Reed 2nd XI clinched the Saracens Hertfordshire Division 4B title with a game to spare, after yet another comprehensive victory, this time away to Flamstead. The first place finish entitles Reed to a promotion to Division 3B next season, with the peculiarities of the Herts League meaning league winners are promoted two Divisions, and second place moving up one Division in the pyramid.
Reed skipper Ed Garrott lost the toss and his side were asked to field by the hosts. Julien Fynn (7-0-43-2) and Rupert Martin (5-1-20-0) had possession of the new ball and both bowled well against some aggressive top order batting. Martin was particularly impressive with his control, and was unlucky not to be rewarded with wickets, however Fynn was able to make the breakthrough, taking 2 wickets in his opening spell to leave the hosts 35-2.
A good partnership by Peris and Greenwood followed, and took Flamstead to 94-2 before the introduction of Karl Ward helped swing the game back in Reed’s favour. Ward (10-3-21-5) bowled beautifully as he set about the Flamstead batsmen on his way to a five-wicket haul, his first of the season. Ward was ably supported by James Sandford (5.1-0-6-3) as the hosts crumbled from 94-2 to 125 all out, under immense pressure from the relentless Reed bowling. The visitors again held on to their catches, which has proved so crucial this season.
Reed’s response got off to a decent start, with Richard Barlow looking in defiant mood. However Reed’s in-form opening batsman and fielding guru Phil Frenay (4) was soon adjudged LBW, and when Chris Jackson (16), James Sandford (22) and Ed Garrott (7) also fell having all made starts, Reed were still 40 runs short and rain was in the air. Barlow (28 not out) continued to knuckle down, and new partner Karl Ward (24 not out) decided attack was the best form of defence on a track that offered plenty to the bowlers, as Reed comfortably passed the required total with 21 overs still to spare.
Reed now go into their final game of the season this weekend, at home to Ampthill 2nds, aiming to cap off a great season with another victory.
Skipper Garrott commented after the game “Well, you know? I’m absolutely delighted with how the season has gone. The boys have worked hard, particularly on our fielding, and this has proved so crucial. We’ve scored runs at a canter and the bowling unit has been so consistent. We’ll enjoy tonight and look to cap the season off next week. I couldn’t have asked for more from anyone, really.”
Match Report submitted by Matthew Bowles.