Reed Firsts completed their league programme with a last over victory against old rivals Langleybury. Their 3 wicket win condemned the hosts to relegation from the Championship.
Lacking the usual seam attack with even Ed Wharton playing as a batsman through an elbow injury, Reed started well, Jack Caine (7-2-20-2) bowling both of Langleybury’s experienced openers and Matt Giblin could have had them 10-3 if a sharp chance in the slips had been pouched. However, Richard Oxley (58) and Danny Walker (76) passed the 100 mark until Sean Tidey broke the partnership. It was the occasional bowler Stuart Smith who did the most damage though, finishing with 4-50 and with Giblin claiming two late wickets Langleybury’s innings closed on 232-9.
Rob Lankester (20) and Ed Wharton (45) began the run chase, but it was a 50 partnership between Richard Barlow (33) and Marcus Martin which turned the game Reed’s way. Langleybury skipper Oxley desperately alternated 8 bowlers to try to stem the tide of runs, but Martin (68 not out) well supported by Tom Greaves (16) and Jack Caine (15 not out) inexorably reduced the deficit until the latter drove a boundary to win the match by 3 wickets with 4 balls remaining.
A welcome victory for Reed to end an up-and-down season, but a sad week for Langleybury, who lost both their long-standing President, Gordon Riddick, and their battle against relegation.
Match Report submitted by Peter Wholley.