Reed’s Sunday Seconds held out against the rain to ensure a comfortable 9 wicket win over Stevenage III’s. Playing on the main ground the visiting Reed side bowled first after captain Marcus J.E. Baker won the toss.
A strong side wind was present during most of the first innings and it was an added factor for Reeds opening bowlers Joe Graves and Jack Childs to battle. Both, having accustomed themselves to the wind, started bowling some good tight lines. Childs got the first wicket of the day removing the opposition captain for 0. However, troubles with his run up led to him being replaced prematurely by Rob Willoughby. The simple style of Willoughby did not allow much to be scored off the bat and when eventually partnered with Josh Conley they saw Reed to drinks with a modest total on the board.
Willoughby (0-30) would finish un-rewarded due to some at times poor fielding. Conley claimed two, one bowled and another thanks to a catch from Peter G. Baker running in from gully. He would finish with 2 for 33 from his 8 overs. Sam Rice began to tie the opposition in knots as he spun the ball both ways leaving Stevenage un-sure on their shot selection. Combined with Rice was P.G. Baker and Rhodri Hughes bowling alternate overs from the same end. The plan was to not allow the batsmen to feel comfortable at the wicket with constant variation and change in rhythm. The tactics proved successful as Baker (1-17), Hughes (1-4) and Rice (1-25) took wickets. Their triumvirate came to end leaving a single over each to be bowled by Childs and Graves. Childs, thanks to Lloyd Bowman taking his second catch of the day, claimed his second whilst Graves clean bowled T. Walker who had very quietly reached 50. The score of 160 for 8 at the innings end could have been a lot more were it not for the fine fielding display given by Scott Caine and Freddy Stuart.
M.J.E. Baker and Rhodri Hughes knew that they needed to lay a strong platform for the team and this is exactly what they provided. Baker started to play some precise shots that reached the boundary whilst Hughes went about the business of rotating the strike. Baker was racing along and had soon enough reached his half century. Then a turn for worse, rain forcing the players from the field. Although the break was short it could have easily disturbed the concentration of the batsmen. Fortunately this was not the case and Hughes and Baker continued to score easily. Hughes began to pierce the in-field as he timed the ball out the middle of the bat. On 99 the Reed captain in the image of W.G. Grace gently placed one behind point and called Hughes through to reach three figures. With the victory all but assured Baker tried to finish in a flourish of boundaries but was bowled ending the strong partnership of 147 with Hughes. Scott Caine came in at three and scored 6 in two balls before Hughes finished the game with pull shot for four. Reed had won by 9 wickets whilst Hughes finished his mature and classy innings on 34 not out.