Redbourn pick up vital win

Relegation fears eased with dramatic derby win over Shenley Village

SHCL Division Two

Redbourn 222-8

Shenley Village 207

Redbourn won by 15 runs

REDBOURN eased their relegation fears with a dramatic last ball victory against local rivals Shenley Village that had an impact at both ends of the Division Two table.

The hosts knew that with teams above them playing each other, victory over Redbourn could bring them right into the promotion mix while the visitors were desperate for points in their bid to avoid relegation.

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In changeable conditions and following early morning rain, the match got underway on time with Shenley captain Jemile Al-Darraji winning the toss and inserting the visitors.

Redbourn opener Geoff Tookey showed intent in the first over, hitting two boundaries, but thereafter pressure was built from both ends by the Shenley new ball bowlers. The first wicket fell in the tenth over to James Davenall, inducing an edge from Gary Sandford straight into the safe hands of Morgan Stanley at first slip. Captain Dan Roe then joined Tookey at the crease and formed a strong partnership of 116 either side of a break after heavy rain forced the players off the field.

Roe was eventually caught behind for a well made 54 , caught behind by wicket keeper Lloyd Willingham off the bowling of Davenall, who finished his 17- over spell with figures of 2-57.

Redbourn’s progress was slowed by a flurry of wickets but Tookey stood firm and was just three runs short of a deserved century when he was caught out, trying to up the run rate in the final few overs.

Dougherty, batting at eight, scored 11 valuable runs off five balls to take Redbourn to a final total of 222-8, their highest total of the season, from 49 overs. Al-Darraji finished with 3-39 and Rawlings with 2-44.

Shenley openers Anooj Vadgama and thirteen year old Charlie Thurston started the reply needing 223 from 43 overs and got their team off to a flyer, taking 40 from the first seven overs before the heavy rain returned. Another eight overs were lost and this meant that Shenley now had only 35 overs to score the 223 runs required for victory. To their credit, they continued to bat positively in pursuit of the target which as a result presented Redbourn with a number of opportunities to take wickets and good catches from Roe, Wellsbury and Steve Root helped reduce Shenley to 83-4 with Ben Roe and Jon Fleming picking up two early wickets each.

There was then a fifth wicket partnership of 38 before Fleming took his third wicket thanks to another fine slip catch from Dan Roe.

After making a slow start, Morgan Stanley then took on the aggressive role and kept Shenley in the game as he hit six big sixes in a brilliant innings of 82* but support was lacking from the other end. Steve Root bowled some excellent yorkers to restrict the run rate and picked up the wickets of Al-Darraji, Saqeb and Balogun. Jon Fleming also bowled well, taking 4-75 runs in a 17 over spell that continued throughout the Shenley innings.

With last man James Davenall on strike to the impressive Root, Shenley were left with an unattainable 24 runs to win off the final over and needed to survive to take a draw away from the match. In a tense atmosphere, Davenall successfully survived the first four balls, hitting two boundaries in the process. Redbourn then had a close stumping chance turned down off the penultimate delivery and it looked as if Shenley would secure the draw. However, the final delivery from Root was good enough to slip through the defences of Davenall, bowling him and giving Redbourn the 30 points at the end of a thrilling contest. Root finished with figures of 4-20.

The win gave Redbourn a valuable 30 points while Shenley picked up eight points for their efforts. The defeat sees Al-Darraji’s side slip to seventh in the table a little adrift of the promotion race.

They will hope for a return to winning ways on Saturday when they travel to Heath Park to take on Hemel Hempstead II while Redbourn welcome Potters Bar II to the Common.