Preview: Lamb hopes disappointment of play-off lose can drive Harpenden forward
- Credit: Archant
Nick Lamb is hoping Harpenden can use the disappointment of losing the Saracens Herts Premier Division play-off final to drive them to success this season.
Radlett were crowned champions in 2014 after beating Harpenden by 45 runs at Welwyn Garden City’s Digswell Park.
The final result only tells half the story. Harpenden bowled Radlett out for 150 and moved into pole position to take the title. The capitulation that followed was spectacular; the batsmen barely cracked 100 runs and handed Radlett the championship.
“The final was a really disappointing day,” Lamb told the Herts Ad. “To be in a position to win it at the halfway point and lose was really disappointing. But that experience was a good one for a young side, to be honest.”
Harpenden have recruited well in an effort to get over the final hurdle this season. Former Leicestershire and Derbyshire all-rounder Nick Walker is the headline signing. The former WGC and Sawbridgeworth right-hander has been plying his trade in the Bradford League of late and, according to Lamb, bowls around 80mph and ‘smashes it’.
Left-arm spinner Dan Wightman is back in the fold after taking 29 wickets for Harpenden last season and Lamb is hoping for good things from seamer Matt Harper and Nick Winchester.
James Latham is the only player not returning. He is playing for Harrowgate this season while completing his dissertation.
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“We’re in really good shape – the team is looking strong,” said Lamb.
“We’ve got the same side as last year, plus Nick, so we should be in a better position then last year throughout the league and in the play-offs.”
While reaching the play-off final is the number one aim, Harpenden have a renewed focus on the Readers T20 Cup and the ECB Club Championship. Harpenden beat Bessborough by four wickets in their first round tie.
“The T20 is a big one for us. Last year it was just Herts but this year the winner goes through to regional and national rounds,” said Lamb.
“Our group of players is suited to T20; we’ve got attacking batsmen and bowlers who don’t concede many runs.”
Harpenden’s season starts on Saturday with a visit from newly-promoted Hertford to the Common, 11.30pm start.