Local derby ends in draw

SHL Division Three

Harpenden III 217-7

London Colney 198-7

Match drawn

AFTER the drama of last week’s final ball thriller against North Enfield, London Colney had to settle for the better half of a draw in a far less eventful match away to Harpenden III, which will not live too long in memory.

After winning the toss the home side elected to bat, and had to dig themselves out from a slightly precarious 87-4, as Tim Fretter (3-76) and Uzman Zaman (3-44) took early wickets, with only David Byrne of the Harps top order (37) making much of a contribution. Ducan Gilson (59) and Jack Doyle (30), in the middle order gave the home side a platform, but Colney’s attack were able to keep the run rate under control throughout the innings.

In the end, the home side’s innings stumbled to a rather meek 217-7 after their allotted 53 overs, and Colney would have thought they were in with a pretty good shout.

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As it transpired, Harps innings wasn’t the only anti-climax, as Colney’s finished up pretty much the same way. Runs at the top of the order from Ricky Zeidermann (44) and the in-form Scott Hadley (75) gave Colney a pretty good platform for the win, but the innings ran out of steam at the 20 over mark, and with the home side going on the defensive only 79 runs came in the next 20 overs.

Matt Newland (34) led a late charge, but with slow bowlers and deep-set fields Colney simply could not find the boundary often enough, and finished 19 runs short of their target on 198-7, with four of those wickets falling in the last five overs as they chased the win.

* The IIs followed last week’s first win of the season with another pretty comfortable victory, this time against Bayford and Hertford II.

Colney’s win was set up by a really miserly performance with the ball, as the visitors could only muster 142-5 from their 53 overs, which on a decent batting track and a fast outfield wasn’t anything like enough.

Opener Morris (49) had given Bayford a pretty decent start, and although only 70 runs came from the first 30 overs, with just one wicket down they should still have been able to post a total.

Samulak and Davies, however, both fell for 23 after getting a start, as Trevor Ray took 3-38, and the rest of Colney’s bowlers all kept the runs pretty much dried up. In the end, the visitors could not raise the run rate above three-an-over, with the innings closing with half their side still to bat.

It did not look a challenging total in the conditions, Colney made it look pretty easy.

After a bright 20 from John Gibbons got the innings off to a rapid start, the in-form Mitch Bradley (66*) posted his third successive 50 plus score as he and Trevor Ray (53*) cruised to the target to see Colney home by nine wickets in just 30 overs.