Runs came thick and fast as the final game of the season played out to an exciting conclusion. Inserting the visiting Waresley, M.J.E. Baker was pleased to see Jack Childs take an early wicket. Owen Hughes meanwhile applied pressure from the other end with his tight line. The rest of the first innings then ebbed and flowed back and forth between the hosts and the visitors. The only constant was Brawlie whose superb knock of 100 for the visitors proved the backbone of their final total of 231 for 4. Sam Rice bowled one of his best spells but somehow came away wicketless. Rob Lankester meanwhile proved luckier taking a wicket, a catch and run out to prove his all-round ability. Toby Emes was the other wicket taker from his seven overs. After tea, Reed had a tense start with an early loss following after what would prove to be a costly drop. Michael Robertson tapped his first ball to mid-off only to see it go to ground. He never looked back. Given complete free license from his captain, Robertson unleashed hellfire in a complete blitz. He reached three figures in close to no time before retiring. Reed were now in a comfortable position with plenty of time left in the innings and a long batting order. Needing under a hundred seemed no problem. However, batsmen seemed to find ways of getting out. Jack Caine (33) and Baker (43) were the only other batsmen to make it into double figures. Baker had all but taken his side home before losing his wicket with just 9 required. It went down to the final wicket. Sam Rice played a superb shot down the ground leaving Reed with [...]
SATURDAY: Great for ducks! Cancelled because of the rain. SUNDAY: Not so many Ducks today; 1 on each side. For a bit of symmetry, there was also 1 ton on each side too. For Reed, who were chasing Waresley's 231 for 4, it was Mike Robertson's turn to notch-up a hard-hit hundred. MJEB scored 43 but amazingly this final match of the season ended in a tie. Expect a full Match Report to follow soon. PGB
It's always such a pleasure when, as a captain, you get to witness the improvement that a player makes over the course of time. For Joe Graves, the fourth of September 2016 will always stick with him as the day the label of batting potential was replaced with the label of proven ability. Having won the toss and electing to bat, Marcus J.E. Baker saw his side make a gentle start with Peter Baker and Jack Childs making a stable platform for the team. 46 was on the board when Childs was caught for 21. Graves, in at 3, played a mature and measured innings as he played himself in before cashing in against the bad balls. He soon overtook Baker and rushed towards his maiden half-century and made a century partnership with the veteran. Baker himself closing in on a deserved fifty decided on the ultimate sacrifice when he retired on 46 allowing others to have their chance at the crease with overs running out. Young Ben Mansfield accepted this opportunity with an impressive 36 not out. But it was Graves that took the applause as he continued to play in the same well-tempered manner that has seen him score throughout the season. Realising his potential he brought up three figures taking Reed to a final total of 249 for 4. In the second innings tight bowling and good fielding restricted the oppositions scoring. The bowlers were rotated giving nearly everyone a turn with wickets going to Owen Hughes, Childs, Rob Lankester, Neil Haslam and M.J.E. Baker. Reed easily winning by 104 runs. Report submitted by MJEB.
On an overcast afternoon with rain forecast, Harpenden invited Reed to bat. Martin Johnson (2) arrived just in time to open the batting alongside Paul Garrott but then lost his wicket early. There is a moral in that tale. Wickets fell at regular intervals throughout the Reed innings, with Garrott (75) again playing an anchor role for the majority of the innings, in which he had a 69-run, 5th wicket partnership with Bill Mansfield (39). Sam Rice (14) and Ben Mansfield (11) were the only other batsmen to record a double-digit score. With a little flourish towards the end of innings Reed reached 190 for 9 off 40 overs. Reed having got through the innings un-interrupted despite some heavy drizzle falling. In reply Harpenden reached 114 for 3 off 21 overs, before the now heavier persistent rain forced the teams from the field. With more than 20 overs played and a superior run rate of 5.42 runs per over, Harpenden won this contest. Reed’s run rate being 4.75 runs per over. The wicket takers were Johnson (6-1-31-2) including one excellent one-handed catch off his own bowling and Jake Gifford (6-0-24-1). Harpenden managing to strike a number of boundaries, although there was some exceptional fielding on the boundary by Ben Mansfield, whose whites were certainly not that colour by the end of this game. Reed made an early breakthrough with Harpenden losing their first two wickets for only 13 runs, but a third wicket stand of 86 took this game away from Reed, alongside the rain denying us having a chance to bowl at the Harpenden middle order. Bowling and fielding become more difficult with a sodden ball as the Harpenden innings progressed. Today's side was [...]
SATURDAY: Rain affected most of the matches on the final Saturday of the Herts League. It was so widespread that out of a programme of 131 fixtures, more than 100 matches were rained-off during the afternoon. Added to that, a further 7 matches were conceded throughout the divisions. 1st XI: Home versus Chorleywood. Reed scored 193 all-out; Ed Wharton and Rob Lankester being the major contributors. The visitors' innings ended at 15 for 0. The Firsts finished 6th in the Championship Division. 2nd XI: Away versus Harpenden. Reed scored 167 all-out in a reduced innings of 35 overs; George Garrott got past 45, Matt Sampson and Phil Frenay scored 30s. The rain came when Harpenden were 75 for 3. After three consecutive promotions, the Seconds had to be satisfied with 5th place in Division 4B. 3rd XI: Away versus Old Elizabethans. Reed scored 113 all-out with Peter Baker battling it out for 33 and Mike Robertson hitting 34. Old Es lost a solitary wicket to Neil Haslam who returned figures of 5 overs, 3 maidens, 1 wicket for 8 runs as the hosts romped home by 9 wickets in 20 overs, and gaining a deserved promotion. For the Thirds it does mean relegation from Division 8A this season. 4th XI: Home versus Harpenden. Reed scored 190 for 9 in their 40 overs, 75 of them by Paul Garrott who was supported by Bill Mansfield. Harpenden replied with 115 for 3 but because they faced 21 overs before it rained, it constituted a match, thus giving them a victory on a faster run-rate. The Fourths ended the season in 4th position in the Regional Division B East. SUNDAY: Joe Graves passed 50 for the first time, [...]