Before the match Hoddesdon required just 5 points to secure the Championship title, but nerves were fraying as they slipped to 61 for 4 with Jack Tidey removing gun bats, Rob Walters and Jadyn Broodryk, Ed Wharton and Tom Greaves then tied down the middle order before drinks. However, Todd Sturdy (59) and James Achillea (36) accelerated the rate, putting on 73 for the fifth wicket. Although Zac McGuigan (2-50) removed both batsmen, some lusty hitting by Jones and Burrell took them to 224-8. Nevertheless, thanks to a tight final over from Jack Tidey (3-50) they finished an agonizing run short of the fifth point they needed.
The Reed innings remarkably followed the course of their opponents’ knock. Only Richard Wharton (43) survived some accurate bowling by Thorne and Burrell as they stumbled to 68 for 5. It was left to James Heslam and Matt Sampson (31) to slowly rebuild with a stand of 61. Then Mitchell Cooper took over, slamming 40 in 30 balls with five towering maximums. With just 8 needed from 9 balls, captain Walters (4-15) stepped up, taking 3 wickets in 4 balls to dismiss Reed for 217, leaving Heslam (70) unbeaten at the non-striker’s end.
A topsy-turvy game, befitting a top of the table encounter, thus ended with Hoddesdon as champions, promoted to the Premier League and Reed due to face Luton Town and Indians next week on the Green to see whether they could also reach the top division for the first time in their history.
Match Report submitted by Peter Wholley.