Colney survive despite defeat

SHL Division Three

SHL Division Three

London Colney

Hertingfordbury

Hertingfordbury won by seven wickets

London Colney 1st XI produced a nervy performance as they slipped to defeat against Hertingfordbury but were able to secure the five points they required to avoid relegation and retain their Division Three status.

After beating Chipperfield Clarendon and seeing St Albans II collect only five points in a rain affected contest the previous week, skipper Hadley knew that a haul of five points or more would be enough to beat the drop, even if St Albans beat promotion chasing Ickleford. With that in mind the Colney skipper had no hesitation in electing to bat once he had won the toss.

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Colney welcomed back opening batsman Adam Buckmaster but after John Jenkins and Ady Fisher had fallen to the new ball attack, skipper Hadley completed a torrid league campaign with the bat as he holed out to deep mid-wicket for just 11, leaving Colney wobbling at 50-3 after 20 overs.

Buckmaster, batting like he had never been away, looked in good touch and set about rebuilding the Colney innings with the ever-reliable Tony Holloway. However three wickets for 20 runs, including the vital wicket of Buckmaster for a well made 72, left Colney deep in the mire at 119-6 with the six bonus points awarded for reaching 170, a long way off.

Hadley promoted his younger brother Paul up to number seven to try and break the shackles. Hadley jnr seemed to show little or no appreciation of the pressure situation he was batting in as he hit six 4s and two 6s on his way to 47. In tandem with Matt Bristow (14), Hadley drove on a partnership of 44 which put Colney in sight of the magical 170 mark and Division Three survival before another clatter of wickets left the home side on 168 for 9. Number 11 Joel Lambrick (16*) scampered a quick single to bring up the 170 before an entertaining last wicket partnership of 26 with Graham Seymour (14*) took Colney to a respectable 194-9 at the innings close.

In reply, Scott Hadley elected to open with spin and handed off-spinner Matt Bristow the new ball and he found turn against both of Hertinfordbury’s openers and several false shots. However this early encouragement did not bring wickets as Ryner and Darby put on 82 for the first wicket before the latter fell lbw to Goff for a well made 55. Bristow then removed Gillewicz, caught in the slips for 1 and Colney would have felt that with a rising run-rate, there was a chance of forcing an unlikely victory.

Unfortunately for the home side, the luck which had been with them with the bat was sorely absent with the ball. Rymer was eventually run out by Vanarkadi for 60, but by that point the best Colney could hope for was a draw. However Bryden began to open his shoulders and increased the run rate, and assisted by a cameo of 25 from Palmer saw his side home for the loss of just three wickets, reaching the target with a straight six which also brought up his fifty.

The disappointment of defeat was quickly replaced by the relief of survival, relief made all the more palpable by the news that St Albans had beaten Ickleford and taken 30 points. Skipper Hadley will reflect on a disappointing season after challenging for promotion for much of 2009. However there were many positives to reflect on, none greater than beating league leaders Chipperfield Clarendon, a result which ultimately ensured Division Three survival.

Already relegated, Colney II’s miserable season was completed with a 151 thrashing at the hands of Hemel Hempstead IV. Hemel posted an assured 217-4 and signalled their intent to put the game to bed by declaring after just 45 overs.

Colney were bowled out for 66 in reply with Kev Lawrence’s 22 the only highlight.

New Club Record Set

During Sunday’s friendly between London Colney II and Kenton III, 21-year-old Richard Black set a new club record for the highest individual score on his way to 158 not out. The previous record for a 2nd XI batsman of 136* had stood since 1989 and the previous record holder Michael Newland was there to witness his record being beaten. Black’s score is also the highest made by any Colney batsman ever, eclipsing the 156* made by 1st XI batsman Craig Pearce against Hendon and Edgeware in 1995.

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