Redbourn plant their flag at Nomansland

SHL Division Three

Wheathampstead 149

Redbourn 151-2

Redbourn won by eight wickets

REDBOURN skipper Ben Roe had no hesitation in inserting the opposition upon winning the toss at Wheathampstead’s Nomansland ground.

After a shaky start, all of the Redbourn bowlers settled down, created pressure and managed to pick up wickets to break partnerships at regular intervals on a slow damp wicket. Darren Bassill (3-21) and Jon Fleming (2-22) were the pick of the bowlers and both had to contend with a strong head wind.

At the other end, Dan Darvell (2-47) also bowled well and was unlucky not to take more wickets during a long spell. Wheathampstead were eventually all out in the 50th over, although their score should have been 40 runs lower had Redbourn not put down a number of simple catches.

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In reply, Redbourn lost Toby Ascroft early on, but after his dismissal Geoff Tookey (58) and Gary Sandford (62*) shared an 80-run partnership to put Redbourn firmly in control. Shortly after Tookey departed, with the score on 92, but Redbourn quickly wrapped up the game, with James Bunce (22*) joining Sandford to complete the run chase with more than eight overs to spare. A confident display from Redbourn, which sets them up nicely for top of the table St Albans West Indians on Saturday.

Redbourn IIs lost by five wickets to Totteridge Millhillians. Chris Fleming (25) and Dave Irwin (24) gave Redbourn a decent start adding 48 for the first wicket. However, a flurry of wickets saw the home side reeling at 71-7.

Jack Dyer (24) and Martin Benfield (32) batted well and repaired some of the damage with a good stand, but 142 all out always looked short of a decent total. In reply, the Redbourn bowlers gave their all, with U15 Josh Evely bowling an excellent six-over spell (1-13).

Matt Lloyd picked up three wickets and made the opposition work hard for their win. However, Redbourn’s total of 142 proved to light as Totteridge eased home.

Redbourn IIIs lost by two wickets to Harpenden Vs, after a below-par batting display in which only Joey Jackson (36) made any inroads.

At 34-6, Redbourn were in all sorts of trouble, but good partnerships between Jackson and Simon Emmins and then Duncan Lennox built the score toward three figures. Some nice stroke play from Charlie Beere at number 11 saw Redbourn reach 101 all out in the 45th over, but the total always looked short of a competitive one.

The bowlers did their best to conjure a win. Conor Spicer (4-20) and Lennox (2-14) bowled excellently to remove the top order and raise hopes that a surprise win might be on the cards. Greg Clarke bowled well into the wind for his 1-24, but Harpenden batted sensibly and eventually reached the target with an over and two wickets to spare.

Redbourn IVs beat Botany Bay by four wickets after their opponents could only reach 74 all-out.

Having won the toss, Botany Bay probably regretted electing to bat in very windy conditions. Jim Lee (1-23) bowled a tight line allowing the Redbourn juniors to inflict the damage. George Luckhurst (3-16) removed the top order with a great opening spell and Dean Flynn took 4-7 with a pacy four overs.

Despite some resistance from their lower order, Botany Bay were all out for 74. In reply, Redbourn made steady progress towards the target, although wickets fell at regular intervals with Vagnadia bowling well for his 5-24.

An important innings of 17 by Murray Claasen moved the score into the 40s taking the pressure off the home side. When Keith Arnold was out with 22 runs required Botany Bay sensed victory but Adam Pritchard and Josh Arnold calmly knocked off the runs to leave the IVs top of their league.