Reed had to win this match to stand any chance of promotion vying as they were with Bushey for the crucial second position in Division 10A. Ahead of them were Bentley Heath who could not be caught by either of them and the Southgate Compton team that the League management committee had declared could not be promoted because of their availability problems immediately before the beginning of the season. The outcome Reed wished for was for Bentley Heath to beat Bushey in their clash. More of that later.
At the Freman Oval, Rhodri Hughes won the toss and inserted Ickleford who were soon on their way with 26 on the board within 4 overs as Matthew Gray found some easy boundaries but then perished to a skied caught and bowled by Owen Hughes off a top-edged pull shot. Ben Whelan and opener David Pursey added 125 more runs before Whelan fell to the teen-aged Sam Osborn’s leg-breaks for 64. Osborn, usually seen in the Under 13 Colts team, created several more unclaimed chances before again clean bowling his second victim, Peareth for 9. Reynard clattered a quick 25 not out and Pursey remained undefeated on 78 when Ickleford’s innings closed on 218 for 3 after 45 overs.
Reed began comfortably as Peter Baker (34) and Richard Johnson put-on 63 for the first wicket in 14 overs then a further 87 as Mike Robertson struck a rapid 48 in the next 8 overs. Johnson fell shortly after for a smooth 76 and Julien Fynn hit 24, but Reed lost some surprisingly quick wickets when Jake Cook resumed in his second spell taking 4 for 43 and the nuts on the wheels began to loosen. Sam Osborne looked assured as he hit two boundaries and a two taking Reed level with the visitors’ runs total but when caught attempting the winning run, Reed had only two wickets in-hand. The relaxed Lloyd Bowman came in and tucked the necessary single behind square leg and Reed were home within 35 overs.
Then the wait. And wait …. and wait. And wait we did for another two-and-a-half hours before the result of the Bentley Heath versus Bushey fixture was published. But it wasn’t worth the wait after all because Bushey had won easily by more than 70 runs thus gaining themselves a promotion slot and leaving Reed in their wake.
Reed III (30 points) beat Ickleford III (16 points) by 2 wickets.
Match Report submitted by PGB.