Colney notch second win of the year

London Colney recorded their second win of the season beating Eversholt by three wickets

Scott Hadley’s London Colney side secured their second victory of the 2010 season following a stuttering run chase against Eversholt. Having won the toss for the fourth consecutive game, Hadley (much to the consternation of some of his team mates) chose to field on a day on which temperatures approached 30 degrees Celsius.

Eversholt began their innings brightly, with Colney paceman Andy Cole struggling for rhythm and Uzman Zaman bowling economically, but without any real menace, the visitors progressed swiftly at five runs and over for the first 11 overs.

In the rising temperatures, Hadley was quick to make bowling changes and the introduction of David Goff and Matt Bristow quickly delivered wickets and a reduction in the scoring rate.

Goff was first strike, removing the Eversholt skipper, Steve Lichfield for 23, although it took a large amount of good fortune.

A full delivery from Goff found the under edge of Lichfield’s bat and lodged between the pads of wicket keeper Ady Fisher, who was standing up to the stumps.

Goff continued making inroads into the Eversholt line up, taking two further wickets, including the dangerous Ben Nichols for 36 as Eversholt stuttered to 66-5.

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The visitors required a period of consolidation and this was provided by Garratt and Ward, who batted sensibly to take Eversholt towards the 150 mark. Their circumspect approach however, allowed off spinner Matt Bristow to find a good rhythm and bowling unchanged, he sent down 21 overs of controlled off breaks for only 61 runs.

The introduction of Tim Fretter broke the partnership as he bowled Ward for a well made 51 and as the Eversholt lower order looked to force the pace, wickets fell regularly.

When number 11 Avis was bowled by Fretter in the 53rd over, Eversholt were all out for 167. Of the Colney bowlers, Bristow was the pick, finishing with figures of 21 overs, five maidens, 4-61.

Colney’s reply got off to a slow start with openers Nick Hurst and Adam Buckmaster struggling to pierce a well set Eversholt field. The pressure finally told when Buckmaster was bowled aiming an expansive drive off Chaplin and Hurst was unluckily caught at mid on, via a deflection off the bowler. Cole and Hadley also fell in quick succession, both to smart catches and Colney found themselves in trouble at 39-4 in the 20th over.

A mini-recovery was mounted by Tony Holloway and Tim Fretter who put on 56 for the sixth wicket before Fretter was bowled for 37, playing across the line against Garratt.

With 10 overs remaining, Colney still required 64 to win and when the 38th over saw Ady Fisher fall lbw for five and Zaman run out first ball without scoring, the victory target of 168 looked a long way away.

The brace of wickets brought Matt Bristow to the crease, batting down the order at number nine, to join Holloway. Scenting victory, the Eversholt skipper brought back his two opening bowlers, a decision which played into the hands of the Colney batsmen, as the extra pace on the ball aided their quest for boundaries.

First Bristow gave himself room outside leg stump to find a boundary over extra cover before Holloway picked up a string of boundaries over midwicket to keep the run rate manageable, bringing up his fifty in the process from 71 balls.

With a run a ball 10 required from the final 10 balls, Holloway played the decisive shot, picking a Chaplin delivery up and depositing it for six over midwicket before exchanging singles with Bristow to leave two to win from the final over.

The first delivery of the 47th over was back of a length and Bristow swivelled to pull the ball for four through the leg side to take Colney to victory by three wickets.

A delighted Hadley was quick to pay tribute to Holloway 63* and Bristow 23*, whose unbroken partnership of 66 was decisive, however he will again be concerned at the failure of his top order and the difficulty with which his side chased a relatively modest total.

London Colney II went down to a 71 run defeat against Wheathampstead II as Adam Stuart’s side continue to struggle in Division Seven.

Having lost the toss, Colney found themselves in the field and although Sheron Vanarkadi quickly removed opener Chris Martin for 0, Colney were soon chasing leather as Wheathampstead set about posting a large total.

After Wheathampstead opener McEwan had been dismissed by Trevor Ray for a well made 60, former London Colney Colts, Sam Ledger (72*) and Dillon Yogendra (41) put their former club to the sword as Wheathampstead amassed 232-6 from their 53 overs.

For the visitors, Vanarkadi was the pick of the bowlers, collecting 2-50 from 11 overs, while a far from fit Ray, toiled through 15 overs to collect 2-74.

Although a commanding total, Wheathampstead’s is a quick scoring ground and Colney would have felt that the total was gettable. Unfortunately, as has regularly been the case this season, the Colney batting line up were unable to turn starts into substantial contributions and despite a healthy run rate, wickets tumbled regularly.

Only Vanarkadi, who made 60 to complete a good outing for him and Captain Adam Stuart who made 26, were able to spend any meaningful time at the crease and Colney were dismissed for 161 with 8.4 overs unused.

Captain Adam Stuart expressed ongoing concern over his side’s slide towards the foot of the table and knows that matches in the coming weeks against fellow strugglers Ickleford and Waltham Cross Rosedale could have a massive bearing on the outcome of Colney’s season.