Colney slump to nine wicket loss

SHL Division Three

London Colney 163

Harpenden III 166-1

Harpenden III won by nine wickets

LONDON Colney suffered a heavy nine wicket defeat at the hands of Harpenden III to slip further into trouble at the foot of the Division Three table. Having witnessed improved performances against Waltham Cross Rosedale, Kings Langley and Abbots Langley, which had seen his side garner more than 40 points, Scott Hadley and his Colney side would have looked forward to a home match after four successive away trips on a Green Street pitch which the hot weather had turned into one of the best tracks in the division.

Having lost the previous two tosses on similarly hot days and been made to field, Hadley had no hesitation in electing to bat when the coin came down in his favour. Unfortunately this was the high point of the day for the home side as they struggled in their attempts to post a competitive total.

Hadley would have had high hopes for the opening pairing of the returning Buckmaster and inform Nick Hurst, but both perished quickly and although Ady Fisher (32) and Tony Holloway (20) added some stability, wickets fell at regular intervals thanks in no small part to tight bowling and outstanding fielding which tied the batsmen down leading to a number of frustrated Colney batsmen giving their wickets away.

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Youngster Connor Dow, playing his first league game for the first XI added a composed and fluent 44*, but Colney’s tail failed to wag and the home side were bowled out for 163 with four overs unused. For Harpenden Rohan Pancharatnam was the best of the bowlers picking up 4-38, ably supported by John Kerley who took 3-35.

At the break Colney would have feared that their total was well below par on such a true wicket and these fears were quickly realised as Harpenden raced to their victory total from just 28.4 overs for the loss of just one wicket, opener Ollie Tuck who was caught behind off Simon Fretter for a duck with the score on just 3.

Any hope this gave the home side was quickly snuffed out as Simon Wade (74*) and Ollie Chinneck (65*) put on 162 for the second wicket at over five runs an over, reaching the victory target with more than 21 overs to spare.

Next weekend sees a must-win fixture against fellow strugglers North Mymms II, but Colney will need to dramatically improve if they are to secure a much needed third win of the season.

n Things were no better for London Colney second XI who fell to a four wicket defeat at the hands of Hexton II.

Having won the toss and elected to bat on a surface which was the mirror opposite of that to be found at Colney’s home ground, Adam Stuart’s side were shot out for just 90 in 30.2 overs with only Matt Irvine (21) and Stuart himself (18) making any contributions with the bat.

The quality of the playing surface was reinforced by the difficulty with which Hexton chased Colney’s paltry total, eventually reaching the victory target for the loss of 6 wickets with Trevor Ray taking 2-29 and Joel Lambrick taking 2-8.

After the game, a clearly frustrated Stuart was very critical of the sate of the Hexton wicket. When asked for comment all Stuart would be drawn to say was: “The only positive I can take from the game was that no one got hurt.”