London Colney's promotion hopes still alive

PUBLISHED: 11:27 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 06 May 2010

SHL Division 3 London Colney 276-9 beat Totteridge Millhillians 171 by 106 runs LONDON Colney went into their penultimate match of the season needing to win to keep alive their faint chance of promotion, and in a match that will be talked about for many y

SHL Division 3

London Colney 276-9 beat Totteridge Millhillians 171 by 106 runs

LONDON Colney went into their penultimate match of the season needing to win to keep alive their faint chance of promotion, and in a match that will be talked about for many years, turned round what seemed an almost hopeless position.

Batting first Colney lost a couple of early wickets before Adam Buckmaster (14) and Scott Hadley mounted a mini recovery.

Colney's middle order however fell apart, with five wickets going down for 31 runs, and at 75-7 in the 25th over there didn't look any way back.

The visitors certainly must have felt they had the game won when Andy Cole joined Tim Fretter for the eigtht wicket.

The pair dug in at first, trying to rescue the situation, and then gradually took the attack to Totteridge Millhillians, taking the score past 150 in the 40th over.

When Fretter passed his 50 however, the game turned on its head, as he accelerated from 50 to 100 in a brutal assault lasting just 14 deliveries including five sixes.

Cole joined in as the pair added a club record 167 for the eighth wicket, with 95 coming in the last 10 overs of the partnership, before Fretter was out for 108.

Cole took his score to 83 before being last out as Colney posted a formidable 276-9.

Totteridge Millhillians must have been shellshocked at the turn of events, and their day went from bad to worse with the bat.

After Uzman Zaman claimed two early wickets, and opener Khan was lost to a run out, Matt Bristow took over with his off-spin, and the middle order had no answer as he picked up 5-37 in 13 controlled overs.

Ahmed (22) and Soomro (33) both got starts, and N Hussain hit 59, but then he was caught by Paul Wise to give Bristow his fifth wicket.

Wise himself picked up the last two wickets as Totteridge Millhillians were bowled out to give Colney their ninth win of the season, by 106 runs.

With the top four sides all winning however, the gap to the last promotion place, with just one game left, remains at a now un-bridgeable 41 points, and Colney will now have to settle for the satisfaction of their highest ever league finish.

In Division Seven, the II's, looking for a win they needed to pull away from the relegation zone, had a frankly disastrous day away at Dunstable III.

It didn't start too badly after the home side won the toss and elected to bat, as a pitch that was basically true, but a bit two paced, suited Colney's bowlers, and particularly Trevor Ray.

Ray's controlled medium pace saw him claim 7-63 as, backed up by a couple of wickets from Simon Fretter, Dunstable were bowled out for 136.

With Dunstable III using the same type of medium pace attack as Colney had, there were lessons to be learned about the way to bat on that track and Colney didn't heed them.

Within four overs of the restart they had slumped to 9-4, and there wasn't really any way back from that.

Nick Hurst, playing his first game of the season due to a long injury layoff, hit 35, but nobody else got out of double figures as Colney slumped to a dismal 58 all out in just over 20 overs.

Incredibly, on a day when they were bowled out for one of the lowest totals in their history, the 10 points they took from bowling Dunstable III out actually saw them go up the table and pull out of the relegation zone, as Eversholt had an even more disastrous day against Boxmoor, and they go into the last game knowing a win will keep them up.


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