Colney slip to defeat against promotion hopefuls

Division Three London Colney 165-10 (50.1) Bishop s Stortford 169-7 (38) LONDON Colney entertained promotion chasing Bishop s Stortford on Saturday and were unable to post enough runs to take the game. Batting first, they were soon in trouble, slumping

Division Three

London Colney 165-10 (50.1) Bishop's Stortford 169-7 (38)

LONDON Colney entertained promotion chasing Bishop's Stortford on Saturday and were unable to post enough runs to take the game.

Batting first, they were soon in trouble, slumping to 50-4 by the 19th over, with only Phil McLaughlin (25) making any impression.

The middle and lower order came to Colney's rescue, with runs from Paul Wise (30), Adam Stuart (22) and 31 from Uzman Zaman.

From a precarious looking 70-5 they were able to lift themselves to 165 all out in the 50th over. For the visitors Cooper (6-49) was the pick of the bowlers, and at the halfway point Bishop's Stortford would have been well-pleased with their position.

Most Read

For the second year running opener Chapman was Colney's nemesis. Last year he hit an unbeaten 170 and this year he had to settle for an even 100 before falling to a full toss, but by that time Stortford were close to victory.

To their credit, Colney stuck at it and there was even a sniff of an unlikely victory when Zaman (4-13) and Wise (2-18) claimed five wickets between the 132 and 144 marks. Lewin (14 not out) and Williams (13 not out) steadied the ship and saw Stortford home by three wickets without any further dramas.

In a competitive match where Andy McDonald was standing in his first match as umpire due to more inexperienced figures deciding enough league abuse was enough, it was good to see both sides treat each other and the officials with respect and share a drink in the bar afterwards.

Any pleasure Colney might have taken from the game however was shattered soon after as it emerged that last week's win over St Albans had been chalked off, awarded to St Albans and Colney fined a further 10 points following the discovery that Colney opening bat and Chairman Phil McLaughlin had apparently been removed from the Colney player registration site, and was therefore an unregistered player.

The decision to treat as a 'ringer' a player who has been a member of the club and a league ever-present for a quarter of a century plunges Colney back into relegation trouble, and affects all the other clubs at both ends of the table.

London Colney II meanwhile suffered more doom and gloom, of a more conventional kind as they were soundly thrashed at high-flying Flitwick II in Division Seven.

Batting first Trevor Ray (32) and Mitch Bradley (48) were pegged back by a tight and pacey opening attack, and were forced to dig in and survive. It was to their credit that they were able to post an opening partnership of 90, but they were forced to use 37 overs doing it.

When both fell against the slow bowlers, Colney had nothing else, and slumped to 109 all out, losing the first six wickets for four runs, and the last four without a run being scored. Oly a 15 run partnership for the seventh wicket held up Thurstance (6-43) and Twist (4-25).

It was probably about 150 short, and Flitwick knocked off the target with ease, dismissing the senior league bowlers without trouble.

Youngsters Joel Lambick and Will Northage took a wicket each, to secure Colney's only points of the day as Gurney saw Flitwick home with an unbeaten 67.

The poor availability that has struck Paul Seymour's side this year seems to be setting into a routine, and an apparently growing lack of enthusiasm for league cricket is starting to cause the committee some concerns.