Reed 1XI failed to secure promotion to the Home Counties Premier League on the final day of the season as they lost to Langleybury who were fighting for their Herts League Division One survival in a hard fought encounter.
Langleybury won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that although hard looked like it would offer something to the bowlers. This seemed the case and Mitchell Cooper (1-28) got an impressive early breakthrough caught well by Ed Garrott at slip which alongside a run out by James Heslam got Reed off to a great start with the home side 13-2 after 4 overs. However, some good aggressive batting by Langleybury and slight overpitching in the conditions by the Reed bowlers meant they were able to ride a bit of luck and recover well to 100-2 off just 23 overs. This had set the platform for a decent total meaning that although Tom Greaves bowled another good spell of 19-2-75-4 and Rupert Martin (10-0-34) bowled economically, Langleybury were able through a couple more decent partnerships to set a challenging score for Reed to chase of 218-6. Amin, Soulsby and Will Oxley were the pick of the Langleybury batsman all scoring half centuries.
So Reed needed to chase down 218 in 46 overs for promotion. Unfortunately with the pace of Gage added to the Langleybury attack since the reverse fixture earlier in the season and the helpful wicket with the new ball this was always going to be a tough ask for the Reed batsman. That proved to be the case as both Heslam’s fell to the pace and bounce of Gage with James going to a snorter off the glove and Will out hooking leaving Reed 19-2 off 5 overs. Joe Curk had other ideas though and took the attack to the Langleybury bowlers scoring a classy and fluent 55 in just 10 overs putting Reed in with a shout at 79-3 off 13 overs. However, then the dangerous Greaves fell immediately after and at 80-4 Langleybury had the edge. Chris Jackson dug in to play the anchor role but although partnerships developed Reed never really got on top of some good Langleybury bowling from Manzoor (4-55) and Channer (4-52) and were unable to really dominate despite Sean Tidey’s useful 17. This meant the chase drifted a little to 134-7 in 33 overs. However, Jack Tidey strode to the crease with purpose and looked like he could help Jackson to possibly inspire an unlikely Reed win and the pair started to look dangerous until Jackson was well caught at mid wicket for a valiant 45 with the score on 170 off 37 overs. The last 2 Reed wickets then fell quickly to leave Tidey frustrated not out on 26 and Reed 39 runs short of promotion.
The Reed players were very disappointed to fall at the last hurdle, but Langleybury away fighting for survival was always going to be a very tough game to win to go up. They can at least reflect on an excellent achievement to finish 3rd in Herts League Division One in which big towns clubs St Albans and Hitchin were relegated.