On one of the hottest playing days of the season thus far, Reeds Sunday Seconds played away to Bragbury at the rustic ground at Weston. Whilst the first eleven hosted Hertford in the County Cup the two’s covered their fixture in the North Herts League. The difference in age and experience was self-evident, but nonetheless the young Reed side put up a spirited fight.
Reed won the toss and inserted their hosts and got off to a fantastic start with three early wickets. Bradbury’s over confidence and arrogance being their own down fall as their aggressive start stalled. Sam Hubbard (2-40) opened from the pavilion end and after a hesitant start began to send down some fantastic deliveries, he claimed two wickets thanks to catches by Freddy Stuart in the covers and Rhodri Hughes at point. Joe Graves meanwhile started at the other end and was also troubling the opposition leading to Lawrence (12) to be caught at first slip by Marcus J.E. Baker.
Reed had the early advantage but things would change as a sensible partnership by Kenna and Braine put runs on the board. Whilst they were not running amuck with boundaries off every ball they did keep the scoreboard ticking over with good placement, calling and running. Both reached 50 when under 13 Edward Kershaw playing his first adult game claimed Braine for 52 in his first over. The enthusiastic leg spinner sent down some well flighted balls and could certainly have come away with more than his 1 for just 13. Sam Rice had also upset the batsmen with his spin but unfortunately came away empty handed. Kenna continued to play well and finished the hosts innings of 213 for 4 with 108 not out.
After tea Peter Baker wanted to set the right tone for his side and hit the ball hard blasting a few through the covers. However, his fate would be the same as his opposite numbers and fell prematurely for 10. His opening partner Rhodri Hughes was now joined by John Kershaw and after getting themselves in, began to play some fantastic shots. Both used the pull shot effectively making steady runs. Hughes was looking in the same good from he’s been in all season but paid the punishment for not getting on top of the ball when he was caught for 21. Freddy Stuart, at number 4, did not let things get bogged down and began to work the ball around and with Kershaw (35) put on 55 for the 3rd wicket.
Reed had made it passed 100 but then lost two wickets and Marcus J.E. Baker made his way to the middle with Reed needing 99 from 8 overs, just the kind of underdog score line that likes to fight against. His first ball smashed through the covers adequately displayed his intentions. Baker began to blast the ball back past the bowlers and was racking up the runs in partnership with Stuart who was not taking a back seat in the chase. Freddy Stuart, using his late cut to great effect, took himself to a much deserved maiden 50 in adult cricket. The momentum was with Reed needing 41 from the final two overs. Baker wanted the win and added four to the total with a fantastic pull shot, however, reality came down crashing down on him when a very thick leading edge sent the ball into the air, his entertaining knock of 39 coming to an end. Reed closed the innings on 179 for 6, with Stuart finishing on 54.