Some much-needed sunshine at the Green made the decision an easy one for Reed 2nds when they won the toss and elected to bat. Opener Phil Frenay returned to the squad after his weeks in the sun, and was joined at the top of the order by the youngest of the Martin brothers, Fergus. Also making guest appearances for the 2nds this week were familiar faces William Dobson and Simon Jackson.
Both openers got off to a great start, and Frenay scored freely and quickly, picking up where he left off from his last innings at Sawbridgeworth. Martin played more conservatively, but also looked in great touch, supporting Frenay in an unbeaten century stand for the first wicket. There was talk of a huge total from the Reed squad, with predicted totals well in excess of 300, before Frenay fell for 78, LBW.
Chris Jackson was in next, and as usual batted confidently, continuing to build the total in partnership with Martin. Martin fell bowled, just short of his 50. Club captain Tom Greaves was next to join in adding the runs, having demoted himself to the 2s whilst nursing a back injury, which gradually eased up as he progressed with his innings. When Greaves fell, it was left to Jackson (51) and the rest of the Reed middle order (Dobson, Baker, Ward and Bowles) to all chip in, finishing in a strong position at 256 for 6.
Opening the bowling against the Chorleywood response were Karl Ward and Matt Giblin. Despite both bowling some good lines, the pitch offered little in support, nor was the ball moving in the air which meant the Chorleywood openers were able to get off to a solid start.
Ward made what would later become the match-defining decision to take himself off after just 4 overs and introduce spinner Matt Bowles at an early stage of the innings. Bowles picked up the first wicket, halting the opening partnership. Alex Kelly replaced Giblin up the hill, and applied further pressure with some tight lines, and was rewarded with the second wicket.
However it was Bowles who went on to turn the innings around for Reed, thanks to a fine display of off-spin bowling. So impressed were some of the Reed fielders, that comparisons to Chris Gayle, aka ‘Universe Boss’ echoed around the square.
When Bowles finished his spell, Chorleywood were 6 wickets down, and with just 10 players, Reed were firmly in control. Tom Greaves replaced Bowles, and bowled through his back pain to claim 2 wickets, unlucky not have had 3, when Bowles dropped a tough chance at short cover. It was left to Frenay to claim the final wicket with a run out, Reed winning by 77 runs, now just 7 points off the top spot in Division 4B.
Match Report submitted by MPG.