London Colney take big step towards title with tense win against Old Albanian rivals

Tim Fretter batting for London Colney (pic Karyn Haddon)

Tim Fretter batting for London Colney (pic Karyn Haddon) - Credit: Archant

London Colney took a big step towards the Saracens herts League Division Six A title with victory over nearest rivals Old Albanian thirds.

Old Albanians celebrate (pic Karyn Haddon)

Old Albanians celebrate (pic Karyn Haddon) - Credit: Archant

The two sides combined to produce one of the best games at Green Street for some time, with Colney sealing a 12-run win to leave them needing 11 points against Old Finchileans to be crowned champions.

Colney chose to bat but were in a bit of trouble at 55-4 after 20 overs, before Mitch Bradley (15) and Tim Fretter (34) put on 50.

Andy Cole (35) and Adrian Fisher (24) added another key stand as the hosts reached 183, but OAs began well in reply, scoring at seven runs an over.

Ibrar Walayat and Saanwal Ilyas were cruising along towards their target until the former hit a full toss back to bowler Fretter (2-36) to give Colney hope, after seeing their rivals collapse from 80-1 to 107 all out in their earlier encounter.

Ilyas followed soon after and Bristow (3-43) took two quick wickets to get the hosts back in the hunt, although OAs were ahead of the run rate.

Shahid Hussain and Sohail Ahmed then dug in, sensibly knocking the ball around with only four runs an over needed.

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But Colney’s Dave Goff and Uzman Zaman bowled straight as the target came down to 15, before Ahmed picked out Bristow on the boundary.

Goff (2-15) struck again, as Hussain picked out Bristow sprinting in from long-on to take a low catch, to seal victory and spark celebrations among the home side.

Success leaves Colney 20 points clear at the top of the table going into the last match of the season, while OAs will be hoping to beat Welwyn Garden City thirds and waiting for news of any possible slip-up by the leaders.

Colney seconds eased to victory against their Leverstock Green counterparts, after a good bowling performance saw their rivals dismissed for just 91.

Paul Hadley (4-11) and Russell Blackman (3-33) were the pick of the Colney attack, before Cliff Johns (36) and Craig Parker (27) led the way with the bat in a seven-wicket triumph.