

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Doyle and captain Ben Frazer are well aware of who their big match winners are but they also know that there are other heroes in the Harpenden side ready to hit the high notes too.

l For Harpenden II Barney Francis (64* in 80 balls) steered his side home from a perilous 49-5 chasing Bishops Stortford II's below par 145-8 in 53 overs. Also new to the club this year but with previous experience playing for Hampstead in the Middlesex league, Francis played a controlled but hard hitting innings being severe on anything giving him width through the off side. Harpenden's top order had failed although this included a somewhat surprising five lbw decisions so it was the arrival of John Kerley (16) that helped Francis to add 35 for the sixth wicket and when Kerley was stumped in strode school-master Peter Makower to nudge a vital 2* from 20 balls to help Francis add the final 23 for victory.

In the first innings it had been Joe Peck (14-2-40-4) who had done much of the damage as Stortford struggled to come to terms with a purposeful bowling attack.

Justin Savio (1-19), Makower (1-34) and Kerley (2-46) all kept things tight as they put in a very useful shift in keeping the opposition down to a manageable score.

After the disappointment against Flitwick last week this was a return to some form and Harpenden II's are 10th in the current league table and looking up.

l Captain Simon Wade (112) scored a faultless century for the III in their league game against North Enfield and was well supported by Deshan Karunaratne (49) as the III's posted 258-8 in their innings at St. George's School. The school is renowned as a fast scoring ground that regularly sees high scores but North Enfield held out meekly for a draw with eight wickets down at the end.

l For Harpenden IV the chief destroyer was swing bowler Dave Robinson (8-2-11-4) although Berwin Petrie had a fine game with the gloves taking two outstanding catches. King's Langley II's were dismissed cheaply for 85 and these runs were made for the loss of only two wickets in reply.