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The finals day of the Herts Village Trophy took place at Knebworth Park CC on Sunday 19th August. 

In the semi-final we were drawn against Offley & Stopsley, a team we had not played for many a year. The game took place on the second pitch which, we would later discover, was very different in nature to the main strip. Skipper Jimmy Pickard enhanced his reputation as a useless tosser and we were invited to bat first. Az Akhtar and Will Hill made a steady start, adding 31 before Will edged one behind. That brought Pete Raeburn to the crease and 23 more were added before Az holed out for 28, possibly frustrated by the lack of strike and the need to push things along. Pete eventually fell for 20 with the score on 73, but by now 14 overs had gone and the perceived necessary score of 150 was looking increasingly unlikely. The remaining overs saw a welcome increase in scoring rate as we eventually ended up on 124-7 with Michael Gurney, Jimmy P and Luke Hartman all getting into double figures.

The O&S reply got off to a bad start as the opener (who apparently had scored a ton the previous day) skied one in the first over and was caught by wicket keeper Paul Lee. The good spell continued as the opening bowlers kept things very tight and after 8 overs the score was 27-2, well behind the required rate. Jonny Turney took 2-9 from his 4 overs and Junaid Ashiq bowled his set for just 16. There followed a spell of 5 wickets falling in overs 9-12, leaving them on 46-7. Some big hitting from Goord (32 not out) gave the opposition a little hope, but the required rate was always a bit too much. Michael Gurney and Luke Hartman each took 3 wickets to secure a fine win as the innings finished on 101-8.

 The other semi final saw London Colney make short work of Little Berkhamsted Sahibs, dismissing them cheaply and knocking the runs off in no time.

So to the final... Once again Jimmy lost the toss and we were inserted. After losing Will Hill cheaply, Az and Michael started to increase the pace and put on 72 before Az was out for 34 which included a couple of huge sixes. Mike fell caught behind soon after for 30, this brought together Jimmy and Junaid (JD) who put on another good stand of 76 before JD was well caught for 39. Jimmy was then run out for 29 and Harry Lee finished the innings in typical Harry fashion with 10 not out including his trademark reverse sweeps. A challenging total of 171-8 was set....certainly helped by the quicker, bouncier pitch as the ball came onto (and from) the bat much quicker.

  The London Colney innings started steadily, with Jonny and JD once again bowling tidily and keeping the run rate well below the asking rate of 8.5 per over. The number 3 batsman looked dangerous until he mistimed one and skied it for a caught and bowled to Will Hill for 23. The 4th wicket partnership added 25 and increased the scoring rate to almost 7, but once this was broken none of the remaining batsmen could make enough of an impact and they finished some 50 runs short. 2 wickets apiece for JD, Will and Luke Hartman were backed up by a fine all round fielding display for a well earned comprehensive victory.

Good to see a number of club members there to support the lads' efforts...Well played boys

 

 

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