Reed Seconds remained top of Division 4B of the Herts League with a hard-earned win over Northampton Exiles at The Green.

The visitors won the toss and put Reed into bat on a day that looked as if it may help the bowlers. Richard Barlow fell third ball as he was bowled by Kayani. Four overs later one of last week’s centurions, James Sandford, slashed at a wide delivery and was caught behind, the hosts were 14 for 2. Skipper Ed Garrott fell for just 2, which brought Michael Robertson to the crease as he and Phil Frenay set about rebuilding the innings.

Robertson played with controlled aggression, whilst Frenay played the anchor role. Robertson fell shortly after the fifty partnership was brought up. George Teebon soon followed, Reed were 93 for 5. George Garrott came to the wicket and played the ball with exquisite timing and Frenay began to up the ante and passed eighty from the other end too. They put on a 110 partnership in 107 balls to turn the innings on its head. Garrott fell shortly after posting his fifty. Reed lost their last four wickets going for runs and ended 231 all out on the stroke of fifty overs.

Reed opened the bowling with Rupert Martin and Julien Fynn. The Exiles’ skipper was the first to go, the first of two catches at mid-wicket from George Garrott. Sandford turned golden arm with ball as he took 2-28 as he and Martin 2-29 began to turn the screw at 69-4. The bowling was backed up by superb fielding and two run outs, one from Matt Bowles and one from Martin, and the Exiles were 114 for 6. Bowles, 2-27, and the returning Fynn, 2-29, took the remaining wickets with only Moshin Azam providing any resistance with 51. The visitors were dismissed for 162 with five overs remaining. Reed now face two away trips to Chorleywood and Flamstead before the final home league of the season against Ampthill 2nds with both promotion and title ambitions still intact.

Reed 232 all out in 50 overs, (30 pts.) beat Northampton Exiles 162 all out in 45 overs, (14 pts.) by 69 runs.

Match Report submitted by Neil Haslam.