St Albans lose out to big-hitting Reed

Matt Howeson drives one away

Matt Howeson drives one away - Credit: Archant

ST ALBANS struggled with the bat and ball as they fell to their third loss of the season on Saturday against Reed.

Mohammed Manzoor plays a shot

Mohammed Manzoor plays a shot - Credit: Archant

Coming into the game off the back of the team’s first win last week against Langleybury, St Albans won the toss and decided to bat on an excellent looking wicket.

With runs to be had, St Albans were disappointed to see Martin Jones dismissed with just two runs on the board by Mitchell Cooper (3-26). Thankfully for the hosts, opener Matt Howeson provided a steadying presence on his way to 25.

When Sam Rowlands was trapped LBW with the score on 41, Mo Mansoor (41) and Gareth Oakley (30) put on a 68-run partnership to leave St Albans in a position to rescue the innings and post a decent score.

After Mansoor was rapped on the pads by Tom Greaves (3-39), Jack Tidey and Bernie Morse (2-39) both picked up wickets and the St Albans innings was faltering.

Jim Chaudry strode out to the crease, and quickly strode back, with Morse clean bowling him without troubling the scorers. Chandra quickly followed and St Albans found themselves in the precarious position of 132-8

However, a sterling ninth-wicket stand from Richard O’Toole, who hit a run-a-ball 42, and Jimmy Rosson (19) provide essential lower order resistance to help St Albans post a competitive, although subpar, 200.

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In response Reed made excellent early progress, with James and William Heslam (32) crunching the loose ball to the boundary with relative ease. When William was dismissed Joe Curk continued where his team-mate left off, dispatching the good and bad balls to the boundary with immaculate timing.

James Heslam (55) reached his fifty before uncharacteristically playing around a ball from O’Toole (1-31). This gave a glimmer of hope to St Albans, however Curk (51) was in full flow and reached his fifty before being caught with the score on 163.

Chris Jackson (30*) and Tom Greaves (26*) made light work of the platform already set which saw Reed comfortably reach their target

• The 2s suffered a similar fate to the first team.

With Charlie Smith filling in as captain for the absent Grant Carveth, St Albans batted first. At 2-2 it seemed to be a disastrous choice but Mark Telkman and Matt Ingham reunited their profitable partnership, making a 96 partnership.

St Albans’ lower order struggled to exploit this base, losing six wickets for 10 runs. Skipper Smith and Vijender managed to get the total to 140, but the opposition chased down the inadequate total with six wickets remaining.

• The third team’s skipper Michael Eames continued his poor run of form with the coin, losing his fifth toss and being sent into bat. Toby Crisp started promisingly, but once dismissed, St Albans slumped to 35-5.

Despite some resistance from Eames (17) and George Boddy , a plague of poor shots meant that St Albans could only limp to 72 all out. Despite the excellent fielding of Crisp and Eames behind the wicket, and the good bowling of Jon Little, Reed’s batsman put St Albans’ travails into perspective, winning with eight wickets remaining.

• The Sunday team lost at home to Corinthians CC despite the unbeaten century of stand-in skipper, Mike Curtis.