Herts all out after Staffordshire loss

HERTFORDSHIRE lost out despite a thrilling fight back against Staffordshire at Leek on Sunday, May 18. With Andy Lewis back as skipper

Minor Counties One-Day trophy

Herts 164 (43.4) Staffs 166-8 (49.1)

Hertfordshire 274-7 Suffolk 275-7

HERTFORDSHIRE lost out despite a thrilling fight back against Staffordshire at Leek on Sunday, May 18.

With Andy Lewis back as skipper, Herts were confident in their strong batting line-up and opened with Gary Brown of Stevenage and Steve Gale of Potters Bar after winning the toss. The pair put on 28 before Gale was caught behind and following this Herts collapsed to 90-5.

David Ward led the recovery with a grafting 38, and then Nck Lamb of Welwyn Garden City and Radlett's Tom Jenkins carried on the hard work, with 27 and 26 respectively.

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Staffs' all-seam attack refused to relinquish their stranglehold on the batsmen and Herts fell all out for 164 in the 44th over.

Herts hit back immediately after the interval when Welwyn Garden City star Aaron Laraman clean bowled two of the top three batsmen in the first three balls.

Staffs recovered with a partnership of 72 to seal the two-wicket win on 166-8 although Herts fought hard and bowled exceptionally. Laraman took 3-15 from 10 impeccable overs and Lamb (2-37), Felix Walker of Radlett (1-38) and former St Albans player Simon White (1-38) bowled well but Herts had too much to do.

Defeat has cost Herts any chance of qualifying for the One-Day Trophy quarter-finals. Their final game in the one-day competition is against Northumberland at Long Marston on Sunday, June 1.

Herts: S. Gale (Potters Bar), G. Brown (Stevenage), A. Lewis (North Mymms), D. Ward (Whitgiftians), A. Laraman (WGC), B. Frazer (WGC), T. Jenkins (Radlett), N. Lamb (WGC), F. Walker (Radlett), S. White (WGC), M. Smith (West Herts).

In their previous match Herts suffered a three wicket defeat against Suffolk on Sunday, May 11 at Welwyn Garden City.

Welwyn Garden City all-rounder Aaron Laraman captained Herts for the first time in place of the unavailable Andy Lewis, and won the toss and batted first on a beautiful morning.

Gary Brown, aged 19, and Steve Gale, aged 20, formed one of the county's youngster ever opening partnerships and Gale fired 78, including nine rasping fours, to crown a fine debut.

Ben Frazer then crashed 76 with five sixes and four fours in his blistering contribution while former St Albans player Simon White contributed 15. Herts closed on an impressive 274-7 in the knowledge that the good total could be threatened.

Herts wanted to take early wickets to put Suffolk, managed by St Albans legend Phil Caley, under as much pressure as possible, but the experienced opening pair of Tom Huggins and Andrew Mawson saw off the threat of Laraman and White. The openers reached 164 before Mawson fell in the 34th over.

Herts, with West Herts off-spinner Matt Smith taking 2-42 and Bishops'

Stotrford left-armer Steve Coleman (2-52) leading the way, then fought back strongly.

The 48th over proved a turning point though, the 12 runs coming from it ruining Frazer's otherwise impressive figures. Coleman bowled the 49th over, taking a wicket and conceding just two runs, to leave White trying to defend five runs off the last over. He conceded a single off the first ball, then bowled two dot balls, only for the fourth ball to produce a boundary, and Herts were beaten.

Herts: S. Gale (Potters Bar), G. Brown (Stevenage), N. Lamb (WGC), D. Ward (Whigiftians), A. Laraman (WGC), B. Frazer (WGC), F. Walker (West Herts), S. White (WGC), T. Jenkins (Radlett), M. Smith (West Herts), S. Coleman (Bishops Stortford).