Redbourn clinch runners-up spot

SHL Division Three Redbourn 185-4 beat Clifton 183 by six wickets Redbourn concluded their league campaign with a victory over Clifton and in doing so finished the season as runners up in Division Three. Fielding first, Redbourn got off to a good start w

SHL Division Three

Redbourn 185-4 beat Clifton 183 by six wickets

Redbourn concluded their league campaign with a victory over Clifton and in doing so finished the season as runners up in Division Three.

Fielding first, Redbourn got off to a good start with Jon Fleming taking a wicket in his first over, but any thoughts of an easy victory over the team at the foot of the table were soon dismissed when Clifton opener Razool took the attack to the Redbourn bowlers. Thanks to him, Clifton were scoring at nearly seven-an-over for the first 20 overs and a huge score was on the cards. However, wickets were falling at the other end with Fleming (3-37) Chris Godfrey (2-18), Darren Bassill and Geoff Tookey sharing them around and when Steve Root finally removed Razool for a fantastic 78 off just 55 balls the innings fell apart. After a difficult early spell, Dan Thatcher (2-50) returned to wrap up the innings with two wickets in two balls as Clifton finished on 183 with 16 overs left unused.

Redbourn never looked in any trouble in reply as openers Simon Osman (19) and Gary Sandford (32) both looked comfortable and found the boundary at regular intervals to get the innings off to a flying start. It was then over to Ben Roe and Steve Root who both scored fifties in quick time before being caught out shortly before the end as Redbourn completed the run chase in less than 30 overs for the loss of four wickets.

Defeats for both Letchworth and Hemel Hempstead meant that Redbourn moved up to second place, an excellent effort having only been promoted from Division Four last season.

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REDBOURN lost to Chipperfield Clarendon in the Herts County Trophy final in an entertaining match that could have gone either way and went down to the very last ball.

Holders Redbourn fielded first but struggled early on and made a nervous start and Chipperfield opener Gary Wise was able to take full advantage of the fielding restrictions and some loose deliveries as they raced to 50 in just 11 overs. Ben Roe was then introduced to the attack to try and halt the flow of runs and the move immediately paid off as he moved one off the seam to bowl Moore with the score on 55.

Two overs later Dan Thatcher took the key wicket of Wise who was well caught by Geoff Tookey on the boundary and with the score on 61-2, Redbourn were right back in the game. Chipperfield then looked to consolidate and Grout and McNicol moved the score on to 128-2 before the pace of Steve Root accounted for both and, when 'keeper Geoff Bartlett took a stunning diving catch off the bowling of Chris Godfrey to remove McMillan, Redbourn were well on top.

Despite some good bowling in the final overs from Jon Fleming (2-43), Roe and Ahmed Jamal (1-40), Chipperfield were still able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and pushed the score up to 205-8 from their 50 overs.

Redbourn were satisfied with their efforts, at one stage Chipperfield looked like scoring in excess of 250 but at 137-5 Redbourn would have hoped to be chasing less than 200. Ben Roe was the pick of the bowlers, conceding just 28 runs from his 10 overs but it was the 35 extras conceded by the Redbourn bowlers that were to prove costly later in the day.

The Redbourn run chase got off to a poor start when Ahmed Jamal was caught in the second over and when Osman was bowled with the score on just 19 the target of 206 looked a long way off.

The in-form Dan Roe and Steve Root looked to rebuild the innings and see off the new ball and had nearly succeeded in doing so when an error of judgment saw Root lose his off stump and when Tookey was caught in the slips in the same over from Steve Durrant, Redbourn were struggling at 49-4.

However, Ben Roe arrived at the crease and immediately took the attack to Chipperfield as Redbourn mounted another fight back. The Roe brothers put on 64 before Ben was bowled by Wise for 43 with 96 runs still required. While Dan Roe was still at the crease Redbourn were always in with a chance and in partnership with new batsman Chris Godfrey he kept Redbourn up with the run rate until finally being bowled by Fitzgerald for an excellent 80.

With Bassill being run out soon after, Redbourn's hopes rested on Chris Godfrey as 34 runs were required from the last four overs. A six and a four from Godfrey put Redbourn back in it as the equation became 22 from three then 16 from two. With 12 needed, Godfrey was caught and Bartlett was then run out as Redbourn took risks trying to reach the target. It was left to tail enders Fleming and Thatcher to score the final eight runs from five balls but they could only manage four as Chipperfield sealed a dramatic victory by three runs.

It was a fantastic game of cricket played in a good spirit with both teams being given good support by their fans. Credit must go to Chipperfield Clarendon whose team put in an excellent all round performance which is exactly what they needed to do to beat a strong Redbourn team who had easily won the league fixture between the two teams just eight days ago.

After the game Dan Roe was awarded the man of the match award for his 80 runs which capped off a superb season for the Redbourn skipper.

REDBOURN II hammered a poor Northwood Town side to finish sixth out of 20 in Division Seven, one win short of a promotion place.

Northwood chose to bat first and seemed to have no intention of delaying their progress out of Division Seven as opener Carter smashed 18 off the first three overs before holing out to Martin Benfield off Pete Cridland.

Robin Mauders' pace and bounce was too much for the number three as he top edged to Matt Cramer at mid-off. The Northwood batsmen rode their luck to prevent a total collapse as they edged and nudged the score over 100.

The wickets were shared around: Robin Mauder 1-18; Pete Cridland 2-29; Dan Darvell 1-10.

The II's leading wicket taker Benfield took 2-31 helped by a lightning leg-side stumping from Geoff Bartlett, while the club's most improved player George Naismith wrapped up the innings with 2-3. Northwood all out for 116.

Redbourn used three under-16 players in the top three and, despite seeing Jack Dyer (10) and Naismith (7) both fall early, Matt Gibbs took Redbourn to the brink of victory with an excellent 49.

The II's player of the season Bartlett was bowled missing a full toss for 15, which left skipper Antony Mauder and Nigel Wellsbury to see Redbourn home. O'Neill was the pick of the bowlers taking 3-37.

Skipper Mauder said: "I'm obviously disappointed about missing promotion but I'm delighted by the development of our junior players who during the season have made themselves permanent members of the IIs.

"Geoff Bartlett has re-found his form and has shown himself to be the side's premier batsmen, I sincerely hope he doesn't follow through with his threats to retire!